The hub for teaching, research and engagement in international affairs at UCLA.
One of the most popular undergraduate courses at UCLA is Introduction to Buddhism — a class offered through the Center for Buddhist Studies of the UCLA International Institute.
Students attracted to the course range from religion and art history majors to Asian Americans interested in family traditions to those curious about Buddhist images and ideas reflected in American popular culture. Often the course involves visits to local temples, with students writing up and sharing their observations.
In some respects, Introduction to Buddhism is a microcosm of the International Institute. The course involves teaching, research and community engagement, and revolves around global perspectives on cultures outside the U.S. mainstream.
Of course, the role of the International Institute is much broader than a single course offering. Some 400 faculty, from a wide variety of disciplines, are affiliated with the International Institute. There are 10 graduate and undergraduate degree programs (many interdisciplinary), enrolling nearly 1,000 students. Given UCLA’s location on the Pacific Rim, it’s no surprise that Asia is the focus of nine International Institute centers and programs. But the institute is truly global in scope, with Africa, the Americas, Europe and Eurasia, and the Middle East represented.
Thematic and specialty programs include the Burkle Center for International Relations, the Confucius Institute and the National Heritage Language Resource Center.
The International Institute also plays an important role in managing UCLA’s partnerships with institutions outside the U.S. Currently, there are more than 300 research, teaching and student exchange agreements with 200 institutions in 50 countries.
And the International Institute is involved with UCLA students studying abroad and international exchange students here. Among American colleges and universities, UCLA has the eighth highest number of students who study abroad (2,074 participating in 2011-2012). UCLA is the sixth most popular American college or university for international students, with 8,424 enrolled in fall 2012.
By giving to the UCLA International Institute, you can help to foster the next generation of global thinkers and leaders. Donors have funded scholarships for UCLA students to study abroad and for international students to come to UCLA; graduate fellowships and faculty chairs; and new centers dedicated to specific areas of international study.
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