Davidson County Community College (DCCC) emphasizes international education and embraces opportunities to host international students and scholars on campus. Through several targeted international programs, DCCC has welcomed 10 students and scholars from Germany, Iraq, Ireland, Russia, and Tunisia for the 2016–2017 academic year.
DCCC is hosting two Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs). The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to provide opportunities for students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists to study, teach, conduct research, and work toward solutions for international concerns. Nearly 4,000 educators from 50 countries will travel to the U.S. this academic year to participate in the Fulbright program. Fulbright Scholar Jasim Janabi from Iraq is teaching Arabic classes for Continuing Education, as well as curriculum courses in the fall, and will be an assistant in an Arab Culture class in the spring. Additionally this fall, Fulbright Scholar Jason Finnerty from Ireland is teaching three Irish (Gaelic) language Continuing Education classes and is a teaching assistant in an Irish Cultural Studies class. He will also teach Continuing Education classes in the spring. Along with teaching duties, Jasim and Jason will both take DCCC courses that support their various interests.
“This opportunity allows me to share my culture and for students to meet someone from a different part of the world,” says Jason Finnerty. “I hope the experience helps build a bridge and encourages students to explore the world.”
In addition to the Fulbright educators, the College welcomed eight international students participating in three unique intercultural programs. Lukas Hensen from Germany is in the U.S. through the CBYX program, a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Congress that annually provides 75 American and 75 German young professionals the opportunity to spend one year in each other’s country, studying and interning.
Ekaterina Belikova, Mariia Bargueva, and Nikita Bobyshev are participating in the Year of Exchange in America for Russians (YEAR) program which allows 89 undergraduate Russian students to study in the U.S. for one year and to engage with local communities, educate Americans about Russia’s history and culture, gain a new understanding of American society, and to improve their English skills.
“I want to improve my English, make friends, and teach people about my country and let them know international education is great. Traveling abroad will open your mind,” says Mariia Bargueva.
Ghassen Amri, Ghofrane Mannai, Meryam Bouaouina, and Ines Haouala are in the U.S. through the Tunisia Community College Scholarship Program (TCCSP), part of the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program. The TCCSP improves the Tunisian workforce and economic development in Tunisia by allowing a diverse group of technical institute students to spend one year in the U.S. in order to bring back practical experience from U.S.-based training, leadership positions, and engaging in local U.S. communities.
DCCC Director of International Education Suzanne LaVenture believes that hosting international teachers and students is extremely beneficial for the entire campus.
“This year we are hosting more internationals than ever before,” says LaVenture. “These students and scholars are a great asset to our domestic students, faculty, and staff. They bring the world to DCCC, sharing a global perspective which will help our community better understand different cultures and assist our students in being more competitive in the global economy.”
Photo: Left to right: Lukas Hensen, Jason Finnerty, Ines Haouala, Ghassen Amri, Meryam Bouaouina, Ekaterina (Katya) Belikova, Mariia Bargueva, Jasim Janab