Twelve West Georgia Technical College students and three instructors traveled abroad to China April 4-12, visiting vocational colleges in Beijing and Shanghai during the weeklong excursion.
“A study abroad trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our students and faculty,” said West Georgia Technical College Interim President Pat Hannon. “Opportunities like these give students lifelong lessons that will be valuable in their personal and professional endeavors for years to come.”
The China trip was West Georgia Technical College’s second study abroad trip. The inaugural trip was taken in April 2013 to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Students who attended the trip have a specific project/assignment within their courses that aligned with study abroad objectives.
Following the trip, students will prepare classroom presentations for their courses and community events on their time aboard. Unlike the previous trip, the students had an opportunity to visit two different colleges in different cities. The students also had the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, a variety of temples and a silk factory.
“Studying abroad, regardless of the length of the program, helps to grow our students personally and academically. I strongly believe and have witnessed during past study abroad trips that study abroad experiences impact lives in ways that cannot be done on college campuses,” said Dr. Nihal Gunay, Associate Provost of Virtual Learning Campus. “Our students are exposed to other cultures, ideas, languages, and academia and describe the trip as ‘once of a lifetime.’ They have more appreciation for different cultures and a better understanding of the history and perspectives of the people in that country.”
For Latossica Walker, a Business Administrative Technology student on the Murphy Campus, the trip to China has opened her eyes to other cultures and different ways of life.
“We as Americans can sometimes take life for granted. But people in China live life totally different,” said Walker. “I know that I have learned a lot about their culture and I plan to continue to learn more about China and other countries as well.”
The Technical College System of Georgia developed the Office of Global Initiatives with a goal to build recognition of the TCSG education programs around the world and expand new and existing international student and faculty exchange at the TCSG colleges.
“The Office of Global Initiatives will strengthen the overall mission of the TCSG to create a competitive workforce in Georgia, while also opening avenues for greater awareness in the worldwide education community about the TCSG colleges and the outstanding quality of our faculty and students,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. “Our plan is to forge international partnerships that will enable the TCSG to solidify its goal of becoming a global leader in technical education.”