Some students miss the now-closed OGE’s support

Despite student concern, PNW administrators say the elimination of the Office of Global Engagement has not changed the amount of support students get from the university.

OGE, which was eliminated in 2020 as a result of COVID-19-driven budget reductions, was critical to many international students as it made sure that they felt comfortable in their new environment in Northwest Indiana. The department was also responsible for the study abroad programs for the university’s domestic students.

“I understood that, with COVID-19, study abroad programs were no longer going to be an option,” said PNW Global student, Rana English. “I just wish there was someone to communicate with about future endeavors as that is going to impact my current plan of study.” 

Niaz Latif, former Interim Provost Chancellor of Academic Affairs, said the elimination of OGE did not sacrifice any services.

“Most services from the Office of Global Engagement have now moved to Enrollment Management and Students Affairs to meet specific needs and serve our international students. For better fiscal management, we have closed the OGE.”

In addition, the offices of the academic deans are assisting any student with questions or concerns that they might have about their study abroad program. 

But many students argue that OGE provided support that the university cannot provide today.

“It makes a difference when there is not one specific office that can help [international] students,” said Syad Saad, an international graduate student in the College of Technology. “Culture shock and change are not easy, especially if one has trouble communicating. The little extras that came from OGE might not seem crucial, but at the end of the day it is what helped make the university our home away from home.”

OGE was critical to many international students as the office took responsibility for making every international student comfortable in their new home away from home. Throughout the semester, OGE hosted friendship programs, seasonal events, weekend field trips, study sessions and provided a space for the international [students’] clubs. 

Magdalena Ramos, a former Global Ambassador for OGE, said the office was important to help create friendship and bonds with the international students. 

“A friend makes a huge impact on someone’s life, and without the assistance and support from global ambassadors it can be very difficult to succeed academically,” she said.

Saad agreed. 

“I believe PNW is doing a fine job having other departments help international students with things like taxes, visas, and immigration issues,” he said. “There are other aspects to being an international student though. Most international students make their friends through things like