Romanian Delegation Visits AFIT
Posted: 12/04/2006 by AFIT Public Affairs
The Air Force Institute of Technology is looking to expand its borders once again. On November 30th, a delegation from Romania’s Military Technical Academy visited to discuss educational opportunities at AFIT.
Col. Doru Safta, commander of the MTA, was joined by Col. Cristan Barbu and Lt. Col. Ioan Nicolaescu from his staff. Because the programs of study at the MTA are similar to those at AFIT, Col. Safta was interested in potential partnerships. His visit included an AFIT overview brief, a question and answer session with the deans and department heads from the Graduate School of Engineering and Management, and a tour of some of AFIT’s lab facilities.
Said Col. Safta, “We have current arrangements with the European Union and now look forward to having an exchange of students and information with the United States, possibly through the Air Force Institute of Technology.” He mentioned that this is an important time for developing and fostering a “better transition and transformation vision” for the MTA.
Col. Safta and others at Romania’s Military Technical Academy are not alone in their interest in international educational partnerships. A delegation from Pakistan is scheduled to visit AFIT next week.
AFIT began accepting international students in 1961, and since then more than 50 countries have been represented, including up to eight countries at once. Annette Robb, International Military Student Officer and International Program Manager, says the benefits of having international students at AFIT go beyond sending them home with graduate and post-graduate degrees. “The greatest benefit is that they are learning about American culture and American people on a personal basis, and we are getting to know them. We learn a great deal from them, too, and people don’t always realize how valuable that is.” Often, Robb says, the only ideas the international students have of Americans come from television and movies. Having these students at AFIT lets them see for themselves what “real Americans” are like, and it helps to clear up misconceptions we might have of them, as well, she says.
Robb could not stress enough the importance of good impressions and building allies. In addition to educating them in a specific field, it is AFIT’s hope that the students return home with an understanding of the responsibility of governments to protect, preserve, and respect the rights of all individuals. “We want to build lasting military relationships with the international community. These are all the soldiers who will be working together, flying together, fighting together. It’s not just about the U.S. Air Force; it’s about a global air force.”