"I’m going to be going to China for a Maymester. We’re going to be hearing lectures from Chinese professors, visiting American professors, and Vanderbilt alumni alumni that are in China right now, we’ll be learning about globalization."
–Andrew Bromberg ’12, Peabody College
Vanderbilt’s Global Education Office is the first stop for students ready to explore the world, learn a new language, and immerse themselves in another culture. Partnerships with universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas have created 80 programs of study and research in 26 countries. Some students take it a step further through the Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement (VISAGE), tackling problems that affect nature and humankind alike.
“There was a suspicion growing inside of me, that only intensified when I first saw Mannenberg (South Africa), that I simply was not going to be able to make an impact. I was, after all, just some random American who happened to take a course that neatly summarized an entire country in one semester,” reflects arts and science sophomore Will Johnson.
“But that suspicion melted away after my first day with Michelle, my learner in the computer program. For those three hours I basically taught her computers from the ground up, and I was shocked by how much concrete progress we were making. It was obvious we Vanderbilt students were making a legitimate difference in these women’s lives.”
“Upon return to campus, our students are equipped not only with a strong academic foundation but one of global experience.”
~ Shelley McFarlan, Site Director for VISAGE Melbourne
The effects of public-private water ventures on sustainability in Australia, the potential of South African youth for social change, human nature in Nicaragua’s recent past, the students in the VISAGE program have undertaken these and other vastly different topics through research and service learning during a semester of study at Vanderbilt followed by a summer trip abroad.
VISAGE is one of Vanderbilt’s many service opportunities at home and around the world. Alternative Spring Break (ASB) began at Vanderbilt in 1987 and is currently the largest completely student-run organization on campus. ASB can now be found at college campuses across the U.S. sending volunteers around the country and the world throughout the year. Four Vanderbilt seniors formed the non-profit Manna Project International in the summer of 2003. Every year since, Manna volunteers have initiated new programs that reach out to communities in the U.S., Nicaragua, and Ecuador.