Chief Global Officer Aims To Help Students During COVID-19 Pandemic

2 min read Radford University’s newly appointed Director for the Center for Global Education and Engagement wants to help students during the pandemic.

Ismael Betancourt

Photo Courtesy of Radford University: Ismael Betancourt

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By Wesley Wallace | wwallace5@radford.edu

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on international college students within the United States.

Ismael Betancourt is the current director for the McGlothlin Center for Global Education and Engagement (MCGEE) at Radford University. He agrees students are affected.

Betancourt explained, “International students were definitely affected by the pandemic. When the university switched to online-learning for the Spring 2020 semester, that’s actually something that Immigration authorities don’t allow.”

Betancourt has attempted to provide financial support to help international students.

Betancourt has attempted to provide financial support to help international students.

“The Center actually applied for financial grants on the behalf of the international students who could not be on campus. So far, everything has gone well when it pertains to providing International students with educational support, visa support, and financial support,” said Betancourt.

Betancourt also spoke about the MCGEE’s efforts to provide International students with health support by stating, “Beginning this fall, we have signed with a company in the United States that will provide health insurance for every International student on campus.”

Before serving as Radford University’s Assistant Provost for Global Education and Engagement, Betancourt previously served as the Vice President for International Education at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, from 2012-2020.

Ismael Betancourt is the current director for the McGlothlin Center for Global Education and Engagement (MCGEE)

Betancourt described how he would work with Radford University Center for Career & Talent Development and the Financial Aid office to provide employment opportunities and merit-based scholarships to international students and domestic students who typically study abroad.

“Once a student is admitted to the university, they are considered for a scholarship and automatically awarded one based on their GPA and other criteria. The Center is currently working with the financial aid office to maximize those scholarship opportunities and will be working with the Center for Career & Talent Development to provide international students with internships and jobs after they graduate,” said Betancourt.