Associate Professor of Spanish Antonio Prado, along with other members of the Modern Languages Department, is working hard to recruit students to study abroad. The effort is in response to last year’s lack of enrollment and the resulting suspension of the Buenos Aires and Besanon programs.
“The hope is to get enough students,” said Prado. “We think that last year was an exception. We didn’t have enough students for Buenos Aires so we had to cancel. This year we’re doing a better job recruiting: advertising and so on.”
Of Knox’s study abroad programs in Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Besancon – the 3Bs – Prado is the on-campus director of Barcelona, which is the only one active this year. His responsibilities include communicating with the resident director in Spain and getting students interested in the Knox-run programs.
“When the program is running there is always a resident director in Barcelona and Buenos Aires, and another person on campus,” Prado said. “So we have an on-campus director and a director overseas. My role is to recruit students and to reach out the program to students and make sure the program runs next year.”
Prado recently tabled for the Spanish-speaking programs at the Study Abroad Fair, where he handed out fliers and asked students to sign up for an informational session that took place on Fall Institute Day. He also emphasized that the 3Bs are run by Knox, which separates them from other study abroad programs.
“It’s a program run by ourselves,” Prado said. “I think that it’s important that if the students go and come back they have a sense of continuity with us.”
Senior Miranda Corbett studied abroad in Buenos Aires last fall and is currently recruiting students for the 3Bs. As a Latin American Studies major, she felt that the transition from American classes to studying in a different country was easier than it might be with other programs. She also mentioned the importance of having a group of Knox students travel together.
“Even though you might not necessarily know everyone before you go, you have a group of people there who become your support system,” Corbett said. “And they’re your support system when you get back too because to go on a study abroad program on your own and come back to nobody to talk about it with can be really isolating.”
Professor of French Caesar Akuetey, who just returned after two years as an on-site director in Besanon, France, mentioned the closeness between the professors and the students engaged in study abroad programs.
“When I take students to France, I make sure I take care of them,” Akuetey said. “I’m everyone to them. I’m someone they can confide in and they can call 24/7. I don’t think other programs can boast of the same service to our students.”
The Besanon program was canceled for the 2017-2018 academic year, and so Akuetey’s role as resident director is primarily focused on getting students interested in traveling to study French abroad.
“Knox College is a small school, but the students have the opportunity to go anywhere in the world that they want to go,” Akuetey said. “Anyone who majors or minors in French has a wonderful opportunity to improve their language. Students must understand that the United States is a great country, but it is not the only country in the world.”
There were only a few students who signed up for the Fall Institute session about Besanon, but Akuetey remained determined to recruit more.
“I hope there will be a great turnout,” Akuetey said. “Hopefully we will be able to convince more people to take part in our programs, our excellent programs.”