The Study Abroad Program hosted the International Opportunities Forum Tuesday as part of International Week to encourage Southern University students to participate in study abroad opportunities.
International week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. It is to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.
Barbara Carpenter, Dean of International Affairs and University Outreach, said that International Week is worldwide and is celebrated all over the country.
She said that each university throughout the country does something to show recognition of the value of international cultures.
“It is to let people know this is such a small world so we should appreciate each other more,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter said she wants SU students to be able to be versatile.
“We want our students from Southern to be able to go to a country one year and go to another one for the next year,” Carpenter said.
SU’s Global Sustainability Initiatives has taken 13 students to Guiyang, China. While in China, students took an Introduction to Sustainability and Chinese Language course.
This past summer students were given the opportunity to study in China, Belize and France.
Khadijah Neal a sophomore urban forestry major from Winnsboro, La., was a student that participated during the summer 2013 and she reported that her experience in China was good.
“I love the noodles and the way Chinese people look up to America,” Neal said.
Neal said she encourages students to participate in the program for all of the opportunities offered.
“I encourage everyone to get involved. It is good to know another language as a back-up and it looks great on your resume,” Neal said.
While enrolled in the program, students can earn three credit hours in either the Spanish, Chinese, Wolof or French languages and three credit hours in Multiculturalism and Independent Studies. Students also can earn from three to six credit hours while in International Service Learning.
Raymond Clark, assistant director of Financial Aid, said students should meet with their Financial Aid counselor when applying for the program.
“If you're interested in studying abroad, speak to your Financial Aid counselor to determine what is your eligibility for the school year and make preparations to have funding available for the preferred summer,” Clark said.
Clark said that the financial aid office’s mission is to assist students in completing their education-related goals by helping them financially as long as the students attend SU regardless of their location in the study abroad program.
“I believe hypothetically that it is part of a true student experience that you go overseas and get an opportunity to experience other peoples’ culture and how they live,” Clark said.
The study abroad trip includes a choice of Senegal, China, Mexico, Liberia, France, and Belize as countries to travel to. There will be new countries added to the list such as, Brazil and Turkey ,which are available for summer 2014.