Did you know that Tulsa Community College offers study abroad trips?
Every year for several decades now, TCC’s Study Abroad Program offers students life-changing opportunities and educational experiences to travel internationally and broaden their horizons. While traditional semester-long exchange programs are popular, shorter trips spanning around eight to 14 days are proven to be impactful. The abbreviated programming provides a time-efficient international cross-cultural and engaging opportunity.
TCC Study Abroad Trips are small-group based, consisting of usually from 10 to 20 participants. This allows students to connect and develop strong relationships with each other.
The destinations for this year are England, France, Italy, and Japan. Sounds fascinating, right?
England: The group plans to visit London, home to the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, ancient Oxford, and other world-famous historical sites. Students will discover and learn about the treasured significance of historical landmarks and earn college credit toward graduation. Seriously, what could be better than this?
France: The travelers will experience authentic French life through its native cuisine, people, and breathtaking monuments. Students will explore small local towns, their local markets, and traditions, which will allow them to practice their language and have the most invaluable experiences. The participants will be introduced to literary masterpieces, world-famous monuments, and works of art.
Italy: Italy is a dream country everyone wants to travel to at least once in his/her lifetime. Students on this trip will travel and explore the ancient cities of Rome and Florence. Immersing themselves in Italian culture, exquisite culinary offerings, and incredible local people, students will have a life-changing exposure to a country that has contributed to world history. Exploring world-famed masterpieces, including “The Coliseum,” “The Sistine Chapel,” “The Duomo” in Florence, students will not only learn about the art but also create their own paintings. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Japan: Japan is among the nations people wish to travel to the most in the world. Magnificent culture and extraordinary attractions beg the question of its reality. Japan is a homeland for one of the most prominent and favorite meals – sushi. Students will learn and see how the geography of a country can shape and impact its divine comestibles, lifestyle, economy, and architecture. Despite having traveled to Japan multiple times, Dr. Douglas Price, director of Faculty Development and Global Learning, would still love to return because there is so much to see and do there.
Studying aboard serves a great deal in helping and encouraging students to establish greater understanding of other communities, to be adaptive, and to become open-minded individuals. Within a short period, these trips can leave an enormous impact on students’ lives, especially in shaping their perspectives, which allows them to grow academically and personally.
Questions and answers with Director of Faculty Development and Global Learning Dr. Douglas Price
Can you provide a history of the TCC study abroad trips?
Yes, I can. In fact, I began working with the study abroad program in 2005. My predecessor, Dr. Laura Walker, oversaw both the Study Abroad Program and the school’s world languages department. And then I took that over back in 2006. Officially, the Study Abroad Program is called an international campus.
Can you provide an overview of the upcoming TCC study abroad trips for 2024?
Yes, I can. We usually start with about eight to 10 trips every year. Then there are other excursions that simply don’t work out or that the faculty decides not to take. Nonetheless, the groups that do travel this year are to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean for a nursing program, and then it would be trips to London, Rome, Paris and other cities.
What is the program’s structure? Is it mostly intellectual or immersing in culture?
The Study Abroad Program is designed to be both intellectual and emotional. Students enroll in a course linked to the travel experience, such as the TCC course. This course is embedded in the travel experience, with pre- and post-work activities. The essence of studying abroad is engaging with differences, as students learn to navigate various systems like monetary, social, cultural, and culinary systems. This transformational experience is both intellectual and emotional, as students may feel homesick even after being away for only 10 days. The program is designed to hit all senses and elements of the human experience, making it a challenging and transformative experience.
How do you manage the language barriers that students may encounter when traveling to non-English speaking countries?
The trips are primarily offered in English. We do have a trip to France that focuses on French and then a Japan trip on Japanese but they’re a little bit more cultural focused. Both trips include a homestay experience, where students learn the language and are encouraged to use it where possible. The homestays may differ depending on the level of French proficiency. For those at a lower level, we will arrange a homestay with at least one English-speaking person for emergencies or rare situations. The goal is to encourage students to use their new language skills while traveling.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
For over 15 years, I have experienced the transformative impact of studying abroad on students. They have gone on trips to Nicaragua, where they conducted service learning in the medical field. Despite the current travel restrictions, the transformation of people when engaging with differences internationally is phenomenal. Studying abroad is essential for cultural awareness and future job prospects. Overall, studying abroad is a valuable investment for personal growth and cultural awareness.
Questions and answers with a participant of the Study Abroad Program in 2023 – Julie Page
Julie Page, a TCC student majoring in psychology, participated in the 2023 study abroad trip to Israel.
Can you describe a program experience that had a big influence on you or altered your viewpoint?
? My perspective was greatly impacted by leaving the United States. Cultural diversity and interactions with people influenced my viewpoint. After that, when I see people of different cultures, I have learned how to respect and appreciate those differences. Flying for 14 hours straight was a challenge on its own.
How do you think your time overseas will affect your future academic or professional plans?
I planned on going to physician assistant school. And after the trip overseas, it really sat in stone that I want to help other countries versus just staying in the United States.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
If it wasn’t for TCC and the Study Abroad Program, I would’ve never taken this opportunity to travel.
The deadline to participate in this year’s program has passed. Interested students are recommended to consider the 2025 Study Abroad trips. The deadline for next year is January 2025.
For more information about the Study Abroad program and the destinations for 2025, contact the Global Learning Department at email@example.com.
Do not miss this fantastic opportunity that will transform your life forever.