Pellissippi State–based consortium expands study abroad opportunities for students

The Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, based at Pellissippi State Community College, offers its first study abroad programs to Asia in summer 2010 and continues expanding its destinations in Europe.

The latest travel opportunities to be added are to India and China in Asia and Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic in Europe. TnCIS has 15 study abroad programs for 2010.

Tracey Bradley, TnCIS’ assistant director, says the academic focuses of the program’s inaugural year in India will be sociology, history and philosophy. She envisions the coursework expanding to other areas, such as business and engineering.

“Because of the diverse culture, India is an ideal laboratory for study in a wide range of academic areas. Even a three-week study in the country will almost certainly be a life-changing experience for our students,” said Bradley, who is directing the India program.

The trip to India takes place for three weeks in May 2010. Students visit the country’s capital of New Delhi, then head to Jaipur, in the desert state of Rajasthan.

The courses incorporate local culture with excursions to religious and historical sites, as well as social service groups.

Students and faculty also will visit an AIDS clinic in Jaipur and the Barefoot College, a rehabilitation program and vocational school for street children near Jaipur. They will go to the city of Agra to see the Taj Majal and a tiger sanctuary in Ranthambore National Park.

As India and China have emerged as economic powers, study abroad in Asia has become more popular.

“Regardless of students’ major, it is paramount to understand Asia’s role in international globalization,” said Bradley. “Whether it is India’s role in solving complex global challenges or China’s role in stabilizing the global economy, one must understand the culture first.”

In addition to serving in her position with TnCIS, Bradley is also an assistant professor of sociology. Sue Anne Lewis, an assistant professor of Interior Design Technology, is co-directing the Italy program, and Cindy Alexander, an associate professor of Business Administration, will teach in Italy.

The Italy program will last three weeks in May 2010, with approximately two weeks in Siena and one week in Rome. The focus in the first year will be on photography, the history of architecture and interior design, and business.

TnCIS represents 19 colleges and universities in Tennessee committed to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal to higher education. This summer, 204 students opted for study abroad through TnCIS, with South Africa, Spain and Greece emerging as the three most popular destinations.

The study abroad programs, for which students earn college credit, range from three to five weeks. Applications are due on Feb. 11, 2010.

For more information on fees, important dates and courses, view the TnCIS Web site at www.tncis.org and select the program of interest, or call 865-539-7279.

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