According to the Institute for International Education (IIE), fewer than 10% of American college students participate in international study programs, and less than 25% of those students are from underrepresented minority groups.
Venturing abroad has several overarching personal and professional benefits, including cultivating an international network of both peers and mentors, learning to be resourceful and to adapt to new and unfamiliar situations, and questioning previously accepted behaviors and beliefs, all of which contribute to the development of a clearer sense of self (Forbes, Want to Launch a Successful Startup? Spend Time Abroad, 2018).
Community colleges without a budget strictly allocated to study abroad programs need to be creative in how they expand opportunities for their students.
The strategies developed by the Peralta Community College District's Office of International Education has developed a stronger study abroad program with limited resources and staffing. After the Peralta Colleges committed to the IIE Generation Study Abroad initiative in 2014, it created new study abroad programs, organized annual study abroad fairs, was awarded a scholarship of $7,500, created new promotional materials and an administrative procedure, launched a new website and newsletter, organized financial aid workshops and professional development day presentations for faculty and opened a study abroad scholarship through its Foundation.
Since 2007, Peralta Colleges have created different programs in over 13 countries including Dance programs in Vietnam, Haiti, Cuba and Ghana; African American Studies programs in Belize, Jamaica, Brazil, Ghana, and Cuba; Business in Cuba and Japan; Social Justice in Jamaica; Intercultural Communications in Ghana; History in El Salvador; Cosmetology in England; Spanish in Mexico; Language and Culture in China; and Natural History in Iceland, Costa Rica and Switzerland.
Other courses which have been proposed are Anthropology courses in New Zealand and Iceland; Arabic in Egypt; Music in Austria; Automotive Technology in Cuba; Art History courses in Germany, England and France; Physical Geography in Costa Rica; and student athlete abroad experiences in Costa Rica.
Your donation will go a long way in supporting more of our students to go abroad!