Thao Tran

The international studies department will launch a new program of study in South Africa and Ghana.

The South Africa and Ghana programs, designed to give students a new outlook and perspective for developing countries, will be available in 2006.

Students interested in studying in Ghana will attend the University of Ghana in Legon and students interested in the South Africa program will study at the University of ZwaZulu-Natal in Durban or the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth.

“We want students to have knowledge of the world, knowledge of other languages and cultures,” Director of International Studies Program John Battenburg said. “Africa is the place where we need to be.”

The director of the Office of International Programs from the chancellor’s office in Long Beach said students going to Ghana will be living in dormitories with other international students. The dormitories will be within walking distance from classes and several miles from Accra, the capital city.

The Ghana program also includes enrollment in classes to learn the country’s local language, Twi.

Students enrolled in the South Africa program will take Zulu language classes.

Students will be housed on-campus or off-campus accommodations will be offered in the South Africa program.

Students interested in enrolling in either program can expect different surroundings and experiences.

Simple tasks such as doing laundry, arranging transportation, contacting people like friends and family in the United States and arranging packages or parcels to send in and out will be performed differently than they are at Cal Poly or other universities.

“Certainly one cannot expect the same amenities that one will have here, at Cal Poly or any other institutions,” Battenburg said. “The tasks are sometimes draining, but at the same time can give you a lot of insight.”

Approximately 600 students in the California State University (CSU) system participate in the program each year, extending knowledge and gaining experiences in different countries such as Japan, Italy and Western Europe.

The CSU system has been involved in international studies programs for about 50 years in 19 different countries and at over 50 institutions.

Approximate 90 students from Cal Poly participate annually in the international studies program.

Most of the study abroad programs offer studies in Western Europe, but the program is now trying to extend learning opportunities in developing nations.

“We did have a program in Zimbabwe but it was suspended for political and economical reasons,” Battenburg said. “We had one in Isreal, but that one is suspended also.”

Applications to study in Ghana are due Feb. 1, 2006 and May 1, 2006 for the South Africa applications.

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