The Center for International Studies (CIS) is Providence College's hub for international activity, including development and coordination of student opportunities abroad, services for international students and scholars, facilitating faculty opportunities abroad, and programming directed toward the development of an internationalized campus.
The CIS, in support of the educational mission of PC, aims to provide opportunities for transformative academic and cultural learning experiences to help students develop and acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that will prepare them to:
We also welcome international students and scholars and are committed to assisting them in their academic, social, and personal integration into the College and local community. The Center serves as a bridge in fostering a learning environment whereby members of the PC community, as they are exposed to a diversity of cultures and social and political viewpoints, come to see themselves as world citizens.
PC, through the CIS, is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Institute of International Education, the Association of International Educators, and the Forum on Education Abroad. The Center adheres to the NAFSA Code on Ethics and Statements of Principles in International Educational Exchange and the Code of Ethics for Education Abroad developed by the Forum on Education Abroad.
Enhancing academic excellence is one of the core values of a PC education. In that quest, the experience and understanding of other cultures and traditions are necessary components in preparing today’s students for a world more interconnected than any previous generation has seen. Study abroad provides alternative learning environments so students can benefit from new academic perspectives and intercultural experiences. In fulfilling this mission, the CIS pursues the following goals.
Curricular Integration: Students on study abroad are expected to do coursework that integrates with their major or minor, as well as in fulfilling the College’s core curriculum. Students should be exposed to the international dimensions of their discipline(s) in order to gain a more transnational understanding of their field of study in preparation for the global workplace of tomorrow.
Geographic Diversity of Program Locations: While a knowledge of Western Civilization is central to the core curriculum, the study of other world regions, countries, religions, cultures and languages is necessary to exploring and understanding the accelerating forces of globalization and the resulting complex challenges they often pose. Thus, in addition to the longstanding, popular study abroad programs in Europe and the United Kingdom, students are encouraged to consider program options in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Oceania.
Program Diversity: Students learn in many ways. In addition to the traditional facilitated direct enrollment and provider-based center programs, study abroad options now also include field-based learning, internships, service learning, and other engaged or experiential learning programs.
Career Integration and Development: Study abroad should enhance the career choices of PC graduates. Hence, students are advised to select programs and courses that will help them acquire the knowledge, skills, and the intercultural agility that will help them to integrate their study abroad experience with their career aspirations or other post-graduate opportunities.
In sum, study abroad is an intentional academic experience aimed at enhancing student learning and development beyond what the home campus can provide. It is not academic tourism, though that will also be part of the experience. Rather, this pedagogical approach frames study abroad as an integral component of the undergraduate academic program at PC and its commitment to academic excellence.