BHSU hosts international visitor, works to create partnership for exchange students

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, January 20, 2015/Categories: 2015









           Representative Barongwa Master Baipidi (Masterb), a representative from the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana, met with a group of international students at BHSU to learn more about their educational experiences at the University. Masterb also met with BHSU deans, staff and faculty during his trip to discuss forming an exchange partnership with the University.




Black Hills State University hosted Barongwa Master Baipidi (Masterb), a representative from the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana, this week. Masterb met with BHSU deans, staff, faculty and students to discuss forming an exchange partnership with the University.

Botswana is a small country located in Southern Africa, with a population of just over 2 million. Education is still growing in Botswana, Masterb said, but the government has made it a top priority to provide more opportunities for students, which includes international exchange programs in the United States. The programs would allow Botswana students to attend BHSU and BHSU students to attend a Botswana university.

"Without education you can&rsquot survive," Masterb said. "We want to send our students to experience what others experience here."

Masterb spent part of his visit touring campus and learning about academic programs and research at BHSU. Masterb is a teacher by trade and has spent more than 20 years in the education field.

Masterb noted BHSU&rsquos business program and the fact it is AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredited, placing it in the top five percent in the world.

"You have a most elite business program that we can send our top achievers to," Masterb said. "This can enhance the entrepreneurial skills of the Botswana people."

To learn more about the international exchange experience at BHSU, Masterb met with a group of students from countries including Madagascar, South Korea, Slovenia, Nigeria, Sudan, Germany and India.

The students shared their academic aspirations and explained why they chose BHSU to further their education. Students said they enjoy the smaller class sizes, friendly faces and educational opportunities the University offers them.

"I have more opportunities for doing research and more participation," said Gunbharpur Gill, who is from India and earning his master of science in integrative genomics. "You can really succeed in your goals."

Karin Humar, business administration-marketing major from Slovenia, agreed.

"In Slovenia it is a one-way communication from teacher to the student. Here it&rsquos encouraged to communicate with teachers. That&rsquos what I like," Humar said.

The international students said from the moment they arrived on campus, they felt the staff, faculty and fellow students were welcoming, making the transition to the United States more comfortable.

"It&rsquos the community," said Tahiry Razafimanjoto, who is from Madagascar and taking courses at BHSU. "After just a few days you feel comfortable. That&rsquos a critical point for students who are coming from other countries."

"It&rsquos a peaceful environment here," Gill said. "I feel safe and I can concentrate on my education."

Masterb, who also studied abroad in England, encouraged students to continue sharing their stories of international studies in the hopes that more students will pursue the opportunity.

Masterb holds a master of education in science &amp technology from the University of Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa, a bachelor of education degree in design and technology from Exeter University in the United Kingdom and a diploma in secondary education from the University of Botswana. He taught for 20 years and has facilitated and participated in a number of seminars, served on educational committees, completed research projects and published a book.  

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