International Education Here and There

The world has become a highly complex and interdependent global village. In response, Berea College prepares students to take an active role in global society by undertaking a variety of initiatives to help its students—tomorrow’s leaders—strengthen their international awareness. College resources support the Francis and Louise Hutchins Center for International Education (CIE), the campus focal point for international education. The CIE fosters understanding of, and respect for, all peoples of the earth. Many of the eight Great Commitments of Berea College are achieved through international education—an integral part of a strong liberal-arts curriculum.

Devoted to steadily increasing international-education opportunities, the College provides a variety of international perspectives, both on campus and abroad, by encouraging international perspectives in course work and curriculum across the disciplines; hosting students, faculty, and guest lecturers from around the world; organizing a variety of programs that bring artists, musicians, and speakers from other countries to campus; and encouraging all students to participate in academically rigorous, cross-cultural, education-abroad programs. This panorama of international-education opportunities brings to life the College’s scriptural foundation, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”

International Student and Scholar Services

Students from over 70 other nations add a vital multi-cultural dimension to the campus. The International Student and Scholar Advisor provides comprehensive support services for international students and scholars. In addition, various international clubs and organizations, which encourage membership from all interested students, sponsor many social and cultural events open to all students.

International Campus Programming

Each year, the CIE selects an area of the globe as a special focus for the entire Berea College campus. The Director of International Education programs special campus-wide events related to the area of focus, including arranging for interdisciplinary special lectures and forums; planning cultural events (such as dance and music performances); hosting Fulbright scholars; and holding religious ceremonies. Faculty are invited to host visiting scholars in appropriate classes as guest lecturers.  The international focus has been on Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and East Asia.  Each year in the spring, the International Focus is announced for the upcoming academic year.  By learning about “all peoples of the earth,” the CIE believes that the Berea learning experience can be deepened and strengthened.  Additionally, a popular noon-time program for students, "TGIF- Think Globally, It's Friday" features international students and students who have returned from studying abroad, sharing about a specific country, while students enjoy a "home cooked" meal based on recipes from the same country.

Faculty and Curriculum Development toward Internationalization

The Director of International Education CIE encourages and facilitates faculty to develop their scholarship and teaching in international ways. On campus, the Director of International Education coordinates with academic departments and interdisciplinary programs to bring the year’s international focus into the curriculum and promotes faculty/staff development concerning that area of the world. The Director also encourages faculty to teach or conduct research abroad, publicizes faculty development opportunities abroad, and assists faculty in developing Berea International Summer Term courses.

Education Abroad

Berea College encourages as many students as possible to study abroad to enrich their academic program by broadening their knowledge of the world, strengthening their intercultural understanding, and preparing them to make a contribution as citizens of the interdependent global community. The Education Abroad Advisor assists students in the selection of programs and all facets of education abroad. Students can choose to spend a Summer, Fall or Spring term, or a Winter break in an academic program abroad. All qualified students receive generous financial support for their first study abroad experience.  Berea College students have also been very successful receiving the nationally competitive Gilman Scholarship, making Berea College one of the top five "Gilman sending" institutions in the USA in recent years.  See “Education Abroad Policies” in the Student Handbook for more information.