BSC offers more study abroad opportunities, students and professor talk of benefits

Published 12:27 pm Monday, September 29, 2014

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Former BSC student, Meghan Vickers, stands at the famous Stonehenge while on the five week study abroad program with BSC in 2010.

Bainbridge State College is offering its students more opportunities to study abroad this year. Through past experiences, students and faculty have reaped the benefits and life changing experiences of the study abroad program.

This school year, BSC will be expanding study abroad programs by offering trips to study in China, Costa Rica and Scotland.

BSC is pleased to offer its first educational trip to China, which will include activities and visits to Beijing, Xian, Guilin/Yangzhou and Hong Kong. In Beijing students will travel to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, rickshaw tour of Hu Tong, an Acrobatic show, the Great Wall, pearl and silk market and the Temple of Heaven.

Then they will take a train to Xian where they will visit the Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Tang Dynasty show, Dayan Pagoda, Moslem Market, Starfish Foster Home, Panda Zoo, Shannxi History Museum and bicycle around the city wall.

From Xian, students will visit both Guilin/Yangzhou and Hong Kong. Sites and activities such as Karst topography, reed flute cave, Li River Cruise, Cormorant fishing, taking a cable car to Victoria Peak, the world’s longest escalator; Stanley Market, Symphony of light in Victoria Harbor, Starr ferry and Macao are scheduled for the study abroad students.

The tentative dates for China are May 14-28, 2015. Students can receive credit for the following courses: ECON 2106, STAB 2003, BIOL 1050/BIOL 1050 Lab, ENGL 1101, and ENGL 2116. A scholarship will be available and the amount awarded for the scholarship will depend on the number of students that participate.

The Costa Rica program will be a consortium with four other schools: GA Highlands, Dalton, Middle Georgia and East Georgia. The program will last the entire month of June. Students can take Spanish, science and history, among others.

The Edinburgh, Scotland, program will consist of two weeks (May 16-30, 2015). Students will be able to register for one or two courses. One course will be Rebel, Kings, and Witches: U.S. & Scotland Before 1865. The course is designed to count for either U.S. History I or Western Civilization I. The other course is Art Appreciation. Upper level history and literature courses as directed independent study courses will be offered. Up to six credits can be earned, depending on the course, which will count towards the summer term. Coursework will consist of lectures, readings, on-site assignments, online lectures and exams upon return.

In 2010, former students, Shaquera Moore and Meghan Vickers, had the opportunity to study in London, England, as a result of BSC’s study abroad program. Both students experienced the trip of a lifetime.

“It was absolutely amazing to be in a place that I only read and dreamed about,” Moore said. “I always wanted to go to England ever since I was old enough to know about different countries. I never thought I would ever get to go to London in my lifetime. I am so grateful that I had the chance to study there through the help of Bainbridge State College.”

Vickers claimed that not a day goes by that she does not think of her England study abroad experience.

She said, “The five weeks that I spent there during the summer of 2010 shaped my life in ways that I never thought possible. I am sure I will be sharing the memories of this trip with others for the rest of my life.”

While in England, the students visited Hampton Court, Dover, Stratford-upon-Avon, Althorp, Stonehenge, numerous museums, movie premieres and plays.

The study abroad experience gave the students independence and confidence for their future.

“Being on my own made me more mature and independent, giving me the confidence to continue to pursue and fulfill my goals,” Vickers said. “The educational experience and the classes I took in England vastly broadened my total knowledge, exposing me to a world that I could have never imagined.”

Professors, such as Dr. David Nelson, the study abroad coordinator, encourage students throughout the year to take advantage of study abroad programs. According to Nelson, study abroad holds lifelong benefits for students.

He said, “People who’ve been abroad have unique insights, experiences and knowledge. And they bring those perspectives to their jobs.”

Each time Nelson takes students abroad, he feels as if he is experiencing the place for the first time.

“Seeing students experience a place for the first time allows me to re-experience that sense of wonder and excitement one has when first visiting a new place,” Nelson said. “Plus students always bring something new to the equation, such as a new insight or questions that I never thought to ask.”

For the professor, nothing compares to study abroad. Nelson commented that it reminds the students that there is larger world beyond their community, state and nation.

He said, “Once you travel abroad, you will never look at history or news the same again. It broadens your perspectives and you realize every story has another side. Seeing how other countries do things give new insights into issues, such as healthcare, education, religion and culture.”

For more information on this year’s study abroad programs, contact Mr. Roger Lunt and Dr. Patrick Smith for China at roger.lunt@bainbridge.edu and psmith@bainbridge.edu; and Dr. David Nelson for Scotland and Costa Rica at david.nelson@bainbridge.edu.

Story by Susanne Reynolds