Global Engagement

Global Engagement

Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences' alumni, students, faculty, and staff members participate in enriching academic and professional opportuinities abroad. These programs and experiences help to provide and support the enhancement of a global perspective among our students, faculty, staff and, the community, resulting in sustainable partnerships and a safe and supportive environment for learners and leaders from all parts of the world. Following are a few highlights from their experiences, as well as information on upcoming global engagement opportunities.

Teaching Abroad  |  Study Abroad 



Teaching Abroad

Andrew Zwick

Andrew Zwick earned a Master of Arts in Teaching ('12) and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science ('07) degree from Coastal Carolina University (CCU). Today, he teaches high school-age students in Geography, History, and Global Perspectives in San Jose, Costa Rica.

After earning my bachelor’s degree, I landed in Seoul, South Korea, and though I never planned on being a teacher, I instantly fell in love with the city and the profession. After two years there, I returned to the states, and Dr. Pam Martin guided me to the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program. This was a wonderful experience. I highly recommend the M.A.T. program for any teacher that wants to not only improve themselves, but open up their career possibilities. It is because of the M.A.T. program that I would go on to teach in South Carolina, Kazakhstan, Egypt, and now in Costa Rica.

CCU has made me the man I am today. My time as an undergraduate made me hungry to learn and eager explore our planet, whilst the M.A.T. program gave me the skills to excel in teaching, which allows me to do both of those. I literally would not be where I am today without them, including meeting my wife, Louise (a primary school teacher from England), whilst teaching abroad. I will be forever grateful to CCU and my wonderful professors for giving me the knowledge and ability to get out into the world.

Dr. Gillian Richards-Greaves in Anambra State, Nigeria

Gillian Richards-Greaves, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Geography, was awarded a Fulbright IIE (Institute of International Education) grant. The grant supported six months of teaching at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) in Anambra State, Nigeria, beginning in October 2022. As a scholar of the African diaspora, Richards-Greaves taught interactive, experiential learning courses that investigated the complexities of ethnicity and race in Africa and its diasporas. Richards-Greaves’ service as a Fulbright scholar included assisting NAU with curriculum and program development, focusing on the diversification of course offerings, the use of innovative technology in the classroom, virtual instruction, and distance learning. She also had the opportunity to attend cultural events, including meeting celebrities including Joke Silva (pictured at right). Learn more about her grant award.

Study Abroad Experiences

Summer School in the Country of Georgia

In May 2022, eight CCU students participated in Security Perspectives in the Eurasian Region, a weeklong summer school program organized by CCU and Ilia State University in the country of Georgia. The program was sponsored by a Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia grant obtained by the two institutions. It also received support from a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant awarded to CCU. Read more about their experience.

International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway

Nine Coastal Carolina University students explored global and cultural issues at the 2023 International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), Norway, Feb. 9-19. Held biennially in Trondheim since 1990, ISFiT is the world’s largest international student festival. The event was sponsored by the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences and the Department of Political Science, as well as a grant from the United States Department of State. Watch the video about their experience here.

This marks the 10th year that CCU participated in the festival, which brings together students from all over the world to discuss and debate global issues. This year’s theme, “Polarization: Dare to Meet Yourself in Someone Else,” allowed students to consider their roles as agents of change in a world that is increasingly polarized by many factors such as nationality, race, ethnicity, and gender.

Workshops were a key aspect of the experience. Students were segmented into smaller groups to discuss the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of migration.

The CCU students who participated are: Lauren Willett from Ocean City, N.J.; Connor Mojo from Conway, S.C.; Lillian Stone from Warrenton, Va.; Ashley Darpel from Cincinnati, Ohio; Nico DiAlesandro from Waynesburg, Pa.; Cierra Allen from Murrells Inlet, S.C.; Ryan Freyland from Stuttgart, Germany; Polina Ampirska from Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Amanda  Lane from Richmond, Va. The students are mainly political science and intelligence and  security studies majors, with minors in anthropology, Spanish, statistics, history, African  diaspora studies, and Middle Eastern studies.

The students were accompanied by Richard Aidoo, Ph.D., professor of political science, and Mariam Dekanozishvili, Ph.D., associate professor of political science.

“The International Student Festival provides students with enriching and exciting experiences in global diplomacy at the highest level in a very complex yet interconnected world,” said Aidoo. “As we prepare our students to help resolve tough real-world challenges, we harness rare global opportunities like the International Student Festival in Trondheim to give them the best tools of diplomacy to ensure success in their future endeavors.”