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Center for International Education Director Shares Secrets

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
November 14, 2007

Claire Malarte-Feldman, director of the Center for International Education

Claire Malarte-Feldman has been director of the Center for International Education (CIE) just long enough to know that it’s a really great position.

A French professor who has been director of the study-abroad Dijon Program since 2001, Malarte-Feldman has a passion for worldwide education, which is exactly what CIE promotes. She was hired as the director in July.

Malarte-Feldman was born in France and has a BA in German and an MA in English. She received her Ph.D from the University of California at Davis and came to UNH in 1984.

“I love the job and wanted it very, very much,” Malarte-Feldman says of her role at CIE. “I can’t imagine anything better than being able to work with students and faculty members across colleges, schools, departments on campus or somewhere on the planet. The range of interaction is huge.”

The Center for International Education helps connect students who want to study abroad with programs in more than 30 countries. UNH manages about 15 of those programs and the others are UNH-approved. Technically, she notes, students can go just about anywhere so long as it’s safe.

CIE also offers an international affairs dual major, allowing students to combine any major on campus with international affairs. Multi-disciplinary courses are taught by faculty members from various departments, schools and colleges (COLA, COLSA, WSBE). More than 400 students are enrolled in the dual major degree program.

The center also has study-abroad scholarships and faculty international development grants and offers information on other forms of support to help them expand their international academic development (see: http://www.unh.edu/cie/scholarships/index.html.

In the three months since Malarte-Feldman has been on the job she has already identified areas of CIE programming that she would like to see expanded. Her goal, she says, is to find ways to give students more opportunities to add a strong international perspective to their undergraduate education.

Currently, about 20 percent of UNH students take advantage of CIE study abroad opportunities during their four years, a number Malarte-Feldman calls “very, very good” but hopes can be increased. “I don’t necessarily want numbers, I want quality,” she says. “I want to open up more opportunities for students to go abroad and make it a meaningful experience in their lives.”

And geographically, she would like to see programs offered in new countries. One place she mentions is Africa, where they have few programs. And Asia. And the most recent member states of the European Union.

Malarte-Feldman’s chief goal is to expand the way people think about the center.

“For the most part, people think ‘CIE, oh, that’s study abroad,” Malarte-Feldman says. “I want to change the perception of that being all we do. We have some wonderful hidden secrets here that we want people to know about.

“I’ll tell you one last secret: it is called ‘Hood II’, a thriving second floor where the University Honors Program, the Hamel Center and the Fellowship Office not only cohabitate happily in a beautiful old building on campus, but also share common goals to provide the best that UNH education has to offer.”

CIE is located in Hood House. For more information visit http://www.unh.edu/cie/index.html.

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