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Spelman College and CIEE Launch a New Study Abroad Program on Intercultural Engagement Share a Spelman College Press Release

For Immediate Release

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Audrey Arthur
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ATLANTA (Feb. 7, 2014) – In a two-week world wind tour, Spelman College students will travel to three corners of the earth. In May, the 100 students will journey to either South America, Europe, or Africa as participants in a new study abroad program recently launched by Spelman College and the Council on International Educational Exchange. The intercultural engagement program, the first of its kind between the two organizations, will offer Spelman students a concentrated, intensive learning experience steeped in the social, economic, political and cultural values of the host countries. The Memorandum of Understanding for the new initiative was celebrated during a ceremony hosted by the College on Feb. 4, 2014. Spelman has had a long-term relationship with CIEE as its official School of Record.

“We look forward to partnering with CIEE on this global education experience that will give Spelman students a unique opportunity to have a meaningful international experience in the company of faculty who can help them understand the intercultural context of the countries they visit,” said Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. “The program is in keeping with the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan that emphasizes the importance of thinking globally as well as the development of cultural competencies gained through international study-travel.”

The Spelman College Strategic Plan incorporates a Going Global! initiative aimed at ensuring every student has an international travel experience before graduation. Since the initiative’s implementation in 2009, the College has increased the number of students with global travel experiences from a yearly average of 75-100 to 279 students in 2012/2013.                                                       

Students will visit either Lima, Peru; Legon, Ghana; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; or Lisbon, Portugal from May 11-25, 2014. While abroad, they will take a course on Intercultural Engagement ― a customized curriculum (to be taught by CIEE staff) aimed at enhancing students’ intercultural competence and development of leadership skills. Embedded with clear learning outcomes and immersion into each host country’s culture through field trips, CIEE expects this partnership to serve as a model for other academic institutions. Eight Spelman faculty members will serve as co-directors and accompany students overseas. Upon completion of academic requirements, students will earn three course credits.

A joint financial aid award from Spelman and CIEE will provide each student with a scholarship that will cover either 75 percent or 50 percent of program expenses.

“With significantly more women assuming positions of leadership in industry, technology, healthcare and government, President Tatum’s vision to expand global learning opportunities for Spelman’s future alumnae is inspiring,” said James Pellow, Ed.D., CIEE president and CEO. “Graduates with intercultural skills and competencies obtained through study abroad experiences are better prepared to lead in our ever-changing and interconnected world. CIEE is proud to collaborate with Spelman’s academic and global programs’ leaders to help realize Dr. Tatum’s vision.”
“The goal is to revolutionize study abroad at Spelman by broadening the diversity of study abroad participants to include first-year students and students across a broad range of majors to be equipped with a firm knowledge of the similarities and differences between two world societies ― in this case their visited country and the U.S. ― with the help of reflective journaling and cross-fertilization of ideas,” said Dimeji Togunde, Ph.D., associate provost for global education and professor of international studies. “With a global perspective in hand, our students are better prepared to navigate diverse global cultural landscapes, function effectively, and be successful as positive change agents in a rapidly changing global society.”

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Broadway Producer Alia Jones, Former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard University Professor Evelynn Hammonds, Author Pearl Cleage and Actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit


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