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Students can enjoy a once in a lifetime experience abroad

Kirkwood Community College is known for its leading short-term study abroad program nationally and internationally. This year Kirkwood’s Global Learning department has announced that they are moving ahead with study abroad opportunities at this time. Specifically, the Nepal trip for the business program is moving forward as planned for this winter break.  

Along with the winter break trips Study Abroad is moving forward with 13 other programs throughout spring break and the summer break season.  

“During the pandemic and the last year and a half it was difficult not to be able to send students abroad,” Ken Nesbett the Study Abroad Advisor in the Global Learning department at Kirkwood said. “We are cautiously optimistic that we are going to be able to run study abroad programs in Nepal and Belize.”

The study abroad program is just a small part of the programs that Kirkwood’s Global Learning department oversees. The department also oversees all international students, English language learners and other cultural experiences here on Kirkwood.  

Nesbett, said that the global learning department tries to make sure that every student at Kirkwood gets a global experience while at Kirkwood.  

“We think that global learning is essential to your Kirkwood experience. Our vision is that every Kirkwood student, faculty and staff can have an international experience and that can be a virtual exchange, KACE or Kirkwood academic cultural experience or a study abroad experience,” Nesbett said.  

On average Kirkwood sends about 120 to 160 students abroad every year ranking Kirkwood among the top 5 associate colleges for international education.  

However, after a year and a half of turbulent world conditions and a global pandemic the Global Learning department has been struggling to get global experiences for students. With study abroad and international students on hold they want a method they had been using for almost 10 years already.  

They adapted their virtual global meeting program. Expanding it to more classrooms and holding more of them than ever before during the pandemic. It can range from a group project between classes and different colleges around the world or it could be as simple as a class discussion.  

Those interested in a Study Abroad opportunity are in luck because Nesbett said that the staff is more than comfortable with helping students through the process.  

“I’ve helped over 1,000 students go overseas and most of those students are not wealthy, most of them have challenges financially and we are very capable of helping students with any challenges or questions they have about going abroad,” said Nesbett.

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