by Pearlie M. bowser
Ten ASU students with a thirst for knowledge and a love of achievement studied in a foreign country this summer. On July 16, ASU students, faculty and staff welcomed back its first team of students who participated in the Trinidad and Tobago Study Abroad Program.
The students matriculated at the University of West Indies, St Augustine campus and were led by Dr. Irma Gibson, ASU associate professor of social work and coordinator of the program. Gibson taught two courses Issues in International Social Welfare Policy and Global Research. In addition, global service learning culture lectures tours were integrated into the curriculum to ensure students’ academic success.
According to Gibson, during the development of the Trinidad and Tobago study abroad program, the strategy was to create a curriculum and an itinerary that embraced and supported the concept of service learning and civic responsibility, as well as academic, professional, personal and social growth. “Prior service learning endeavors in which I have engaged students resulted in life changing experiences for those involved. I wanted the students who chose the Trinidad and Tobago study abroad program to be afforded this same opportunity and more,” said Gibson. “The three weeks were packed with a variety of learning activities and most importantly opportunities for growth in self-awareness and social consciousness,” she added.
The courses offered are conducive to matriculation from all disciplines. Recruitment for the summer 2014 Trinidad and Tobago group begins fall semester. “We encourage more faculty members to lead similar programs and ask more students to obtain their passports and be ready to enroll in their choice of study abroad programs this fall in readiness for Summer 2014,” said Dr. Nneka Nora Osakwe, Director of ASU Global Programs.