Study Abroad announces new opportunities, schedule plans

The new study abroad opportunities being implemented with the Guilford Edge are entering the scheduling and planning phases.

On Monday, Feb. 4 in King Hall B26, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Professor of Sports Studies Lavon Williams and Professor of Business Management Michael Dutch hosted an interest meeting for the three-week study abroad experience they will be leading in Fall 2019 in Jamkhed, India. Assistant Director of Study Abroad Robert Van Pelt was also in attendance to discuss with Guilford students the logistics of the study abroad process, from applications for the program to visas and passports for traveling abroad.

The opportunity to study abroad in Jamkhed will fulfill the intercultural and sociocultural, BPS and evaluating system general education requirements. According to Williams in a Guilford Buzz Post, the proram will allow students to “actively (promote) public health, (engage) in community outreach and (develop) non-profit management skills.”

The three-week opportunity, currently referred to as “Business and Sports Studies: Community Health and Development,” will allow students to work with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), a non-governmental organization that seeks to enhance quality of life for Indian villagers through collaboration and health education and services. Working with the CRHP will give students the chance to “learn about delivering healthcare, community development, empowering women and sustainability,” the Buzz read.

Williams emphasized the significance of the CRHP to the course, shedding light on its impact in the area.

“The health and organizational approach to healthcare (of CRHP) is relatively unique,” Williams said.

The program will allow participants to experience the implications of providing healthcare to rural areas, such as those in Jamkhed. Dutch highlighted the conditions of the area, expressing the significance of this opportunity.

“(India is) much like the 60’s in terms of sanitation,” Dutch said.

As of right now, the study abroad opportunity has an estimated travel cost of $1,000 for students. Both the Study Abroad Office and Williams and Dutch are working to keep out-of-pocket costs at a minimum for students. Van Pelt also highlighted the study abroad scholarships that will be available for students to take advantage of to help support their experiences.

The interdisciplinary experience is planned to start with an orientation-style meeting on campus and move into the 15 to 20-day experience abroad in Jamkhed, India. Dutch and Williams are aiming to make the course as integrative with the Edge as possible. The goal is to make the process of traveling to and from India a smooth process for students, while also allowing them time to adjust to the 12-week schedule on campus following the trip.

“We’ll be back Sept. 6, maybe 7, which will give you some time,” Dutch said. “Almost a week.”

Dutch and Williams would ideally like to have 15 to 16 students participating in the course, and possibly up to 20, to be able to divide the group into two different classes, with each being led by either Dutch or Williams. Both believe that this would help to maximize the learning experience for all community members.

At the meeting’s end, Van Pelt discussed the logistics of applying to and participating in the study abroad experience.

Falling onto the week after spring break, the deadline for applications for the Fall 2019 three-week study abroad experiences is currently set at Friday, March 15. Applications consist of three major subsections: academic and personal growth goals, recommendations and signature documents. In discussing the subsections of the applications, Van Pelt clarified some parts that may be confusing to students.

“There is a $175 enrollment fee, but this is not going to appear until your Fall 2019 bill,” Van Pelt said.

Similarly, the commitment deadline for these opportunities is Monday, March 25 and will therefore allow participating students to have an idea of where they will be heading before the end of the current academic year.

Students interested in participating should also expect to take a GST 102 pre-departure orientation class from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. for three Sundays, Mar. 31, April 7 and April 14, in the Gilmore Room. The class discussions will be facilitated by Van Pelt and other faculty and staff members involved in the study abroad opportunities.

The Study Abroad Office will be tabling in Founders Hall on Mondays and Fridays and can be contacted at [email protected] for more information.