Students Engage in Education
By Sandi George Tracy, Director of Career Services, and Katherine Richardson, Director of International Programs
Julie just returned from Paris where she completed an eight-week internship with FedEx translating documents from French to English.
Through his study-abroad program, Marcus witnessed the challenges facing China’s minorities as they attempt to maintain their cultural heritage in the context of China’s rapid economic growth.
After clearing an intensive application process including a two-hour polygraph test, Sean has secured a highly competitive internship with the FBI.
Laura spent 5 weeks in Bangalore, 4 weeks in Beijing, and 5 weeks in Auckland, combining an academic program with field work involving public agencies, city planners, elected officials, NGO’s and grassroots groups.
Education at Rhodes is engaging. In addition to the traditional education that students receive in the classroom, opportunities to expand academic understanding come in the form of study abroad, internships, research, service-learning and a host of other hands-on learning options. Through these experiential education programs, students become self-directed learners, expanding their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Students are challenged to apply classroom learning in new and meaningful ways both domestically and abroad.
The value of study abroad has been widely accepted. Nearly 60 percent of the class of 2007 completed a study-abroad experience. In the past, study abroad was largely viewed as an academic classroom experience at, for example, a university overseas, a junior year abroad at the Sorbonne or the London School of Economics. Study abroad now encompasses these traditional opportunities as well as other forms of learning overseas, including volunteer and service learning, field research and internships.
Many study-abroad programs combine one or more of these elements. A good study-abroad program prepares students for the overseas experience, exposes them to living and learning in indigenous conditions and then challenges them to incorporate what they have experienced into their education back home and into their daily lives.
At Rhodes, students may choose to participate in a study-abroad program led by one of our faculty members, a program offered through another institution or an exchange. Students may study abroad for a summer, semester or entire academic year. Rhodes operates many short-term summer programs focusing on language and cultural immersion, ecological field research and thematic topics such as the marketing of an international brand.
Rhodes also operates one semester-long program with the University of the South. Add programs offered through other institutions, and a student’s choice of program options is almost limitless. Programs are offered around the globe in all academic disciplines throughout the year. Need-based and merit scholarships are available for Rhodes programs and those operated by other institutions. To learn more about study abroad, visit us at rhodes.edu/internationaleducation.
Through the academic internship program, junior and senior students work 10 hours per week for one semester and receive credit through their respective academic departments. Opportunities are available in businesses, governmental agencies, nonprofits, medical centers, political offices and the arts.
Through the internship experience, students work closely with committed professionals to gain skills and confidence that help them back in the classroom. Sponsoring organizations include FedEx, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Make-A-Wish and more than 100 other employers. Annually, more than 150 students participate in the Rhodes Internship Program.
In addition to the educational benefits of the internship program, students are able to evaluate potential career choices and develop a network of professionals who may serve as references or mentors in future career endeavors. Employers and graduate admissions professionals agree that internships are valuable.
To learn more about the Rhodes Internship Program, visit the Career Services Web site at rhodes.edu/careerservices.