Joint Meetings and Exchange of Experiences between the Student Governments at AUK and James Madison University
By: Aram Omar, Student, College of Business
With funding from the U.S. State Department Grant, The American University of Kurdistan (AUK) and James Madison University (JMU) collaborated on a training trip for AUK’s Student Government from March 5 to 14, 2022. The AUK’s delegation was welcomed at JMU by the Center for Global Engagement and the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery. AUK’s delegation was given a first-hand view of an American university, as well as students’ academic and non-academic life. During the week-long trip, members of AUK’s Student Government took part in joint meetings, as well as tours and dialogue sessions with JMU students, faculty, and other community members.
During the trip, I gained a deeper understanding of the structure of the American higher education system, organizational structures, academic programs, classroom organization, student life, and support for students’ professional growth and career development. The experience provided an excellent opportunity to examine the feasibility of adopting JMU’s practices on AUK’s campus, as well as how to ensure AUK puts its students first and serve as a cornerstone of the local community. This trip has given me a broader perspective and vision for AUK, as well as a stronger sense of pride for our still-evolving, small and fast-growing University.
Such trips are enormously important, as they provide insights on a variety of perspectives. Students can use such opportunities to push for change and improvement in existing processes and practices. I am most excited about putting my newfound skills and expertise at use within AUK’s Student Government with the aim of greater growth and development. Improvement can only occur as a result of sharing knowledge with fellow students; collectively, we can engage and strive for better.