Local Students Heading to India for Unique Study Abroad Experience

COLUMBUS -- Five computer science students and two professors from southwest Georgia are leaving next week to spend 10 days in India as part of a study abroad and intellectual exchange program with AT&T and Bhavnagar University.

The students and their professors from Columbus State University and Georgia Southwestern State University will be working at an AT&T technology park devoted to education of people with disabilities.

The project is designed to provide students with service-learning exposure as well as an international experience, an opportunity they may never see again, said Wayne Summers, chair of Columbus State Universitys TSYS Department of Computer Science. Summers and two CSU computer science students, Andy Hartel and Elke Brumbaugh, leave Wednesday.

The program is funded through Georgia Southwestern State University with a grant from the University System of Georgia Office of International Education. Students Brandon Fogerty, Henok Girma, Alexander Anishenko and Professor A.C. Shah are making the trip from Georgia Southwestern State University, provided all the students travel documentation is in order.

This trip is going to give these students an opportunity to learn some things and see some things that would just not be an option for many other students, Summers said. Its a great opportunity. Georgia Southwestern State University initiated the project to provide cross-cultural education, an important part of helping students to understand social, educational and cultural structures of other countries.

The project includes Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, Columbus State University in Columbus, Darton College in Albany, Bhavnagar University in India and the AT&T Tech Park in Bhavnagar.

The Bhavnagar University is committed to improvement of social and economic status of people with disabilities. It has ties with the PNR Society (Parsanben Narandas Ramji Society) for relief and rehabilitation of the disabled in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, which is devoted to education of people with disabilities.

The partnership will provide an international experience for our students to work at the AT&T Technology Park set up by PNR Society.

CSU students have set up a Web site about the trip and hope to upload pictures while they are in India. The site is http://studentwebs.colstate.edu/india/GP/index.html ### Contact: Wayne C. Summers: 706-568-5037 or summers_wayne@ColumbusState.edu