Erin Garcia recently became Lynn University’s director of international programs and services. As the former director of international student services, Garcia will now take on additional responsibilities to include study abroad programming.
Garcia, who joined Lynn in 2016, has a B.A. in International Studies and German from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and an M.A. in College Student Development from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, where she held positions as assistant director of immigration and international and immigration advisor.
Garcia studied abroad in Austria as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in high school and at the University of Salzburg during college, and is a strong proponent of the experience.
“Study abroad is one way we can take steps closer to developing a more peaceful, understanding and collaborative, global community,” she said. “Going abroad can expedite and enhance that learning in a way little else can.”
At Lynn, learning extends beyond the classroom, and study abroad provides that opportunity. Students can choose among 50 programs in 20 countries. No matter what program or country a student chooses, Garcia says experiencing life from a different perspective is important.
“Every country and culture has its own lens through which people see the world. By stepping out of the American lens, students can see the world and its issues from a different perspective,” said Garcia. “This allows them to think more creatively about challenges and approach them from directions they might not have considered before.”
Garcia doesn’t plan to make any major, immediate changes in her expanded role, but will be reviewing the current programs and procedures to identify areas for further development.
“The Center for Learning Abroad has identified programs that offer strong academic experiences, good support and assistance to our students while they are there and, in many cases, cost the same as if a student were studying at Lynn for that semester.”
With strong programs in place and good participation, Garcia will look at new ideas to make those programs even stronger and “to provide our students with exciting, well-developed, global learning opportunities.”
And with international students making up more than 20 percent of Lynn’s student body, she will also continue to provide the important services to that population through the university’s International Student Services department.
“We are fortunate to have someone with tremendous experience in both study abroad and matters of immigration,” said Gregg Cox, vice president for academic affairs.