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About the Office for International Education

OUR Mission

The mission of the Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education (OIE) is to provide leadership and support to strengthen the global dimensions of teaching, learning, research, and service activities at Virginia State University.  OIE is committed to enhancing the international expertise of faculty and professional staff at VSU and ensuring that VSU students have opportunities to attain an appropriate level of international knowledge and cross-cultural competence needed to participate fully and successfully in a global society.

The Dr. George H. Bennett OIE seeks to facilitate the internationalization of under-graduate, graduate, and professional curricula across schools and disciplines, promoting international scholarship and educational exchange, pedagogical innovation, collaboration, global workforce readiness,  and other activities that broaden the base of international knowledge and global awareness among the University community and its stakeholders.

New Study Abroad Students
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Morocco Spring 2019

Our Current Strategic Initiatives:
  • Increased international student enrollment
  • Internationalization of the curricula and the learning and living environments
  • Enhanced global engagement of students and faculty through increased opportunities for study abroad, service learning, exchanges, internships, research, etc.
  •  Expanded strategic partnerships with international institutions, government agencies, the private sector, business and civic groups and university alumni.
  • Strengthened administrative infrastructure for university-wide coordination of initiatives related to internationalization  
  • Clearinghouse and resource center for information on campus internationalization
  • Dr. George H. Bennett Study Abroad Scholarship Program
  • International Student and Visiting Scholar Services
  • Strategic partnerships and international outreach
  • Education Abroad Programs and Advising
  • Internationalization of the Curriculum and Campus
  • Intenational Education Advisory Council (IEAC)

The Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education was founded in April 2005 in honor of the late George H. Bennett, a Virginia State University alumnus whose expertise in international affairs impacted  diplomats worldwide. A generous endowment from his widow, the late Mrs. Jesse Davis Bennett, a VSU alumna, made possible the establishment of the Office, which opened in Fall 2006.  Mrs. Bennett was a native of Virginia.


Dr. Bennett's distinguished career included positions at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR): Senior Officer-in-Charge of Fellowships, Chief of Programmes and Special Projects, and Chief of Project administration. He supervised a number of individuals who went on to hold high positions in the diplomatic world.


At the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), headquartered in Paris, Dr. Bennett supervised Guidance and Vocational Counseling Services for the New York area and Puerto Rice and later served as Educational Specialist and Program Advisor in the Philippines.  He also served as Director of the Asia-Africa Department at the Institute of International Education (IIE).


Dr. Bennett helped found the US/South Africa Leader Exchange Program (US-SALEP). Conceived in 1958, the group worked to achieve racial integration and continues to promote exchange between the U.S. and South Africa, helping develop South Africa’s future leaders.


Dr. Bennett was a World War II veteran, a life member of the VSU Alumni Association, and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.


The Office for International Education recognizes the following core values as the foundation of a globally competent student body, faculty, administration, and staff.   

  • Mutual Respect
  • Cross-Cultural Literacy
  • Leadership
  • Service

Instilling these values through appropriate programs and activities is fundamental to the activities sponsored by the Office for International Education.

Virginia State University Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education