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Feature Stories

New Horizons for the Universe

When the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word founded what is now the University of the Incarnate Word in 1881, their expectations were to provide a well-rounded, affordable education to those who weren't readily able to leave San Antonio to pursue their academic dreams.

More than a 120 years later, that belief continues to be the driving force behind the university's expansion into other countries, albeit slightly revised. The University is now making it possible for students who aren't readily able to leave their home countries to still earn an Incarnate Word education by having that education go to them.

Incarnate Word opened Centro Internacional Universitario (CIU) Miguel Ángel-Incarnate Word in Mexico City in August, a joint undertaking with the Province of Mexico. It marks the second international endeavor for UIW, following the opening of China Incarnate Word in Guangzhou, China in 2000.

Dr. Romay (left) at the Opening Ceremony

“Our experience is a constant learning and discovery process filled with new possibilities,” said Dr. Luz Romay, CCVI, and CIU General Director, in explaining the philosophy behind CIU.

Centro Internacional Universitario opened with a total enrollment of 125, which includes students in the undergraduate program, the Bilingual Executive Program and the Open High School, a free community service available to people wanting to complete their high school education.

The biggest challenge that CIU will face is first to attract pupils and then to retain them in the programs,” said Sr. Lourdes Terrazas, CCVI, and President of the CIU Board of Trustees.

The school currently offers degrees in International Business, Finance and Administration, and Information Systems, as well as a Bilingual Executive Program and English-language instruction through an ELS (Berlitz) Center located on the campus.

The most distinctive feature of CIU is its double-accreditation. Degrees earned at CIU will be fully recognized in both Mexico and the United States; degrees earned there will say University of the Incarnate Word, just like the ones from the campus in San Antonio. Because of this unique feature, students who want to pursue a degree in an academic area other than one of the three currently offered at CIU can complete their UIW core requirements there, then continue their studies at the main UIW campus, where they can choose from over 40 degree programs. They can also transfer to any university in Mexico without a loss of credits.

Students at CIU also have the opportunity to participate in Study Abroad programs with any
of the more than 80 UIW sister schools located in over 30 countries, including Italy, Japan and Taiwan.

“The opening of CIU challenges us to look for new ways of cultural exchange,” said Dr. Romay, adding that local students have already expressed a great deal of enthusiasm about the opportunities available through UIW.

Incarnate Word will assist CIU through a variety of ways. For instance, during the summer, Mexicana Airlines helped UIW ship hundreds of library books and educational videos to CIU at a considerable discount. Additionally, the CIU library was supplied with technology that gives students and faculty access to the same resources that are available at the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Library at the UIW campus in San Antonio.

“The ability for the students to use UIW's educational resources, both electronic and instructional gives them an opportunity to cross two frontiers and gather a global perspective,” added Dr. Romay.