Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Students Share International Travel Experiences

The Tennessee Consortium of International Studies (TnCIS) is one of several programs geared to promote an international dimension ofeducation.  For a number of years the Consortium has empowered both students and faculty to expand their understanding of foreign culture.  Currently, there are 18 countries are involved in the program, and it continues to expand. 
Frankie Garcia and Steve Kilkenny in front of an Irish castle
Franklin Garcia is in Vol State’s criminal justice program and recently had the opportunity to travel to Ireland with a faculty-led, study abroad class.

“Though I have been to four or five different countries, I can honestly say that this was the best experience I have ever had,” said Garcia.  “One of my favorite things was how family-oriented they are in Ireland.  It reminded me of growing up in the Dominican Republic and being a part of a big family.  I really identified with the Irish people, and the food was wonderful.  The biggest culture shocks were actually little things, like getting charged for refills and paying for grocery bags.  Also, there is no complementary coffee in the hotels.  The music is exciting, and everyone dances over there; it was incredible!  The old people were in better shape than us.  They even made me dance, and when I finished dancing, one old lady asked me where I was going 'cause she wasn’t finished dancing with me.  I told her I was exhausted, and she laughed and said, This is just the first of three songs.”

Ashley Hart also visited Ireland with the criminal justice program. "As a musician, I found music to be a large part of the heart and soul of Ireland,” said Hart.  “American music could be heard in many of the places we visited.  It was fun to see that music does break all barriers and walls.  Oftentimes in an American establishment, the singer is in the background, but in Ireland everyone focuses on the musicians playing and singing.  Another thing about Nashville is we rarely see musicians playing without a microphone or sound equipment, but there it's predominant."

International study is definitely one way to expand your worldview.  I am personally excited to be participating in my first international trip when I visit Greece in May.  You can expect a blog!

If you would like more information about international travel while attending Vol State please join us for a FREE lunch at the "Around the World in a Day" Pecha Kucha presentation.  They start Thursday, March 29 at 12:45 pm and continue through 2:00 pm at the carpeted dining room in the Wood Campus Center. If you need additional information about the international study program please email Anne-Marie Ruttenbur.

Volunteer State Community College

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