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Global jaunts lead to USC for new OIS adviser

by Jamie Wilde
World traveler Lindsey Ludwig has lived in Australia, Spain, Central America and the Caribbean. (USC Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)
World traveler Lindsey Ludwig has lived in Australia, Spain, Central America and the Caribbean. (USC Photo/Dietmar Quistorf)

Lindsey Ludwig brings a diverse international and educational background to her new post as program adviser for the Office of International Services (OIS).

Originally from Edwardsville, Ill., Ludwig has extensive experience working and living abroad. While receiving her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Illinois, she studied in Australia and researched primates in Central America.

Before earning her master’s degree in education from New York University, she served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, lived in Spain with the nonprofit Morocco Exchange and in the Caribbean with Grassroots Soccer, which strives to “turn the tide” against HIV and AIDS; she worked in the Middle East with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Ludwig moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to work in the nonprofit sector and once again gained international experience as a coordinator for Where There Be Dragons, an experiential education program.

“It’s nice to see the mirrors between past experiences, what has been developed here and what can be continually strengthened,” she said.

The prestige of USC’s international reputation and the fact that the university has the highest population of international students in the United States, led Ludwig here.

“OIS is a very strong office with great skills, a great staff and programs that keep the international student population rising,” she said.

OIS eases students’ transition to the United States by offering practical services: advising, counseling, providing legal orientations, as well as help navigating the Visa system and registering for classes. The office also creates programs aimed at connecting international students with their new community.

Ludwig is currently focused on the Thanksgiving Day Match-up, which pairs international students with volunteer host families to share a traditional Thanksgiving meal, allowing international students to experience American culture while their host families learn about their guests’ cultures.

Having traveled around the world, Ludwig appreciates the services that OIS offers.

“For anyone who’s been overseas and knows how hard it is to adapt to a new culture, the little things are the ones that make a lifetime impression,” she said. She hopes to “continue to strengthen programs and engage more American students with international students because I think that creates a really cohesive experience.”

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