With advances in technology drawing the world closer together, international students play an increasingly vital role in the internationalization of the academic mission of the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), which is the fourth-largest private university in Texas. International students enrich the learning experience by allowing all of us - students, faculty, staff and administrators - to interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The commitment by Incarnate Word to the international component of our academic mission is visible in many areas. Our international students, who represent more than 60 countries, comprise nearly 13 percent of the UIW student body, one of the highest percentages of any university in Texas.
In order to better serve our growing international population, our Web site offers information in eight languages. We also offer Master's and Ph.D. degrees in international education and entrepreneurship. These programs are housed in the Gorman Business and Education Center, which is home to the H-E-B School of Business and Administration and the Dreeben School of Education.
In addition, we have sister school agreements for reciprocal education with more than 90 institutions in over 30 countries on six continents (please refer to the study abroad page for a complete listing). Our international commitment reached new heights with the opening a few years ago of academic sites in Guangzhou, China and Mexico City, Mexico, where students can earn an accredited Incarnate Word undergraduate degree without having to leave either country.
The campus in San Antonio features the Dr. Burton E. Grossman International Conference Center (ICC1), a 46,000 square-foot facility that bristles with high-tech communications equipment and contains multi-media language and computer laboratories. Located next to the Grossman International Conference Center stands the McCombs Center, a 150,000 square-foot, five-story facility featuring three levels of enclosed parking, a bookstore, apartment-style dormitories and the Rosenberg Sky Room, one of the largest banquet halls in San Antonio.
The campus also features the Ann Barshop Natatorium, a two-level swimming pool complex capable of hosting both national and international competitions.
In the last four years, we have opened the five-story AT&T Math, Science and Engineering complex and the Feik School of Pharmacy, which graduated its first doctoral class of pharmacists in 2010. The Feik School of Pharmacy is the only one in Texas situated at a private university. And in the fall of 2009, we opened a School of Optometry, one of only two such schools in Texas and one of 20 in the United States.
Location also is an important part of any educational experience. We are fortunate that UIW is located in San Antonio, a dynamic Texas metropolis that is the seventh largest city in the U.S. San Antonio offers a rich mixture of cultural heritages derived from its Indigenous roots to the city’s settlement in 1718 by groups from many countries throughout the world including Mexico, Spain, Germany, France and Ireland, to more recent arrivals from such locales as China, India, Puerto Rico and The Philippines.
San Antonio's proximity to Mexico - about a two-hour drive from the border - gives the city a distinct Hispanic flavor as well as a strategic location for unique opportunities in cultural and business exchanges with our southern neighbor.
Meanwhile, Austin, the capital of Texas, is just 70 miles north of us, while Corpus Christi, the gateway to the beaches of Padre Island and home to the sixth-largest port in the U.S., is approximately 140 miles to the southeast.
It’s my sincere wish that this brief message provided you with a glimpse of what the University of the Incarnate Word can offer international students. We are a Catholic institution founded in 1881 that welcomes to its community persons of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds in the belief that their respectful interaction advances the discovery of truth, mutual understanding, self-realization and the common good. I look forward to seeing you here!