The program will be run by the college and based in St. John, Antigua’s capital. Cullenen said the college had hoped to offer the study abroad opportunity this semester but could not get the program together in time. She said the college hopes to announce the Antigua option later this semester and have the first semester in Antigua be Spring 2008.
The college first got involved with Antigua in 2004 when Janice Levy, associate professor of cinema, photography and media arts, started taking students to the Caribbean island for mini-courses. Levy has taught two photojournalism mini-courses in Antigua. Specialized mini-courses previously held in Antigua include sound gathering, journalism, screen writing, sports management and classes in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, Levy said. Though the number of trips to Antigua varies each year, she said students seem consistently interested.
“Having a full semester will only enhance the opportunities for our students to learn about the beautiful Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda and its people,” Levy said in an e-mail.
Cullenen said these short-term programs, which range from 10 days to two weeks, helped pave the way for a more permanent Ithaca College presence on the island.
She said the college has some logistics worked out, such as student housing in a local apartment complex, but is still working out several details, like hiring professors.
“All of the professors are going to be certainly people who have lived there for a very long time, even if they’re not native to the area,” Cullenen said. “But the idea’s certainly to have native Antiguans teaching the courses.”
While in Antigua, students would take classes selected from a limited offering and have the option of doing an internship, Cullenen said. The college is still working to finalize plans, and Cullenen said they hope to have internship opportunities in business, social services, communications and health industries.
“We hope to be able to place students in all sorts of fields, but we’re still trying to figure out which organizations are going to be able to accept students,” she said.
Cullenen said Antigua does not have a four year university. The island only has a medical school and a community college in St. John. The classes offered through the study abroad program will also be open to Antigua residents, Cullenen said.
“We’re hoping that students and other people from various walks of life in Antigua will be interested in taking the classes so that students will be not just sitting with students in the program, but with other Antiguans as well,” Cullenen said.
Senior Jeff Hellman spent two weeks in Antigua in the summer of 2004 making an audio documentary as part of a course taught by Meg Jamieson, assistant professor of cinema, photography and media arts. Hellman said he went into the experience with an open mind and got drawn in by the Antiguan culture.
“The people who go abroad … are going to have a blast,” Hellman said. “They’re going to be invigorated by living in a different culture and they’re going to want to work hard. … I’m sure they’ll have an incredible experience.”