Category Archives: International Studies

Eight countries showcased in W’International Program for the 2018 year

Andrew Elliot, Staff Writer

Last Wednesday night, in the Batte Center’s Recital Hall was where the Class of 2019’s W’International showcase took place. The place was filled with excitement and wonder as each professor revealed the different countries that students could go to.

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Photo by: Katie Williams during the W’International Camp Out

“We had over 150 students in attendance!” Said Ms. Jennifer Armentrout, the Director of International Programs. “The professors did a great job of showcasing their programs, and the student audience was very respectful and attentive to each presenter.” This year’s reveal consisted of eight trips; more than any other W’International reveal to date. The Triangle was able to attend the reveal on March 14 and see what trips are available for rising juniors next semester.

The first trip revealed was Dr. Patrick Young’s trip to The Netherlands; This trip includes the coursework of History. “This experience will provide students with insight into resiliency and mental toughness,” Said Dr. Young. “And how [The Dutch] aided those resisting the Nazis during World War II. Students will visit three important cities within the Netherlands: Rotterdam, The Hague,  and Amsterdam; each played a specific and major role for the Dutch during the Nazi occupation. This trip is set to take place in the 2018 Spring semester.

Next up was Dr. Melissa Fox’s trip to Costa Rica; This trip include the coursework of Biology. “Students will experience firsthand how this vast ecological system is supported by the varied climates found across [Costa Rica],” Said Dr. Fox, as she addressed the students on her trip. “As they hike through protected rainforest reserves to collect climate change data, explore the volcanic mountain ranges that provide the nation with renewable energy, encounter numerous exotic plants and animals in their natural habitats, and tour coffee plantations within the Central Valley that support the Costa Rican economy as a leading export.” This trip is set to set sail in the 2017 Fall semester.

Following that presentation was The Triangle’s own Dr. Keith Cannon, with his trip to London and Cambridge. “The BBC just stopped giving tours a year ago,” Said Dr. Cannon, as he explained the planned tour of the BBC during the trip to England. “I am still trying to find a ‘legal’ way to have a tour anyway (laughs).” This course will give students an overview of the past, present and future of Great Britain’s news media and its role in that country’s development into a world power. This trip is set to take place in the 2017 Fall semester.

After Dr. Cannon, was Dr. Jim Hastings and his trip to Malaysia and Singapore. “We will learn about the historic development of both countries,” Said Dr. Hastings, explaining what was planned for the course. “Especially the blend of cultures that has given each its distinctive contemporary identity.” Dr. Hastings plans on taking students to one of the temples to see what it is like. This is set to take place in the 2017 Fall semester as well.

Then came Dr. Luke Mill’s trip to Scotland and Northern England to learn more about the Vikings and their lifestyle. “We’ll look at the particular influence of the Vikings in England and learn how their fierce, illiterate paganism eventually mingled with a learned, and fairly docile, Anglo-Saxon Christianity.” Said Dr. Mills, explaining the plan for the course. According to the W’international reveal brochure, Dr. Mills plans on visiting some of the major Viking and Christian sites in Scotland and northern England, including Edinburgh and York, formerly a Viking city. This trip is set to take place in the 2018 Spring semester.

Aferwards, Dr. Erica Niland of the Biology Department took the floor to speak; She is taking students to Italy for her trip. “This course will focus on how tourism has impacted the economic development of family farms and sustainable agriculture in Italy,” Said Dr. Niland, explaining her plans for the course. “Aside from the cultural influences of the Italian cuisine, this seminar will focus on how true Italian cuisine concentrates on ingredients that have been grown locally.” The trip includes a trip to a local winery in Italy and will take place in the 2018 Spring Semester.

Dr. Sergio Castello of the Business Department came up next to speak about his trip. “I want to take you home” He said to the students. “I’m taking you to Barcelona, Spain.” According to the brochure, the students that take the seminar will study Catalonia’s culture from the perspective of language; Catalonia has its own language, Catalan. Students will also gain an understanding of the cultural dynamism and diversity of this development and the economic prospects going forward. “If you’re not a fan of the Barcelona soccer team now, you will be when you leave.” Said Dr. Castello.

Then, Dr. Dennis Harlow of the Political Science department concluded the night with the reveal of his trip to Germany and France. According to the brochure, The course’s purpose is to promote student understanding of how the present-day European Union works to integrate and unify Europe and provide a base for European economic development and competitiveness in global businesses. “We’re going to look into the benefits and consequences of Brexit for the EU.”

“I think we were really able to communicate the value of our programs and get students excited about the unique opportunity they have at Wingate to participate in an affordable experience abroad.” Said Ms. Armentrout. “The W’international experience is typically one of the best memories Wingate students have in their lives. I am honored to be a part of that.”

Edited by: Brea Childs

WU’s Baxter helps students take advantage of international study opportunities

Maggie Smith, Staff Writer

Many college students fall in love with traveling during college. Whether it’s road-trips with friends on the weekends, traveling for spring break, making friends with people from other states or countries and getting to travel home with them, or to studying abroad for a couple weeks or a full semester.

Many college students realize their love for traveling and long to travel more, but are hindered by a lack of money. Due to this, many student’s mentality is to wait and travel when they have careers and can afford it post grad. However, Lizz Baxter, the Assistant Director of International Programs at Wingate University said the best time for students to travel is in college.

Baxter said she became interested in traveling when she was young, because her grandparents traveled a lot and would send her postcards. Baxter joined the military in high school and got an early start in traveling.

She moved to Germany with the army and lived there for three years. She was then deployed to Iraq in 2003. When she returned from the military she attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she began studying international studies.

Baxter said she knew she wanted to study abroad so she began looking into the study abroad programs the University offered. She won the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, which is a national scholarship that allows you to study abroad a semester.

Baxter studied abroad in Argentina where she learned Spanish. When she returned from Argentina, she won another scholarship to go to Italy. After studying abroad again, Baxter said she was hooked.

After undergrad, Baxter moved to Charlotte and began working in the international office at UNC Charlotte. There, she met some connections including the Director of International Programs at Wingate University, Jennifer Armentrout. Then Jennifer offered Baxter a job in the international office at Wingate.

Baxter took the job and is currently still working at Wingate as the Assistant Director of international programs. Baxter said she always knew she wanted to be a study abroad advisor.

As part of her job as a study abroad advisor, Baxter travels to different countries with students and experiences what the students experience for herself. By doing this she’s able to get the students feedback so she knows what changes to make to the trip and what to plan.

Baxter said one of the main things she loves about her job is going out into the world and experiencing and understanding other cultures as well as helping others do that too.“I want to be able to give back to other people by helping them to get outside their own culture and bridge gaps and create understanding, because it’s so easy to get wrapped up in ‘we’re right and you’re wrong,’ I want to help people appreciate the differences,” said Baxter.Baxter also said, “There are these really incredible commonalities that can allow us to get along.”

Baxter has traveled as a Benjamin A. Gilman scholar, U.S. State Department Intern, and a member of the U.S. Army. She has traveled to approximately 30 different countries. As an advisor, one of the main pieces of advice Baxter gives, is for students to travel as much as possible while they’re in college.

“Go get world experience and life experience first, you’ll be in your job when you graduate for a long time, this is the time to do it,” said Baxter. Baxter said that when you’re young, people who are already in their careers are willing to donate money to you to help you travel. “Never be afraid to ask,” said Baxter.

Baxter said that there are many opportunities out there for college students to take advantage of. She advises college students to research all the different scholarships for study abroad programs and to apply for many.

Luckily for Wingate students, Wingate University offers a signature program called W’international. This opportunity allows students to study abroad for ten days in either the fall or spring semester of their junior year and is counted as a two-credit class. Wingate University offers many other study abroad programs such as: international internships, summer programs, semester programs, and volunteer and teach programs.

Wingate Senior Kaitlyn Brunworth has taken full advantage of Wingate’s various study abroad programs throughout her four years here. During the summer following her sophomore year she took Spanish 307 which was an intensive immersion course where she spent three weeks in Costa Rica.

She lived with a host family, took Spanish classes during the week, and went on excursions on the weekends. During her fall semester of her Junior year she got the chance to go to Cambodia for ten days through the W’international program. “I can honestly say that the ten days I spent in Cambodia were some of the best of my life because I got to explore an incredible country with some of my closest friends at Wingate.”

Brunworth said that one of her favorite experiences in Cambodia was on the first evening of the trip. She said she and some classmates explored the city Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

Brunworth said they got to witness people partaking in religious festivities and soccer and tennis games all along the street and river. She said they spent the evening surrounded by live Cambodian music, guided Buddhist prayers, and street markets with all-too-authentic Cambodian foods.

Brunworth said she and her classmates also got the chance partake in a Buddhist tradition that is meant to bring good karma, in which they bought birds from a lady selling them in the street and threw them into the air over the river to watch them fly away. “It was an amazing evening, filled with vibrant life and beauty,” said Brunworth.

Brunworth also spent her spring semester of her junior year studying abroad and doing an internship in Granada, Spain, through the CEA program. In Spain, she took several classes in Spanish language, culture and history.

In addition to interning at a local doctor’s office, Brunworth also got the chance to play soccer with a local women’s team during her semester in Spain, which she also claims as one of her favorite experiences.

“It was really fun training with them because the Spanish girls have a different style of playing than what I’m used to back home, so it was entertaining for me to try new things and adjust to training with them” said Brunworth.

Brunworth said what she enjoyed most about playing with the team was building relationships with the girls on the team and learning new Spanish slang and laughing with them when she “butchered new phrases.”

“At the end of the semester they invited me to their team barbecue where I got to meet all of their families and enjoy an evening of wine and dancing in the back yard, which was one of my favorite days in Spain” said Brunworth.

Like Lizz Baxter, Brunworth also said that now is the time to travel abroad. “This is probably one of very few opportunities you’ll get to spend a significant amount of time abroad for a low price. Additionally, your late teens and early twenties are an ideal time to travel because you aren’t tied down with a full-time career and a family to take care of. Of course there will be days when you miss home and wish you could be back with your family and friends and just stuff your face with American food…But the new experiences and everything you learn about the world and about yourself while abroad will totally out-weigh a few home-sick days” said Brunworth.

Brunworth advises anyone who studies abroad to keep an open mind as much as possible. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t… especially when they have an entirely different cultural background from your own.  Open your mind and soak in as much as you can. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new- a song, dance move, food recipe, value, or tradition that you want to begin incorporating into your own life,” said Brunworth, “If you let it, your time abroad will be the perfect opportunity to get to know who you truly are, because when you allow yourself to be immersed in a new country you are no longer tied down by the standards of your home culture and expectations.”

Study abroad advisors like Lizz Baxter, help students find financial assistance for their foreign study. Financial assistance for students at Wingate includes: Wingate International Grant for Students (WINGS) and Federal and Institutional Financial Aid.

Brunworth said she used a WINGS grant to help pay for Spanish 301 in Costa Rica. Brunworth said that the W’international program to Cambodia included round trip flights, a week in hotels, some meals, and all tour guides and transportation for under $750.

“It’s too good of a deal to pass up” said Brunworth, “I strongly believe that every eligible Junior at Wingate should take advantage of the W’International program, especially if you’ve never traveled out of the country before.  It’s extremely affordable, and since it is school-sanctioned everything is very organized and safe.”

Brunworth said that for her final semester abroad she worked with Jennifer Armentrout and the CEA program to get the cost of her semester in Spain covered by her Wingate tuition.

“This helped a lot because I was still eligible for my academic and athletic scholarships from Wingate. I just paid my normal semester’s tuition plus the plane flight,” said Brunworth, “I even had the price of the plane flight reduced because I signed up before an early-decision deadline for my study abroad program so CEA gave me a voucher for my flights.”

Brunworth said the most important thing when trying to save money on study abroad programs is to get organized early and have everything planned long before your trip.

“This will give you more time to apply for scholarships such as the WINGS grant, more time to fundraise, and more time to sort out any obstacles that come up. Not to mention, flights are typically cheaper if you purchase them way in advance” said Brunworth.

Lizz Baxter said that there are many national scholarships as well as many scholarships offered by Wingate alone, and advises students to check out the programs and scholarships that Wingate honors at www.wingate.edu/internation

Photo Courtesy of hercampus.com

Edited by: Brea Childs

International Education Week includes wide variety of events

Wingate wants to bring cultural experience to all students

Megan Katz, Staff Writer

This week, Wingate University’s Office of International Programs will be working with student organizations, faculty, and international students to bring the student body a transformative International Education Week.

According to the U.S. State Department, International Education Week is a nationally designated week that provides students with an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The aim is to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

Ms. Jennifer Armentrout, Director of International Programs, says that through this week, the Office of International Programs will provide students with “an accessible way to learn more about international topics and to explore their possibilities in the world as a student at Wingate.”

The Office of International Programs sees this week as an opportunity to not only highlight the resources we have in our current international students and faculty on campus, but to give students an opportunity to learn about pressing global issues from their professors and their peers.

The events this week will consist of both performance and participation, and will give students a chance to engage and explore new cultures, ideas, and activities to broaden their perspectives.

“Learning about the world is essential in becoming an educated, productive global citizen, which is part of the Wingate mission” Armentrout says. “We want students to know that it can also be fun.”

For more information, email international@wingate.edu, come by the office in Alumni, or visit our Instagram @bulldogsabroad.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

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Benefits of W’international

Jonathan Jenkins, Staff Writer

College is often seen as a rare opportunity for people to experience firsts. There are first parties, jobs, relationships, etc. One opportunity that many neglect to mention, however, is the chance to go to your first foreign nation. While many universities offer chances to have these experiences, few are as involved as Wingate’s W’international program.

The W’international program was developed at the suggestion of former Wingate President Paul Corts and quickly became a prominent program for Wingate students. According to Wingate’s Director of International Programs, Ms. Jennifer Armentrout, W’international seeks ” to provide international firsthand learning that meaningfully contributes to developing students intercultural knowledge, character development, and independent world views for entry into the global work force.”

This focus on development needs far more than a simple trip overseas to be effective for students. Each W’international program has a class that corresponds with each individual trip. These classes focus on various aspects of each country’s culture by teaching about specific subjects, such as the study of Swedish crime novels for a trip to Sweden. This results in the material discussed in class coming to life for students.

There are many other benefits that students get from these trips, with one of the biggest being international experience. Zach Lewis, a junior that is going on the upcoming spring France trip, wants to use this opportunity to learn and grow. “I picked this trip to France specifically so I could practice my French language skills that I have been acquiring over the last four years,” Lewis stated.

Beyond simply learning and interacting with other cultures, international experience can also help students in pursuing jobs after college. “International experience is ranked high among many employers as a critical asset for prospective employees,” states Wingate’s web page for international studies. “Study abroad shows that you are resourceful, a risk-taker and internationally minded.”

International experience helps students by giving them practical experience in other environments as well. It can introduce them to new languages and ideas and most of all, give them an experience that they will remember forever. However, for most students that are hesitant to sign up, the cost is the deciding factor in their decision.

When asked about the cost, Zach Lewis responded by pointing out that the trips are already heavily discounted. “All of the ‘leg work’ is already taken care of,” Lewis stated. “Then we get to go have a great time in the destination country.”

Some students may be nervous about international travel, but, with the positives that it brings, it is well worth the cost and the effort. “I would tell students ‘on the edge’ of going abroad that the most frequent feedback I receive from adults is that the one thing they wished they had done while in college was study abroad, ” Ms. Armentrout stated.

W’international programs deliver the best opportunity many will have to obtain experience overseas, and with the many benefits that it provides, namely help with future jobs, great memories, and future friends, don’t miss out. You will never regret making a trip overseas.

Edited by Meredith Lalor and Danny Stueber