Armstrong Offers Students the World

Armstrong truly offers students the world, thanks to the university's successful Study Abroad program.

This summer, Armstrong students will have the opportunity to travel to 12 different locations around the world. Students can study art in Argentina, politics in the Czech Republic, chemistry in Germany, or health care in Italy. Study abroad offers an ideal opportunity to learn about other cultures and to connect with the global marketplace.

“Study abroad programs offer so much more than just learning about the academic subjects students are studying while in the other country,” said James Anderson, Armstrong's director of international education. “One of the primary goals of study abroad programs is for students and faculty to become more aware of the world and to understand that various cultures can differ greatly from how we do things here.”

Best of all, Armstrong students have more choices than ever. New study abroad options include an anthropology trip to China, a service trip to Costa Rica, and a tour of Civil Rights sites throughout the Southeast.

“We're expanding our programs to give students a variety of options in many different parts of the world ranging from Central and South America to Western and Central Europe to even to Asia and Australia,” said Anderson. “Armstrong is committed to providing our students opportunities to learn about the world we all live in.”

The university's first anthropology trip to China, which takes place May 13-29, is offered in conjunction with Jiujiang University, an educational institution with a special connection to Armstrong. In 2011, Armstrong President Linda Bleicken and other school officials formalized an agreement with Jiujiang University to develop collaborative relationships involving students and faculty at both institutions. The program culminated with an ongoing exchange program to send Savannah students to China for study, and Chinese students to Armstrong for study.

One of the highlights of Armstrong's summer study abroad program in China will be the opportunity to spend several days on historic Lushon Mountain where Pearl Buck lived and where she wrote The Good Earth. Students will also visit cultural centers including Shanghai, Wuyuan, and Jingdezheng.

The Costa Rica summer program, offered May 8-18, is centered around a variety of service projects benefitting local residents. In addition to working on service projects, students will also have the opportunity to explore the rainforest, visit a biological reserve, and take a chocolate tour.

“Service trips allow our students to work side-by-side with that country's students and their families,” said Anderson. “Armstrong has been working to help our students, faculty, and staff members develop a higher a commitment to service abroad.”

Associate professor of political science José de Arimatéia da Cruz will lead a trip to the Czech Republic in July.

“You can read about politics in a textbook, but unless you see how it actually works, it's an abstraction,” he explained. “On our study abroad program, students really get a chance to see what they're learning about be put into practice in a foreign country. They meet with ambassadors, politicians, and prosecutors. It's an amazing opportunity.”

The Civil Rights Movement experience, offered in May, is the university's only study abroad program focusing on the United States. Students travel the Deep South on an unforgettable journey through Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, touring historic sites connected with the Civil Rights Movement. From the Albany Movement and the Montgomery bus boycott to the Emmett Till case and the Selma-to-Montgomery March, students gain insight into how ordinary people did extraordinary things and, in doing so, recognized their own power to create social change.

“This trip, in many respects, will bring history to life for students,” said sociology instructor Mary Barr. “I'm a big proponent of civic engagement, anything that gets students off campus and into the community. This trip will be an extreme version of that. We're going to visit the sites where people protested, marched, and demonstrated--demanding equal education and the right to vote. We'll also meet with and talk to participants.”

Regardless of which study abroad opportunity students choose, they will enjoy a well-organized program offering a high level of support. Travel arrangements, excursions, housing, and meals are included in the program cost. Most of Armstrong's study abroad programs offer college credit as well.

“Reading about a particular country can never replace getting to actually visit the place you have been reading about,” said Anderson. “To get to experience the people, sights, sounds, smells, foods, music, and art of another country is to truly get to know the culture. From the moment our students step off of the plane, their so-called blinders are immediately opening to allow them have this new experience.”

Armstrong will host a special Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 10:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. in Student Union Ballrooms B and C. The Study Abroad Fair will offer the opportunity to learn more about each of the programs the university offers and to speak with professors and students about various travel opportunities. For more information, call 912.344.3128 or email