In 2014, the Institute of International Education (IIE) launched “Generation Study Abroad,”
a five-year initiative to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.
Central Piedmont Community College responded to the IIE’s challenge, pledging it would increase the number of students it was sending overseas by 70 percent and double the number of countries available to study abroad students by 2020. (At the time the pledge was signed, CPCC was sending approximately 35 students to four different countries.
The Global Learning Office is pleased to announce that it has achieved the goals it set forth for the program almost four years ago, two years ahead of schedule.
During the 2017-2018 academic year, the college sent 60 students to nine different countries for study abroad opportunities in England, Ireland, Wales, Guatemala, Peru, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. (Programs are currently being planned for a variety of new locations, including Ecuador, India and Japan.)
All study abroad experiences are led by a diverse faculty pool, representing a variety of career fields such as the culinary arts, history, humanities, health sciences and international business and others to give students the global competencies and skills needed for today’s 21st century workforce.
“Research shows that international experience is one of the most important components of a higher education experience,” explains Nadine Russell, director of global learning at Central Piedmont. “Central Piedmont is committed to infusing global perspectives throughout its curriculum and teaching the competencies needed for students to succeed in the global economy, regardless of if they’re able to travel outside the state of North Carolina. At Central Piedmont, we believe ‘it is all global.’”
To help students broaden their horizons and journey beyond North Carolina’s state lines, the college offers a number of scholarship opportunities, from sources including the U.S. State Department, the German Language and Culture Foundation in Charlotte, the French Embassy, Central Piedmont’s Foundation, Generation Study Abroad, crowd funding by faculty/students, Central Piedmont’s Student Life, and Partners of the Americas, to cut students’ travel costs.
This past summer, Central Piedmont student Britney Jolly travelled to Guatemala for two weeks where she participated in a variety of service initiatives, including providing hands-on health services to locals.
“I was blessed to have the opportunity to study abroad in Tecpan, Guatemala, this past summer with Central Piedmont’s Global engagement program,” explains Jolly. “While abroad, I gained so much understanding about the differences their culture holds from ours, which in the end has helped me grow as an individual as well as a nursing student. This experience has inspired me to become more involved in the community and has changed the way I look at and live my life.”
Going forward, Central Piedmont hopes to recruit even more students like Britney into its study abroad program, giving others the opportunity to prepare for life and work in a global society. To learn more, visit cpcc.edu/study-abroad/study-abroad or call 704.330.6167.