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Passport to the World: A New Approach to Studying Abroad

Passport to the World: A New Approach to Studying Abroad
JSU's documentary takes viewers on trips around the globe

A captive audience at Jackson State University screened a 45-minute “Passport to the World” documentary that details the experiences of 73 students and faculty who traveled to six different countries last summer to study abroad. The film emphasizes the need for critical-thinking global leaders who can address societal problems through technological and other means. The four-week, faculty-led excursions took students to Shanghai, China; Madrid, Spain; Paris; Salvador da Bahia, Brazil; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Rio de Janeiro. Faculty and students are currently preparing for this year’s international adventures, including a new immersive study program in Cape Town, South Africa.

President Carolyn W. Meyers, a staunch supporter of the JSU Global program, attended the screening in the Student Center theater, where she told students, “There are new worlds to explore and new people to meet.” She said the documentary “was very significant because it changes your perspective.”

Priscilla Slade, special assistant to the provost for International Studies and Community Colleges, said, “JSU Passport to the World was designed to provide an academic experience that immerses students in cultural experiences that are discipline-specific and thought-provoking.”

The JSU Passport to the World program conquers three major obstacles that prevent students from studying abroad: cost, curriculum and culture. In the documentary, students detailed the travel process from beginning to end. Some said that upon their arrival on foreign soil they did not know what to expect. Others said it was the first time they traveled by flight.

Shantwanza Hill, a junior forensic chemistry major from Glendora, Miss., studied in Rio de Janeiro.

“Traveling abroad has impacted my life with amazing information, and now I know my life will never be the same. Overall, my trip was awesome, and I plan to study abroad next year,” said Hill, who is minoring in sociology.

Cory Davis, a senior mass communication major from Clinton, studied in Shanghai, China, at East Normal China University.

“Studying abroad really allowed me to be more open to meeting new people,” Davis said. “This experience has allowed me to view the world from a totally new perspective. I’m honored that I embarked on such an amazing opportunity.”

For more information on studying abroad and the JSU Passport to the World program, visit www.jsums.edu/global.

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