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A record eight East Central University students have the opportunity to learn from and absorb different cultures by studying abroad this semester through ECU’s Global Education Program.

Four will study in France, two are headed to Spain and one each will go to China and Wales as part of the Global Education Program which promotes, provides and facilitates academic and cultural exchange opportunities for students.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for students to study abroad. The hands-on experience in observing other customs can really help our students embrace other cultures,” said ECU President John R. Hargrave.

This is the largest group of ECU students to study abroad for one semester since the program was launched in 2010, in which a maximum of two journeyed abroad.

“I’m excited to see that more and more students are starting to realize the importance of gaining global competences that are critical for being competitive in the modern job market as well as becoming a better citizen by obtaining a more holistic picture of the world we live in,” said Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya, director of the ECU Global Education Department.

Those headed to France are Hillari Snider, of Chandler; Ben Godwin, Ada; Baylee Williams, Chickasha and Norman and Yin Lai, of China.

Both Erin Walling, of Ada and Briana Fulton, of Tulsa are going to Spain. Devin Hargus, of Ada, is bound for China and McKenzie Grigg is headed to Wales.

For Snider, so much can be taken from the experience.

“I always want to travel and learn a new culture and it’s cool we can get another degree,” Snider said.

Learning a language and culture is motivation for Walling.

“My main objective is to learn Spanish, see a new culture and learn how they live,” said Walling.

For Godwin, it’s an opportunity to dive into a different culture.

“Immersing in a different environment for four months and having the ability to make global connections with other students is important,” Godwin said.

The main objective of the Global Education Department is establishing partnership relations with universities throughout the world and promoting student abroad programs among ECU students.

Students can earn credit abroad by paying the same tuition fees or using scholarship awards like they are attending classes on the ECU campus. Other fees such as air travel, lodging, meals and visa are handled at the student’s expense.

Together with the Global Education Committee several initiatives were introduced to the campus community such as the annual Go Global event, A spotlight on France and other countries, Study Abroad Fair and A Taste of Russia to name a few.

These events help raise awareness of exciting opportunities that ECU students can add to their college experience.

“Currently, we offer exchange programs in eight countries representing three geographic continents,” Sukholutskaya said.

For more information on ECU’s Global Education Program contact Sukholutskaya at 580-559-5293 or .


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