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New program will help local CCU students to study abroad

October 19, 2009

Local students attending Coastal Carolina University will have more opportunities to study abroad thanks to a new grant from the Horry County Higher Education Commission.

The $20,000 annual grant, called the Horry County Higher Education Commission International Awareness Scholarships, will become available to students in the spring 2010 semester. The awards will be given in increments of $1,000 to $2,000 to qualified new freshmen and transfer students.

To be eligible, students must have graduated from an Horry County secondary school and must be enrolled full-time at Coastal Carolina University. The award money will go toward one of 14 short-term study abroad programs sponsored by the University.

The program was initiated to increase the number of Horry County students who participate in foreign travel study.

Local students have been underrepresented as a percentage of Coastal Carolina University students who have study-abroad experiences, according to Darla Domke-Damonte, assistant dean and director of global initiatives in CCUs E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

For the past two years, although Horry County students composed 25.2 percent of the total undergraduate student population at the University, they represented only 14.8 percent of CCU students who participated in study-abroad programs.

Studying abroad changed my view of the world and enhanced my appreciation of my own country, says Domke-Damonte. Without the support of the local community in my hometown in Minnesota, I couldnt have afforded to participate. Through this initiative sponsored by the Horry County Higher Education Commission, many local students will have this eye-opening opportunity.

The deadline for continuing CCU students to apply for Spring 2010 programs is Nov. 6. The deadline to apply for 2010-2011 study-abroad programs is March 1, 2010.