Interview with Vanessa Andrade, Director of International Programs and Partnerships at California State University, Northridge

Watch the conversation between Prof. Aldo Brunhara, Director of International Relations at IBS Americas, and Vanessa Andrade, Director of International Programs and Partnerships at California State University, Northridge. The conversation addresses important topics related to the programs offered by CSUN and about some interesting facts about the University.

1.Hello Vanessa, please introduce yourself and tell us about the programs our schools held together.

My name is Vanessa Andrade and I’m the Director of International Programs and Partnerships at CSUN and we have been working with IBS Americas for 5 years with incredible students coming to our campus from this partnership. I remember back in the days when we started, we only had the Communication, Design & Innovation program and the first class had 18 students coming mainly from Brazil. At that time everyone in the university, from our students to faculty members were thrilled by this new experience and the opportunity to have contact with the different perspectives that international students bring to the college. Since then, we have expanded to a total of 4 programs held every January and July, with such programs as Digital Companies & E-Business Revolution, Design Thinking & Innovation, Digital Companies & E-Business Revolution, and the recently launched Leadership in an Age of Disruption program. It is fascinating how the programs have grown in the last years reaching 150 students every period with great diversity. We now have students coming from Brazil, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I believe it is a win-win situation for everybody, the students, the college, the faculty, for IBS Americas, and for our community in general. Can you explain how the Business English at CSUN program works? Also, can you share a little bit of information about the company visits?

2.Can you explain how the Business English at CSUN program works? Also, can you share a little bit of information about the company visits?

The Business English program is offered for all the students that decided to participate in the Executive courses, without any additional cost. The Business English program takes place from Monday to Wednesday in the afternoon. The students are invited to their English speaking skills, learn how to build a presentation in English, how to reach different people, especially in the business environment. This program has proved to be extremely effective for non-native speakers because they will be encouraged to break the language barrier and expand their knowledge of English. It is also important to mention that the students that participate in the Business English will receive two certificates, one from the Executive program and the other one from the Business English program.

Regarding, the company visits. I believe they are also a great benefit from studying at CSUN because we are really linked with the businesses around our community. We always had a wonderful experience when taking the students to these companies. Most of the time, the students visit Netflix, Warner Brothers, Twitter, DC Comics, or the Walt Disney Company. During these visits, the students have the opportunity to talk with executives from these companies and ask all the questions they may have. Besides that, the executives share information about the history of the company we are visiting, and in the end, save some minutes to answer the questions our students may have. Due to these aspects, I believe the companies visits provided by CSUN are extremely unique and offer a variety of experiences that students may not find in their own country.

3.Vanessa, can you talk about the after-class, like places our students can visit during the program?

There are many things the students can do during the programs. On the weekends, I would advise the students to visit the places we have nearby, like Santa Monica, Malibu, Vinewood, or Beverly Hills. Besides, in the winter our students usually go skiing and go to the mountains. There is incredible wildlife surrounding us. Las Vegas is also a city that our students like to go to have fun and gamble on the weekends. The great part about studying in California for international students is that they will take back home much more than just what they have learned in class. The learning process is everywhere, and California is ready to accept all the interested students, seeking to broaden their knowledge.

Are you enjoying this interview? Click on the link below to have access to the whole conversation and find out why the professors think it is important to take this international program in California.

Click here to learn more about California State University, Northridge or, if you want to learn about each program separately, check the links below.

Communication, Design & Innovation

Design Thinking & Innovation

Digital Companies & E-Business Revolution

Leadership in an Age of Disruption