2019-2020 Annual Report

Campanile in foreground with Mount Oread in background

Message from the Associate Vice Provost

Throughout the pandemic, KUIA units and our partners across campus chose a forward path of innovation rather than a make-do approach. That has made all the difference.

The work KU’s team of international educators has done has been nothing short of transformative for the university as a whole. KU faculty and staff have risen and continue to rise to the many challenges and have shown ingenuity, dedication, resilience and passion for what they do. In their work, they have proven just how central internationalization is to our world-class university and they have inspired our entire community of Jayhawks.


Fall 2020 Message

Bill Keel with study abroad students near Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

Promoting and Preserving German

Bill Keel, who retired as professor of German in 2019, left a legacy of work that has been equal parts promoting and preserving the German language as he fostered a Sister City relationship and traveled throughout Kansas and Missouri to record the fading German dialects.

Article on Bill Keel
Mary Klayder in Costa Rica

Professor leads 50+ study abroad trips  

In March 2020, Mary Klayder led her 53rd study abroad program, providing transformative experiences for more than 1,100 students who have traveled with her on programs centered in London, Great Britain and Costa Rica.

Article on Mary Klayder

Study Abroad

Antonia Bignotti in front of camera

Student Virtually Travels Through Online Internship

This summer, KU student Antonia Bignotti learned how to make risotto from a cook in Florence, Italy, interned for a London-based nonprofit and made friends around the world – all from her home in Santiago, Chile.
Cierra Kahrs in Singapore

Increasing Access to Study Abroad

Lack of financial resources, family support and role models are among the most common obstacles students cite for not studying abroad. Two initiatives by KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) during the 2019-2020 academic year worked toward removing these barriers.

Study Abroad in 2019-2020

students studied abroad
of student received Pell Grants
of students were first-generation college students
Gilman Scholarship awardees

Study Abroad 2

students received scholarships
students participated in virtual education abroad programming
students received scholarships for virtual education abroad programming

Student Spotlight

Emilia Paz Ojeda standing by Jayhawk

Emilia Paz Ojeda

Emilia Paz Ojeda, a computer science graduate from Peru, was surprised by the number of other international students on campus. She now works for Google and says her international education will be integral in communicating with colleagues.

Article on Emilia Paz Ojeda

Brooke Lapke traveling abroad

Brooke Lapke

Brooke Lapke, a microbiology graduate who is now a KU School of Medicine student, says that international education changed her perspective on medicine.

Article on Brooke Lapke

Mika Schrader traveling abroad

Mika Schrader

For Mika Schrader, a history and religious studies graduate, two study abroad experiences opened doors and opportunities that she didn't even know existed.

Mika Schrader

World map with countries with international students highlighted

Students from Around the World

In Fall 2019, more than 2,000 international students enrolled at KU’s Lawrence campus from more than 100 countries. The map highlights international students’ home countries, with darker shades indicating the countries with more students.

KU International Students 2019-2020

international students in Fall 2019
countries represented

KU International Student 2

of KU undergraduate students
of KU students
of KU graduate students
Chuck Olcese

Olcese retires after 35 years

Olcese retired in May after nearly eight years as director of International Student Services and almost two decades of advocating for international education in Kansas. Throughout his career, Olcese has been a local, regional and national leader in international education.

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Photo of Ali Soltanshahi

Soltanshahi Named ISS Director  

KU International Affairs is delighted to welcome Ali Soltanshahi to the Jayhawk family as its International Support Services director. Serving in the field of international education since 2001, Soltanshahi worked at four higher education institutions before coming to KU.

Article on Soltanshahi

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