May Away

At the end of their freshman year, International Scholars study abroad for three weeks with a professor who is affiliated with the International Studies Program. The trips focus on current global issues and provides International Scholars with a more informed perspective on other cultures and people. Funding from the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs  covers the cost of the trip for students, allowing them to study abroad within their first year college and earn Honors college credit upon successful completion of this course. 

 MayAway France

Previous May Away Study Abroad Trips Include:

Student Testimonials

Ghana - 2018 

Two students share their experience traveling around Ghana, Africa. The group began their trip in the capital, Accra, then traveled through the Volta region visiting several villages, and ended the trip in Cape Coast. 

ghanamonkey2.pngMicah Feinstein, '21, is a native of Columbia, SC. He majored in Urban Studies and International Studies.

While in Ghana, we had the fortunate experience of learning about postcolonial development by meeting with scholars and legislators. We learned about the long-lasting and wide-ranging impacts of colonialism and slavery, and we discussed the importance of fair-trade, education, and gender equity in the push for economic development. 

One of my most memorable experiences I had while in Ghana was hiking Mt Afadjato, the highest peak in the country (elevation 2,904 ft). The journey was steep and hot, but a couple of us were able to make it to the top. The view at the top was impressive, as we were able to look out over Ghana and the neighboring country Togo. Our guide was knowledgeable and engaging, and took us to a towering waterfall after we had descended the mountain. I will always remember how good it felt to swim in the waterfall with my fellow International Scholars, and newfound friends, after climbing one of the highest peaks in West Africa.


 International Scholars in Ghana


Ainsley Cook Ainsley Cook, '21 is a native of Suwanee, GA. She majored in International Studies and Hospitality and Tourism Management.  

The trip was very immersive and allowed us to experience so many wonderful things about the Ghanaian culture. I appreciated that we traveled throughout the country to see the beautiful landscape and the differences between rural villages and urban centers. Throughout the trip we participated in many activities such as hiking a waterfall, feeding monkeys, dying batik fabric, visiting an elementary school and two universities and meeting a village chief. We even learned to dance (well we tried). It was such an enriching experience being able to interact with locals and see various aspects of their culture from multiple perspectives. 

One of the focuses throughout the trip was the development of democracy in Ghana post colonialism. This brought to light the cultural influences of colonialism that can still be seen today, such as having English as their official language. We were able to see how these influences mixed with indigenous African culture and how Ghanaians are keeping their traditions alive.

The most impactful experience I had was visiting the Cape Coast Castle. It is a fort build on the coast of Ghana where slaves were held before taking them overseas. This was a major port for the exportation of slaves and visiting the site allowed us to see the conditions these people were forced to live in. It was a harrowing and somber experience to say the least. One of the things that struck me the most was that many of the slaves taken from that port were brought straight to Charleston. It was surreal to be standing in the dungeon they were held in, knowing I’d be going home to the where they were taken and subjected to more horrific conditions. This experience made me reflect on the atrocities of the slave trade and really put things in perspective.


Traveling to India - 2015 

AnnsleyAnnsley Banks '18, is a native of Fort Mill, South Carolina  She double-majored in Religious Studies and International Studies with a concentration in Asian Studies. While at CofC she was involved in the College's Global Awareness Forum. Read more of Annsley's writings on the Global Awareness Blog.

In May of 2015, I had the indescribable experience of traveling to India as part of an International Scholars May Away. Our group of ten traveled to India to learn about the country’s history and culture through interaction and observation. However, I quickly realized that I was learning so much more than what the program detailed. With every experience and monument came so much more than the textbook knowledge.

I learned about dedication at the Taj Mahal, built as a promise between a husband and wife which
took twenty-two years to complete. I learned about strength when I met the five women who run Sheroe’s Hangout, a café to support other survivors of acid attacks such as themselves. I learned about respect in the temples of northern India, where hushed tones and bare feet are expected and reverence is constantly given.  

Mostly, I learned about the value of one’s culture. With every step I took and every glance I made, the culture and tradition of India was evident. The streets are mesmerizing as you walk them. Women walk past in brilliantly colored sarees, while vendors sell ceremonial flowers and sweet fruits. Here and there, cows pass by or simply lounge by the road, often painted with decorative patterns in bright reds and oranges. In the midday heat, clusters of men and boys played cricket enthusiastically. Most of all, people embraced their culture throughout everything they did, whether it was traditional or modern. I admire the people for their dedication to their culture and heritage, and I am truly thankful to have been able to experience that culture.


ISP India 2015