CCI provides cheaper opportunity to study abroad

Latisha Ellison

Kent State’s College of Communication and Information (CCI) students are now offered the exclusive opportunity to travel to the panda capital of the world for the Sichuan University Summer Immersion program in Chengdu, China for less than $1,000.

The program, only offered to 20 CCI students—undergraduates and graduates—in coordination with the partnership between CCI and Sichuan’s College of Literature and Journalism, will run this summer from July 1-17.

While abroad, students will be able to take classes taught by faculty from all across the world. However, they will not receive Kent State credit. Because students won’t be taking classes for Kent credit, they will not have to pay Kent State tuition, lowering the cost of the program.

“Students will only be responsible for the cost of airfare, (international) insurance and also the visa to China,” said Miao Liu, the international program advisor for The School of Communication Studies. “Sichuan University will cover their lodging and food, of course students can pay anything out of pocket if they prefer to buy any or travel anywhere else in China.”

Accepted students will also receive a $1,260 scholarship, to be used toward airfare, from CCI—specifically the dean. Each year the dean is given an operating budget. Part of that budget includes the dean’s initiatives.

“I feel so strongly about this Sichuan program, that I want to put some dean’s money behind it,” said Amy Reynolds, dean of CCI.

Reynolds said that one of her priorities at the college level is to make studying abroad more affordable for students.

“Every alum I talk with talks about the importance of a global experience to set him or her apart in getting jobs (and) in thinking about how they’re engaging the world,” Reynolds said. “It doesn’t matter what a student wants to study; if you have exposure to and a better understanding of other cultures around the world, it is going to help you.”

Students with a global communication major or minor are required to study abroad in order to graduate. The Sichuan Summer Immersion program will count for those students who still need to fulfill their study abroad requirement.

“That minor (global communication) is a really terrific minor and for people to pick that up across the college, I really think that will really distinguish our students from the competition out there when they go to look for jobs,” Reynolds said.

Sichuan University is ranked top 8 in China and the College of Literature and Journalism is ranked top 5 for its program. The summer immersion program invites students and faculty from 25 top universities in the world, so students can learn among peers from across the world.

“This is the whole point of their summer immersion program: to facilitate more exchange of dialogue of culture and research and academic understanding,” Liu said.

Stephanie Smith, an assistant professor in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication and The School of Communication Studies, will join the students on the trip and teach courses for the public relations and communication sequence.

I believe that I am a far more effective teacher if I am also an intrepid learner (and) f I’m constantly opening myself to new experiences, new students and new environments,” Smith said. “Teaching classes at Sichuan University offers me the opportunity to stretch myself and to experience an entirely new form of globalism.”

Smith explained that she couldn’t be more thrilled that this opportunity is offered for students. 

“I feel privileged to have the experience, and I am so excited for CCI students who will also have this experience,” she said.

Students can apply for the program by filling out the online application on the Office of Global Education’s website; applications are due April 10. 

For more information, contact Miao Liu, the international program advisor for the School of Communication Studies, [email protected].

Latisha Ellison is the CCI reporter for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected]