Ben Levy, the director of international education at Ramapo, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to Japan.
Levy has been with the College since 2010. His position is comprehensive and inclusive of all international programs and initiatives, including institutional strategic planning, program development and international risk management.
The Fulbright Program, according to Levy, aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people from other countries. The International Education Administrators grant, which is the specific award grant Levy applied for, helps “U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials create empowering connections with the societal, cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Grantees return with enhanced ability to serve and encourage international students and prospective study-abroad students,” according to the Fulbright Scholar Program website.
According to a press release by Ramapo College, during his stay in Japan, Levy will be learning about the Japanese higher education system and its society and culture. In addition to this, Levy will also be networking for Ramapo, creating connections with Japanese colleagues. Levy is one of 10 who have received this program grant, and will be among the 1100 United States’ faculty and professionals who have or will travel abroad through this specific program grant in the 2014-15 school year.
Levy received this grant through an application he submitted during the fall 2014 semester. To be eligible for this grant, applicants must be a citizen of the United States and an international education administrator or senior level university administrator with substantial responsibility for “enhancing the international dimension of their institutions,” according to the Fulbright website. Applicants must also be affiliated with a two- or four-year college, university or non-profit international education exchange organization and have a minimum of five years full-time work experience in the field of international education.
“Ramapo College has held a strong commitment to international education,” said Levy. “Through a variety of initiatives, we’ve begun to engage further with Japan and have received strong interest from the student body for more opportunities for international study and language learning. The College would also like to increase the number of highly qualified, degree-seeking international students.”
Levy will leave for Japan at the end of June and stay in Japan for two and a half weeks. He is most looking forward to experiencing the “fascinating cultures of Japan and learning about the higher education environment.”
Levy hopes to better understand the realities of life and education in the country to better advise the College and strengthen its engagement with higher education institutions in Japan. He also hopes to include more programming on campus related to Japanese culture and language upon his returrn. Levy is looking forward to observing and participating in daily life in Japan and visiting important cultural sites.
When he returns, he will meet with Ramapo College faculty and administration and hold a seminar on the Japanese higher education system, while discussing possibilities for collaborations and partnerships. Levy says he will continue to share what he learned by developing an action plan based on how Ramapo can best strengthen its existing partnerships and develop new mutually beneficial strategic partnerships in Japan.
“The College will start implementing its very first Strategic Plan for Comprehensive Internationalization during the fall 2015 semester,” said Levy. “It’s important for Ramapo to continue to find innovative ways to expand both the formal and informal curricular opportunities for students to widen their global knowledge, particularly as it pertains to their disciplinary course of study.”