On Saturday, April 20, 2024, the San Mateo County Community College District – SMCCCD Study Abroad Program hosted the Summer 2024 Study Abroad Programs Pre-Departure Orientation at Skyline College. The event saw about a hundred attendees, which included students and community travel participants, accompanied by their family members, who participated in the three-hour orientation in preparation for the upcoming Summer Faculty-Led Programs and Global Internships.

Zaid Ghori, Interim Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services, made an opening speech to welcome the attendees as they took their seats with breakfast. The orientation, moderated by Dr. Alice Yang, Acting Director of Special International Programs, with assistance from Kelly Li, Study Abroad Program Services Coordinator, covered a comprehensive range of topics, providing students with essential information for their upcoming global learning adventures. Participants received valuable insights and guidance on various aspects of their study abroad journey.

Tessa Kwan, a personal counselor from Skyline College, presented tips for maintaining physical and mental health during their time abroad. Skyline College’s Acting Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Luis Escobar, also gave a detailed overview of the Student Code of Conduct to ensure a respectful and harmonious experience. Dr. Alice Yang then shared strategies for effective intercultural learning and adaptation to prepare the participants for their upcoming journey abroad, and the orientation ended with some words of advice from a Study Abroad student ambassador, Alexa Nielsen. After the general orientation ended, Kelly Li directed the crowd participating in the Art in Barcelona, Summer in Ghana, and Global Internships upstairs for their orientations, hosted by Professor Aina Clotas for Barcelona, Professors Danielle Powell and Dr. Frederick Gaines for Ghana, and Professor Alexa Moore for Global Internships.

In the latest cohort of students sent to study abroad, diverse destinations have been selected to foster cultural exchange and academic enrichment. In Ghana, a cohort of 22 students, accompanied by eight community members, is set to engage in immersive learning experiences and community-based projects. This program collaborates with the Umoja Learning Communities at the College of San Mateo and Skyline College. Art in Barcelona, Spain, will have a cohort of 25 students poised to explore the Spanish city’s vibrant art scene and cultural heritage. Meanwhile, 12 students are embarking on an adventure to Thailand and Vietnam, immersing themselves in the rich history and cultural tapestry of the two Southeast Asian nations. The Philippines program welcomes 10 students eager to delve into its unique cultural landscape, history, and literature. Finally, the Global Internships program sends off 6 students to companies in Singapore, Germany, and San Francisco, providing them with invaluable hands-on experiences and professional development opportunities. These diverse destinations reflect the Study Abroad Program’s commitment to global education and cross-cultural understanding on a global scale.

The Faculty-Led Programs are part of the SMCCCD Study Abroad Program—a district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about studying or interning abroad, faculty-led abroad opportunities, community travel for lifelong learners, visiting international faculty presenters, and student scholarship opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kelly Li or Dr. Alice Yang at studyabroad@smccd.edu or call 650-738-7098. You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Snow Linxue Guo

Photos by Zaid Ghori

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