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February, 2014

Travel, learn, serve

International opportunities open to students

By Gena Checki

Go Places

Does the idea of combining international travel with learning sound appealing? If so, then studying abroad might be for you. In an effort to prepare students for the global economy and marketplace, Gateway offers a number of study abroad opportunities. These options can include such things as studying in another country or getting involved in an international partnership.

Participating in a study abroad program allows students “to get exposure to an international setting, experience other cultures and develop international relationships,” said Chinedu Obowu, Gateway’s international education coordinator.

Gateway Global Scholar study abroad opportunities are typically two to three weeks in length and are planned around school breaks. Exchange programs in Hanau, Germany, and in Arezzo, Italy, are done in conjunction with a sister city/college. The German exchange program involves working with students from Gateway’s sister college to provide a customized project to meet the needs of a business client. The Italian exchange program involves working with students from the Istituto Galileo Galilei to learn about engineering, manufacturing and energy systems at home and abroad.

Other programs involve hands-on learning, such as service learning in Belize. This program is open to Horticulture, Information Technology and Nursing program students. Participants work with Peacework, a nonprofit organization. Students work with community members and schools on a variety of projects in Orange Walk, Belize.

The Costa Rica and Nicaragua medical/health care and dental service learning program provides opportunities to students in all health care and dental disciplines. Students provide free medical care and dental services for needy communities.

The international experience sets students apart from their peers and makes them more appealing to potential employers, Obowu said.

To get more information on a program or to apply for one, go online to www.gtc.edu/studyabroad. Once the application is completed, students need to drop it off at Student Services.

The dates for some of the study abroad programs are tentative and subject to change, however, application deadlines are coming up: Feb. 28 for the Costa Rica and Nicaragua trip, April 11 for the Belgium/Netherlands trip, April 18 for the Belize and Germany trips and May 30 for the Italy trips.