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IETS Recipients Announced by PCC Global

Many of this year's recipients of PCC's International Education Travel Scholarship take time out for a group photo following a PCC Global reception to announce the awards.

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director


WINTERVILLE—PCC Global held a reception on campus Jan. 22 to introduce this year’s group of International Education Travel Scholarship (IETS) recipients.

Later this year, 20 Pitt Community College students and six employees will participate in a total of four different study abroad trips, according to PCC Global Director Jessica Jaimes, who said IETS is a competitive and much-desired scholarship at PCC and unique within the N.C. Community College System.

Jaimes says one IETS group will participate in a cultural study tour of Cuba while another will travel to China to study fine arts. A third group, she says, will explore China’s health care system, while the final contingent—all nursing students, as it turned out—will carry out a service learning project in Belize.

PCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Tom Gould says IETS plays a key role in getting students engaged in world events. He says past scholarship recipients have returned from their travels “with open eyes,” thus making the community even better.

“(IETS) is a special program that PCC is extremely proud of,” Gould said. “It’s part of our commitment to developing a 21st century workforce. We can’t do that without exposing students, faculty and staff to the rest of the world.”

University transfer student La’Quon Rogers received an IETS award in 2014 to visit Spain and France. He told this year’s scholarship recipients that while they could read books about other countries, there is no substitute for actually being there.

“I always wanted to travel,” Rogers said, adding, that “it used to mean anywhere outside of Ayden.”

Calling his overseas trip “a dream come true,” Rogers said he enjoyed the opportunity to explore a new culture and learn new things. He added that the journey broadened his life’s perspective and made him more appreciative of his life in the USA.

Noting that he climbed every step of the Eiffel Tower during his visit to Paris, Rogers encouraged this year’s IETS recipients to make the most of their opportunity to study abroad.

“Don’t just go like it’s a vacation; make the most of it,” he said. “You may never have the opportunity again.”

Created in 2010 to eliminate financial barriers and give students a chance to obtain a quality education abroad experience, IETS provides full funding for participation in a PCC Global-sanctioned program. The scholarship is primarily merit-based, and students who apply for it must meet specified eligibility requirements, including full-time enrollment status, a 2.5 or higher GPA, and completion of at least 12 semester hours at PCC.

A key aspect of IETS is that students become ambassadors for education abroad via two major scholarship requirements. They must create plans to share their travel experiences and write letters to the PCC Global Education committee and college administration, detailing how their experience abroad affected them academically, professionally and personally.

Three years after it was started, IETS earned PCC the prestigious Andrew Heiskell Award from the Institute of International Education.

To date, 70 International Education Travel Scholarship have been awarded at PCC. Through the scholarships, recipients have traveled to variety of destinations, including Belize, China, Switzerland, Italy, France and the British Isles.