Developing Global Citizens: The Transformative Journey of an SOE International Student

Posted on December 04, 2018

S Anandavalli (Valli) is one of UNCG School of Education’s doctoral students who is studying abroad at UNCG from India. She is working toward her Ph.D in Counseling and Counselor Education in the Department of Counseling and Educational Development (CED). In her own words, she describes what it is like to be an international student here in the SOE, and what she has learned along the way — both educationally and personally.

“Studying abroad and living in another country can be an exhilarating experience. I know that it has been a magical and powerful journey for me. In the last four years as a master’s and now a doctoral student, I have come to realize that traveling to another culture and immersing oneself in the host culture through higher education can truly transform the impact we make in this world as an individual. Never in my life did I think of myself as a researcher, and an agent of social change. However, during my doctoral education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I became all these and more. UNCG provided me a conducive space to unleash my global citizen identity through cultural activities on campus, scholarship opportunities across departments, and rigorous research training to be a successful counselor educator.

Studying abroad is dynamic opportunity to understand how despite cultural, religious, and linguistic differences, people are connected to one another through core human experiences. As an international student, I came to appreciate how sadness, suffering, and joy connect us to one another, cutting across racial and ethnic differences. In the end, the greatest distance I traveled wasn’t from India to the U.S. It was the journey within — from fear, hesitation, worry, and ignorance to open mindedness, spontaneity, acceptance, and love!”

S Anandavalli, MA, LPCA, NCC
Emerging Leader Fellow 2018-20: Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
Emerging Reviewer: Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development