Everyone likes to joke about their Calculus instructor from their freshman year in college. He’s the guy you couldn’t understand because he was new to the United States. It isn’t until you got older that you understood that he was a brilliant scholar who was expected to teach, too. By that time, you wish you had been aware of that because he probably would have been one of the most interesting people you would ever meet. That’s the beautiful irony about universities. They are research institutions with world wide outreach, and their international connections make the brightest scholars accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise get that opportunity. If only the students knew it when their scholar is struggling to teach them.
It seems that the international connection should be better celebrated. The scholar would probably love to talk about his research and studies, as well as his homeland, and the class would be enriched with more than math. Part of the freshman orientation should be about the other reason universities exist. They do research and solve problems, and that takes people from all over the world to complete. If a connection is significant enough, some universities will even open a foreign campus to enhance their research and learning on a global level. To make high quality eduction available in a country where international connections exist helps the university access talent in it’s homeland. Not everyone can or wants to travel around the world to do research or get an education.