Davidson County Community College Embraces Global Perspectives

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

Davidson County Community College

THOMASVILLE — Davidson County Community College emphasizes international education and embraces opportunities to host international students and scholars on campus.

Through several targeted international programs, the college is hosting six students and scholars from Ireland, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria and Germany.

Each visiting international student and scholar brings his own perspective and experiences, which helps to expose DCCC students to different cultures and ideas. Students gain cultural awareness and a competitive advantage among their peers.

This year’s student scholars include Leonard Kimmel of Germany; Achraf Hajjej of Tunisia; Hamza Messaoud of Tunisia; and Great Lawrence of Nigeria. DCCC is also hosting two Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants,Jamie McGarrigle, Irish Language FLTA from Letterkenny, Ireland, and Abdelkarim Amzil, Arabic Language FLTA from Tiznit, Morocco.

Both scholars will teach language courses at the college in the spring semester. Courses are offered through continuing education and open to the public.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to provide opportunities for students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists to study, teach, conduct research and work toward solutions of international concerns. Nearly 4,000 educators from 50 countries will travel to the U.S. this academic year to participate in the Fulbright program.

DCCC has hosted Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants for the past six years. The college is one of the few community colleges in the U.S. that hosts the FLTA program. Around 400 FLTAs come to the U.S. from dozens of countries from around the world each year and serve as teachers and teacher assistants, mainly at universities. According to Suzanne LaVenture, DCCC’s director of international education, the college has also hosted Fulbright Scholars-in-Residence from China and Macedonia.

Amzil, who will be teaching an Arabic language course, said one of his main objectives for coming to DCCC is to exchange cultural experiences within and outside the classroom and to bridge the gap between different cultures.

“The biggest lesson I have learned so far is that there is always something new to learn. No one today is the same tomorrow,” said Amzil. “Language is a work that is always in progress.”

For many of the students, it is their first time away from their home countries. Hajjej of Tunisia said he finds that very few people have heard of his home country of Tunisia in northern Africa. His experience at DCCC has challenged his own stereotypes.

“I watched a lot of movies and I expected a little bit of discrimination, but I didn’t find that,” said Hajjej. “I hope others will learn from me and want to find out what the world looks like, so they can experience different points of view.”

DCCC plans to continue the tradition of hosting international students.

“We are committed to providing the best possible education through many unique opportunities that not all community colleges offer,” said LaVenture.

Arabic language classes will be offered from noon to 12:45 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays starting on Jan. 8. Participants can enroll at DavidsonCCC.edu/arabic-for-beginners.

Irish language will be offered from noon to 12:45 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays starting Jan. 10. There will also be an evening class from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays starting Jan. 16. Participants can enroll at DavidsonCCC.edu/irish-for-beginners.