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Students study abroad for spring break in the Caribbean

Published: 04/01/2015 9:59AM
By: booner


Fort Valley State University students Zachary Shannon, (second row, blue shirt) Millicent Cosby, (third row, far left) and participating students and officials from Global Incite, pose with local residents of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic during a spring break study trip March 14.

Exploring tropical waterfalls, experiencing Caribbean culture and touring buildings built by explorer Christopher Columbus are some of the activities two Fort Valley State University students witnessed in the Dominican Republic.

From March 7-14, senior agricultural economics major Millicent Cosby and sophomore agricultural economics major Zachary Shannon, participated in the Dominican Republic Spring Break Study Trip. The trip is offered by Global Incite, an organization that sponsors student and group trips to various countries and continents such as Africa, Central and South America and Australia. Joining them on the trip were two agriculture students from Tuskegee University.

While visiting the island nation, the students toured the towns of Puerta Plata, Sasua and the capitol city Santo Domingo. During the tour, they gathered data on economic development in Santo Domingo, visited a dairy farm and took a boat ride on the Ozama River to Isla Espaniola. They used the information they gathered to complete assignments for classes at FVSU. 

Cosby said she wanted to take the trip to gain experience traveling outside of the U.S. She also said she wanted to make herself more marketable in gaining employment. “It is so competitive now, that if you’re not bilingual, or you have three or four internships, it’s hard to get a full-time job when you graduate,” Cosby said. The Fort Valley native said the trip helped to enlighten her about the culture of the island and farming techniques used by the residents.

Furthermore, Shannon said the trip inspired him to become a better student by expanding his thought process and improving his chances in landing lucrative employment. “In ag [agriculture], there are plenty of problems that people will get paid a lot of money to figure out,” Shannon said.

Both students recommend students study or travel abroad to broaden their horizons on just about everything.

Funding for the trip is provided by the Multicultural Scholars in Agricultural Economics Scholarship, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant. The grant will allow three additional agricultural economics majors to travel overseas and study in China between May 20 and June 10.

For more information about the Multicultural Scholars in Agricultural Economics scholarship, contact Dr. Erika Styles, associate professor of agricultural economics at 478-825-3134 or stylese@fvsu.edu. Dr. Mack Nelson, professor of agriculture, can also be contacted at 478-825-6719 or nelsonm@fvsu.edu.