At the National Convention for World Affairs of America, UI was recognized for its strength in personally connecting the community. UI was praised for not only making businesses happy but tying together the broader community. Executive Director of UI Trace Frese says UI is “good at what [they] do to our core”- language classes, the international women’s club, and partnering. Having the opportunity to observe one of the language classes myself, I was introduced to a diverse group of immigrants whose families had recently moved to Greenville for business. It was fascinating to observe so many different native-language speaking people working together to create the common basis of communication through English. Without having these classes and the different amenities of UI available to them, these expats who help our community and economy thrive would not be able to find comfort or home here in the Upstate.
UI also recognizes that partnering is key to success. One of UI’s most unique partnerships is with Sister Cities. Greenville Sister Cities International (GSCI) exists to further Greenville’s cultural enrichment, business and economic growth, educational development, and social and personal relationships with individuals around the world. Greenville has three sister cities; Bergamo, Italy; Kortrijk, Belgium; and Tianjin, China. Through collaborating with these cities, participants have been able to develop a respect for each other’s culture as well as experience economic growth.