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Next global office destined for India

Ohio State’s newest global gateway will open channels between the university and Mumbai, India. OSU looks to have the global gateway open by March 2012.

The goal of the gateway is to not only expand OSU’s presence internationally, but to also build beneficial connections with other countries.

The university has plans to build gateways in India and Brazil along with its gateway in China, while locations in England, Belgium, Turkey, Russia and Uganda are being considered for the future, according to the Office of International Affairs website.

The gateway in China officially opened in June 2010, in part to establish executive training programs for international clients and create study abroad and internship opportunities, The Lantern reported in September 2010.

The India gateway is currently awaiting approval from the Board of Trustees this week, according to the Board of Trustees website. If approved, the gateway should be up and running by the time President E. Gordon Gee visits India in March 2012, according to William Brustein, the vice provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs.

Brustein said India was a clear choice for a gateway because of the many connections it has to OSU.

“Our country and the state of Ohio are very much engaged with India. We have hundreds upon hundreds of alumni there,” Brustein said.

One example of OSU’s tie to India is a fundraiser that The Central Ohio American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and the Association of Indian Physicians of Ohio held on Oct. 15 to raise awareness as well as money for the India gateway project. This fundraiser helped contribute to the cost of maintaining the gateway.

“The budget that we put together will be about $200,000 a year, but all that money has been raised,” Brustein said.

One contributor to the funding of this project is a former OSU alumnus who donated an office space and furniture free of charge. Other colleges, such as the Fisher College of Business and the College of Engineering, have offered support to the gateway.

Carl Miligi, a fourth-year in communication, said this is a good use of OSU’s money.

“OSU has so much money,” Miligi said. “It’s helping people, so I do not see any issue with using it.”

Brustein said his main goal through the gateway is to bring an exposure of diversity to OSU and for students “to have opportunities such as study abroad and internships.”

Gurleen Kaur, a first-year in biology, said she thinks this is a great opportunity to show OSU’s diversity, especially since it is something the university prides itself in.

“What better way to show they are diverse than to build an office somewhere different from Ohio,” Kaur said.

India is a place OSU has had its eye on for a while, Brustein said. If the project is approved by the trustees, Brazil will be the next place OSU will focus on. If plans go correctly, Burstein said the gateway in Brazil would open in 2014.

Since other universities, such as the University of Southern California are taking these types of initiatives, it is important for OSU to continue to make these connections now because plans can go either way, Brustein said.

“Universities today engage on a global scale,” Brustein said. “Who knows what will happen next?”

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