Kent State Stark goes global to create friendships

Jessica Cobb Regionals/Teaching reporter

High school students will have the opportunity to deepen social bonds, develop intellectual networking, and heighten awareness of global issues at the International Friends Conversation Partner Program this year. 

The all-new program will include global partners from Brazil, China, Mexico and Spain, said Sarah Schmidt, assistant director of Global Education Initiatives at the Stark campus. Program participants will be paired in groups of three to five based on areas of interest. 

“For me it’s all about getting people to interact with each other,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt’s focus for planning intercultural events is always to allow for students to build real relationships. 

The first year of the program will work only with students from Stark and Summit county high schools such as Jackson, GlenOak and Archbishop Hoban, paired with about seven international partner schools. 

“Their goal for fall semester is to come up with a research proposal for the group, completely driven by the students, that outlines their goal for the remainder of the year,” Schmidt said. 

The program schedule is separated into three phases over the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Once the students have developed and conducted research during the fall and spring semesters, they’ll have the chance in the summer to present their work and possibly meet their international team members at the International Friends Conference on campus. 

More information regarding the program can be found by contacting Sarah Schmidt at [email protected].

Jessica Cobb covers regionals/teaching. Contact her at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.