Embarking With Aloha
By Britni Schock, News Writer
Rose Navalta, Graphic Designer
The University of Hawaii at Hilo offers a variety of programs for students. The Center for Global Education and Exchange is a program that offers students a chance to study one or two semesters abroad. The program is run by the Director of Global Exchange Todd Shumway, Program Coordinator for Global Education Pele Thomas and student staff. In a recent interview Shumway shared a description of the program and why he thinks it is so beneficial for students.
The Center for Global Education and Exchange offers students an enlightening and eye opening experience in a new country. Shumway said, “It will definitely change the direction you take in your life. It adds options.” The friendly staff at CGEE are there to help prospective students and get them prepared for an exchange. Shumway adds, “This is the cheapest way you’ll ever get to travel like this and get that kind of experience.” It’s a chance for students to be immersed in a different culture while earning college credits.
The CGEE staff want to make it as easy as possible for students to have the opportunity to study abroad. They help students plan their trip and get prepared for their exchange. With the chance to go study all over the world, why is there such a small percentage of UH Hilo students going abroad? Perhaps they don’t know what to expect or how to start the process? Shumway said, “You’re going into a situation where you’re walking right into a community of like-minded people in a similar situation. You’re not isolated you’re walking into a college campus where you have housing, peers and coursework. Its an amazing opportunity more people should take advantage of.” There are options to exchange with schools in more than 25 different countries. The length can vary from a one month summer exchange to a semester or a year. UH Hilo students can spend a total of two years abroad in one or more of the destinations.
Another popular exchange called Semester at Sea involves more travelling. Your home is the sea and your classes are on board a full size cruise ship as you sail the globe and port in over 10 countries. Pele Thomas added, “Students can also study abroad through our direct exchange program, which includes about 50 universities, and pay UH Hilo tuition.” There is an option for everyone and the CGEE staff are a great support system to have behind you on your journey to study abroad.
With their passion, knowledge and organization, the Center for Global Exchange is creating a more diverse campus at UH Hilo through their various programs. Whether it’s a new culture, language or perspective that you’re looking for, studying abroad will allow you to experience that and more. Shumway says, “Showing students that there are people from all these different countries who think a lot different and opening them up to this is the real value behind what we do here.” CGEE hopes that the percentage of exchange students will increase as more awareness about the program and its benefits are promoted at UH Hilo.