NSU Student To Study in South Africa
(NSU NEWSROOM--May 31, 2014)--A Norfolk State University junior will be one of the growing number of Spartans who will use their break from classes at the University to study abroad as part of a service-learning project.
Teshira Faison, a 22-year-old junior social work major from Virginia Beach, will spend a part of her summer break in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in late June.
Faison was selected to be a part of the Nelson Mandela Community Service Learning Program at the University and will spend nearly a month in the country studying international affairs. She will also participate in projects with peers from the University and volunteer in programs that help children in the area.
“I’ve always wanted to go abroad,” Faison said. “It will be exciting to learn about another culture and meet students who attend the University there.”
Faison is one of several Norfolk State students who have traveled abroad through the University’s International Studies and Service-Learning program. Since 2012, 84 students have been a part of service-learning trips and have gone to countries such as England, Japan, Spain, Ghana, South Africa, Costa Rica, Israel, China and others. Most recently, a pair of students traveled to Liberia for a service-learning trip where they worked with school-age children, university students and met with political leaders in the country.
Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond, who directs the University’s Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Program, said she believes students gain a valuable experience by traveling overseas.
“Our program is important because it broadens our students’ global perspective,” Ross-Hammond said. “It is important for them to be culturally competent when they go out into the business world and begin their careers.”
As part of the Faison’s service-learning project, she is required to record her experiences in a daily journal and document her activities, volunteer work and location. When she returns in late July, Faison will present her experiences to the NSU faculty.
Faison said after she graduates, she would like to become a mental health counselor. She currently works at a local social services agency and helps to chart and keep track of clients.
Faison looks forward to her international experience and wants to embrace and experience some of the country’s culture, traditions and customs. She plans to take a lot of photographs.
“This will be the farthest that I have been from home on my own,” Faison said. “I want to be out of my element and learn about their culture. I know this will help me grow as a person and I’m excited about the experience.”