Preparing students to become "citizens of the world" through study-abroad

  • Rachel Ledbetter
  • Amy Miller
  • Pat Bagley

Abstract

Students were approved for Study-Abroad to Dominican Republic January 1 – 10, 2018. All students were in the School of Agriculture and most were Animal Science/ Pre-Vet majors. Primarily stationed in Santo Domingo, 3 million people in a country of 5 million, group toured many historical sites including Columbus House, first sugar refinery in the Americas constructed in 1504, along with farmer’s markets and federal buildings of interest, and National Zoo where we were allowed to tour the hospital and pet two 5-week-old lion cubs. The group visited and took school supplies to four “Alfalit Schools” and one “Rotary School.” The Alfalit Schools are for very poor children, 3 – 5 years of age, mostly from illiterate parents and the purpose of these schools is to prepare these children for public school, which begins with first grade. Delivered to these schools, which have no electricity, were over 80 lb of colors (donated by Cookeville Legal Assn.), coloring books, books, paper, pencils and other school supplies donated by the students. Also toured was a small public “Rotary” school, with 850 students in a tiny, 8 classroom building. A “pre-travel/ post-travel” survey was developed by this author and administered during the flight layover in Miami, plus post-travel interviews. More important responses from the post-survey included: “good trip- 100%;” “perception of other country” – 47% responded “they live happy while owning little;” and “how has this modified your career goals?” – 87% responded “want to travel, work, and study internationally.”

Published
2018-05-07
Section
Agriculture