Pictured L-R with Dr. Alison Jackson-Wood, center: Shelby Riddell, Jonathan Balmer, Felipe Lima and Leticia Cedro.

Georgetown College’s Education majors now have the opportunity to spend a semester studying in Brazil with the majority of their expenses covered by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This study abroad program, entitled, “Diversity: Meeting the Cultural Demands of Education in the 21st Century,” is offered in collaboration with Ashland University and Brigham Young University.

Two rising GC juniors will be the first to go to Brazil to study. They are Jonathan Balmer, a History & English major (certifying in Education) from Mason, OH, and Shelby Riddell, an Art Education major from Georgetown, KY. Both took a number of classes in Portuguese this past semester. They will leave July 23 and return December 15, 2012. Two Brazilian students have just completed a semester at Georgetown. They are Leticia Cedro, who taught Portuguese here while taking classes herself, and Felipe Lima, who helped plan a number of international events.

Project director Alison Jackson-Wood said, “I’m very excited that education majors at Georgetown College now have a study-abroad program designed to immerse them in every aspect of living cross-culturally as they study with Brazilian students.”

Dr. Jackson-Wood, an assistant professor of education at Georgetown College, added, “One major benefit to students is that the grant pays for the bulk of the students’ expenses, including airfare, living accommodations, language study and materials. This is a unique opportunity for education students attending Georgetown College.” Dr. Andrea Peach, an associate professor of education at Georgetown College, will provide support for the project as a technological consultant.

The consortium between the U.S. and Brazilian institutions will provide opportunities for student exchange in upcoming years. The two Brazilian partner institutions are Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC), located in Florianoplis, and Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janerio (UFRRJ), located outside of Rio de Janerio. One goal of the project is to prepare globally aware and cross-culturally responsive educators. It is underway now and will end July 31, 2014.