Over 500 Excelsior College students benefit from overseas opportunities
More than 500 Excelsior Community College (ECC) students are working and studying abroad under the college’s International Student Mobility Programme (ISMP).
The ISMP is for full-time ECC students and recent graduates who are working in their area of specialisation. Its present formalised iteration started in 2014 when the numerous opportunities for students to work, study and travel abroad were recognised by the ECC.
According to Duane Daley, director of International Partnership and Cultural Exchange, previously, students were involved in summertime work and travel on a much smaller scale. Now, the ISMP has five sub-programmes.
The programme places students from tourism, hospitality and business programmes in internship positions in the United States.
There are currently eight scholarship recipients at Old Edwards Inn and Spa in North Carolina. They are Yolanda Anderson, Simone Lewis, Tajaee Jackson, Chinel Hanson, Immara Williams, Sashanie Christie, Domenique Nelson and Takiea Lattibeaudiere.
Speaking specifically about Lattibeaudiere’s accomplishments, Daley said she was the first international internship Yummy Jobs scholarship recipient. While at ECC, she received the ELAP scholarship to Canada where she completed her final semester as an exchange student in international business studies at Niagara College in Ontario, and now has a BSc degree in Tourism, Hospitality and Entertainment Management with a major in Hospitality Management.
Daley says that he and Assistant Director Marsha Gowie-Phillips keep in touch with the students. Additionally, the team takes annual visits to see various groups of the students face-to-face, give moral support and address any problems, though COVID-19 restrictions halted those trips for two years.
The International Student and Staff Mobility Programme is one of the strategic initiatives aligned with ECC’s goal to internationalise the college community and seek opportunities for staff and students.
A total of 75 students are currently in this programme.
The Emerging Leaders of the Americas Programme (ELAP) sees ECC students taking courses at partner institutions in Canada. The ECC has a memorandum of understanding with Niagara College and Nova Scotia College.
The ELAP scholarship has been awarded to four students for the 2023 academic year – they are Shamoy Hyman, Ammoi Reid, Maurice Fowler and Tiffany Turner.
The four-month summer work and travel programme is the most sought after. This programme places students in seasonal jobs.
Currently, there are 438 students benefiting from this programme.
The fourth programme is the J1 Trainee programme which caters for students who graduated up to four or five years ago (they must be around mid-30s at the time of application). The programme is for maximum of 18 months. Currently, there are four trainees on the programme.
The Study Abroad programme, which Daley says students can study and earn and improve their skill sets. Some of the returning students have started their own businesses or began a master’s degree programme.
So enthusiastic about the ISMP programme is Daley, that he “can’t wait” until his daughter starts attending the ECC and gets an opportunity to take part in it. “She’s 15 now but I’ve been saying that since she was 12,” he said.