Studying Abroad Offers Lifelong Lessons

Mark Brinkley
Mark Brinkley
Mark Brinkley

By Ada Taylor
Meter Staff Writer

If you dream about traveling the world or spending time living in another culture, Tennessee State University can help you get started through the school’s Study Abroad program.

Tennessee State’s Study Abroad program is decades old, but it is becoming increasingly beneficial with each passing year. Due to advances in technology that allow communication with people all over the world, the economy has become more global.

This means an understanding of different cultures is essential for the successful business person. That is exactly what a study abroad experience will help you do, according to Mark Brinkley, who directs the program. “This experience allows a student to be comfortable and competent with cultural diversity, as well as practice in being a good team member and leader of diverse, high-performing teams,” which is absolutely necessary in today’s day and age, he said.

However, the ability to handle a rapidly changing economy is not the only thing you will get out of the study abroad experience. Student Mazi Byrd, who spent several weeks in Colombia, said he learned many things there, but the most important thing was to appreciate what he has.

“As an American, we are born with opportunities that others just don’t have. We take for granted what they work their entire lives to get.” Like Mazi, others have been inspired by what they have seen overseas. Whether it was the work ethic of the people, the art, the fashion or the place itself, immersion in another culture changes a person’s perception of  the world. That experience is invaluable, he said.

TSU offers two different programs. TNCIS runs 10 days to 6 weeks during the summer, and ISEP, which is a minimum of one semester. Students can also apply for a grant that covers half the cost. To learn more, contact Brinkley in the Office of Diversity & International Affairs at mbrinkley1@tnstate.edu

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