While study abroad programs offer the experience of studying in another country, Forsyth Tech established the Study Away program to offer students opportunities to travel and learn in the United States, as well as abroad. These trips can expand students’ perspectives while providing life-changing experiences. Students experienced a trip to Ireland and Argentina in 2018; and in 2019, trips to the same countries will be offered.
Last May, two leaders, five adult students, and 12 Forsyth Tech students traveled to Ireland to study social justice and equality. The class spent most of their time in the town of Bonduran and the surrounding area in County Donegal with trips to Sligo, Ballyshannon, Donegal Castle, Sliabh Liag Cliffs, and Trinity College in Dublin. Dr. Niamh Hamill led morning lectures that corresponded with the day’s activities and participants stepped out of their comfort zones and climbed walls, surfed in the Atlantic, and played Gaelic sports. However, the most impactful moments of the trip occurred at the Free Derry Museum in Derry City, Northern Ireland. There, the story of Bloody Sunday, an incident where 28 unarmed citizens were shot during a peaceful protest, was shared through artifacts, newsreels, and articles. Gabrielle Johnson, Forsyth Tech student, wrote about her experience, “Therefore, keep an open mind and step out of your comfort zone. Absorb the kindness that exists in humanity and bring it home to give back. You will never regret the time you have spent and will forever have the memories of the country and its people.” The 2019 Ireland Study Away trip will focus on Global Health, and is open to students, faculty, staff, or community members. If you are interested, contact Laura Brannon at email@example.com.
Eight students from Davidson County Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, and Forsyth Tech traveled to Villa Maria, in the Cordoba province of Argentina last June through a partnership grant from the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. Part of being prepared for the global economy is being an informed and engaged global citizen. Study Away can be a vehicle for global competence, as students experienced the Argentine people and culture first-hand. Not only did students experience the beauty of Villa Maria, but they also traveled to the global city of Buenos Aires and even spent a day in Uruguay. “Our trip to Argentina was my first time out of the U.S. and I am glad it was,” said student Malia Valentine who took the trip. “I learned a lot about myself and got to connect with my group members as well as other international students from different countries. I left more educated about Argentine history, politics, and culture, which made me fall in love with the country. It also lit a strong desire to continue to learn about myself and others through traveling. I’ll never forget this trip!” The 2019 program will focus on sustainability and the environment, and they hope to add additional site visits, such as a farm that acts as a non-traditional high school. Students interested in Study Away programs should contact Laura Hortal, Chair of the Study Away Committee, for the latest information on upcoming trips at firstname.lastname@example.org.