Study abroad at Centre continues to broaden students’ horizons
Ranked once again as the nation’s #1 leader in international education, Centre College has become synonymous with best practice for study abroad. As current programs thrive and new opportunities emerge, Centre continues to raise the bar for study abroad across all colleges and universities.
Centre’s unique approach to study abroad accounts for much of its success, and CentreTerm in particular sets the College apart. Faculty lead students on trips around the globe during this intensive three-week January term, and many of the 85 percent of Centre students who study abroad by the time they graduate spend at least one CentreTerm away from campus.
This coming January 2015, more than 220 students will study in countries like Barbados, Belgium, Cambodia, Cameroon, Greece, Israel, Jordon, Peru, Spain and Thailand, and cities such as Budapest, London, Prague and Vienna. Topics of study span from the anthropology of tourism and primate behavior research to urban politics and ancient architecture.
Several courses are cross-disciplinary or will overlap to enrich students’ learning experience. Matthew Hallock and Alex McAllister will teach an integrative course on drama and math in Ancient Greece; Robyn Cutright and Lesley Wiglesworth will lead courses alongside each other in Peru on archaeology and math, respectively; and Jay Bloom’s course on the art history of the Low Countries region and Ian Wilson’s cultural history of Central Europe class will meet in Vienna for the last leg of their trips.
“Professors from very different disciplines will link up to play to each other’s strengths,” explains Milton Reigelman, director of the College’s Center for Global Citizenship. “This will create a synergy that will enhance each trip, and is a new wrinkle for CentreTerm that I’m very excited about.”
New offerings are also in store for students wishing to travel during CentreTerm 2016.
“I’m particularly pleased with the diversity of the locations for next CentreTerm,” says Reigelman. “In all, nine trips have been proposed: three are to Latin and South America, three are to Africa, two are to Asia and one is to Oceania.”
In addition to recurring trips like Kerry Paumi and Joe Workman’s physical science of volcanoes course in New Zealand and Phyllis Passariello’s tourism and cultural sustainability class in Ecuador, several trips from recent CentreTerms were so popular that they are now well on their way to becoming mainstays and will be conducted again next year. Such classes include Chris Haskett’s religion course in India and Jonathon Earle’s class on Eastern African culture conducted in Uganda and Rwanda.
Most exciting, three brand new courses will be offered, all of which are to be led by faculty members who are relatively new to Centre.
“Many of our younger faculty have embraced study abroad fully,” notes Reigelman. “Next CentreTerm, Aaron Godlaski will lead a trip to Japan to study the concept of mindfulness in the context of Zen Buddhism from which it emerged; Dina Badie and her students will study the viability of democracy in Egypt; and Daniel Arbino and Núria Sabaté-Llobera will teach a course on the integration of marginalized groups in Argentina and Uruguay, two countries Centre faculty have never taken students to before.”
Centre’s semester-long residential programs abroad are flourishing as well. In addition to the three largest programs led by Centre faculty in London; Strasbourg, France; and Merida, Mexico, partnerships with the University of Reading in the United Kingdom; Tongji University in Shangahi, China; and Yamaguchi Prefectutural University in Japan continue to strengthen.
Representatives from the University of Reading and Next Step China, with whom Centre works to coordinate its program at Tongji, visited campus for the first time this fall. According to Reigelman, it is essential for these “satellite” programs to remain closely tied to the home campus.
“Our smaller programs at other institutions work well only because we have formed close personal relationships with leaders at these places and remain in constant contact,” he says.
While at Centre, the representatives toured campus, attended several classes and met with both students and faculty, further facilitating these crucial connections.
“We try to make sure that even when students are studying abroad in places without College faculty members, those of us at Centre are still as involved as we can and continue to provide support,” says Assistant Director of the Center for Global Citizenship Leigh Cocanougher. “No matter where students study abroad, it is still Centre abroad.”
As a result of Centre’s strong relationship with the University of Reading and their representative’s recent visit to campus, the two institutions are developing a proposal in which a Centre graduate could earn a Master of Arts degree in English Language or Literature in one year at the university.
“Reading has this kind of arrangement with only one other university in the United States,” reports Reigelman. “This degree program will appeal especially to English majors or Centre students who have studied abroad in the United Kingdom and wish to return.”
While the program is currently in the works, Reigelman encourages any students who may be interested to speak with him further about this special opportunity. He says it is also likely that the program may expand in scope in the future to include other subjects and potential financial aid.
Consequently, maintaining close ties with partnering institutions remains the key to Centre’s success at “satellite campuses” abroad, and upcoming visits from representatives from Yamaguchi, as well as from Centre’s domestic study-away programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C., are scheduled for the spring.
Learn more about the upcoming University of Reading Master’s Program by visiting the Center for Global Citizenship.
Learn more about study abroad and global citizenship at Centre College.
by Caitlan Cole