San Diego State University Initiates Exchange Programs

The San Diego State University has begun an exchange program for its students in Tbilisi and California that aims to give the students from both countries a chance to get exposure to a new country and a new culture. Professor of Psychology and Provost Emerita of San Diego State University, Dr. Nancy A. Marlin, talked to GEORGIA TODAY about the on-going exchange program on her recent visit.

“San Diego State University is working on an exchange program for our students here in Tbilisi and California that will enable Georgian students at San Diego State University to go to California for one semester in fall and study there and San Diego University students in California to come and spend one semester here in Tbilisi. That’s what our student exchange program and is about and is why I visited Georgia.”

How sufficient is the knowledge of Georgian students to study in the equivalent University in California?

The course has been offered just as it is in San Diego State University in California. So we look at how the students do in exams to see how they compare with our students in California. And right now the Georgian students are even doing better!

Coming here is a good opportunity for our students in San Diego. Not only will it give them some exposure to another world they may know very little about but it is very difficult for students in this area to go on exchanges because they have to find the exact same courses offered in English because, unfortunately, our students don’t speak many other languages. But here you get the same San Diego University courses offered in English. Georgian students are very interested in the exchange program. I think it is mutually beneficial. Our students will come in August and return to the States in December and Georgian Students will go in September and come back in December.

Will Georgian students pay the same as they do here when they go to California?

When San Diego State University Georgian students go to California they will pay the same they do here and the same applies to San Diego students in California when they come here.

We are using the facilities here in the three universities [Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University and the Georgian Technical University] because part of the goal is to improve the quality of education here so the universities become accredited themselves. We are renovating the labs and current equipment and also doing a lot for faculty development.

The courses you are offering to students in Tbilisi includes only technical subjects.

Yes. STEM courses were what Georgia wanted. The United States government is providing financial aid to Georgia through Georgia’s compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation. They asked Georgia what it wanted and the answer was a higher education in technical areas. So Georgian students will get US accredited degrees here in Georgia in technology, natural science and engineering.

Meri Taliashvili

17 March 2016 19:17