Two award-winning public affairs programs on KCUR, the local NPR station in Kansas City, devoted time to the issues of international education and cross-cultural understanding today. On “The Walt Bodine Show,” NAFSA plenary speaker Nathaniel Kwabo talked about his experience with Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and emphasized the need for the next generation of Liberians to take part in the country’s rebuilding and democratic future. Also on the panel with Mr. Kwabo was Joseph Kwe, past president of the Liberian Community Organization of Kansas and Missouri.
On “Up to Date,” NAFSA CEO and Executive Director Marlene M. Johnson and Joe Potts, director of international student and scholar services at the University of Kansas, spoke with host Steve Kraske about the importance of welcoming international students to U.S. higher education institutions and encouraging more American students to study abroad. They were joined on the program by Mitch Smith, winner of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s Win-a-Trip competition. Mitch spoke about his remarkable two-week trip to Africa with Kristof in May, during which they visited Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa. University of Kansas geology graduate student Ece Gurler of Turkey also joined the conversation to talk about her experience at KU and how important it is for students to move beyond their comfort zones and study abroad.
The NAFSA conference, which drew more than 7,000 attendees from 95 countries to Kansas City, ends tomorrow.