||Coming fall 2010: "Centre's Your Passport"
RELEASED: September 24, 2009
By Laura Pasley
DANVILLE, KY— Students at Centre College who don't study abroad—few though they are—will soon be running out of reasons.
Announced this week, a new initiative called "Centre's Your Passport" will provide reimbursement for all first-year students entering in the fall of 2010 to get a passport if they do not already own one.
"The keystone of the College's strategic plan is to broaden and enhance global citizenship," says Dr. Clarence Wyatt, special assistant to the president, chief planning officer and Claude D. Pottinger Professor of History.
Despite the current economic climate, the College remains committed to this goal.
"The institutions that maintain their focus during tough times are the institutions that emerge strongest and most successful in the end," Wyatt says. "This program demonstrates Centre's commitment to helping our students become globally aware and globally involved, to prepare them for positions of leadership in the global community."
About 85 percent of all Centre graduates already study abroad, but Centre is hoping to make it even easier for students to take advantage of its many abroad programs.
Dr. Milton Reigelman, director of international programs, J. Rice Cowan Professor of English and special assistant to the president, explains the value of this new program.
"The program is important to Centre because it highlights the importance of all Centre graduates being 'globally fluent.' Only about 14 percent of our recent graduates haven't studied abroad at least once; this program might help to reduce even that small number."
Director of communications Mike Norris reiterates this idea. "Preparing students for global citizenship is essential to what Centre does," he says. "Lots of schools claim to be globally focused, but this program demonstrates our commitment in a concrete way that no other institution I know of duplicates."
"In addition," he continues, "this program enhances the promises of the Centre Commitment, which is also a goal of Centre Forward, our strategic plan."
(The Centre Commitment guarantees students who meet the College’s academic and social expectations an internship, study abroad, and graduation in four years.)
Clay McDonald, a senior from Chattanooga, Tenn., is enthusiastic about the new program.
By the time he graduates, McDonald will have studied abroad four times: in Spain for theCentreTerm of his sophomore year; Merida, Mexico, during the fall of his junior year; Nicaragua for CentreTerm of his junior year; and in China, which he will visit this CentreTerm.
"I'm sure that the 'Centre's Your Passport' program will enable even more students to take advantage of study abroad," he says. "This program, in addition to the already low cost of the semester programs and the senior study abroad subsidy, shows Centre's commitment to helping students travel internationally while in college."
Centre offers two principle ways in which students are able to study abroad.
In full-term programs, students live and study in residential sites in London, France, or Mexico.
Exchange programs are also offered in Northern Ireland, Japan, and China. The costs for these programs are essentially the same as studying in Danville.
Centre students may also participate in more pointed trips during the shorter, three-week CentreTerm.
"The real benefits you get from study abroad are intangible," McDonald says. "Especially after returning to the U.S. from a long term in a different country, you see the U.S.—the buildings, the people, the culture—with fresh eyes."
Though McDonald admits the values he has received from his travels abroad are priceless, there are other career-related benefits he foresees after graduation. "I'd love to combine my international experience with my major in economics, perhaps working in international business," he says.
Reigelman explains that the "Centre's Your Passport" program will reinforce the college's commitment to studying abroad. "This program will make it clear to freshmen at their very first convocation that Centre expects its students to be citizens of the world, as any well-educated person in 2009 must be."
McDonald agrees. "Why only read about Chinese history, for example, in a classroom in the U.S. when you can actually go to China and experience it for yourself?"
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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Danville, KY 40422