Social Work Professor Leads CHHS Students on Study Abroad Trip to India

Social Work Professor Leads CHHS Students on Study Abroad Trip to India

In December, School of Social Work Professor Art Frankel led a group of 13 students and four faculty members to Bangalore, India for a one-of-a-kind study abroad experience. The trip was almost two weeks long and was filled with educational and professional opportunities, as well as exciting cultural activities.

“The purpose of the trip is to bring cultural awareness to our students and faculty and participate in international conferences so students and faculty can present papers,” Frankel said. “So, there’s a professional and cultural aspect to it.”

During the program, the students were assigned an Indian student as their buddy and guide. The students attended classes with their buddy and participated in cultural activities, which included tours of Bangalore, dinners and other fun excursions within the city.

Students also had the opportunity to gain professional experience by giving a presentation at an international conference. The group spent most of the time in Bangalore but also took a side trip to Mysore, a city in the southwest of India, and then traveled to the famous Taj Mahal.

India is a very special place to Frankel. He was in the Peace Corps in India between 1962 and 1968 and has gone back almost every year since then. When he found out that the UNC System was establishing academic relations with India several years ago, he built a relationship with St. Joseph’s College and began leading trips with students and faculty.

“For me, it’s just the satisfaction of students and faculty exposed to a culture that’s very close to my heart,” Frankel said. “It’s just sort of a mission of mine, a passion.”

Frankel wants to lead this program to India for as long as he can. Every year, he sends out a notice in August and immediately receives replies from students who want to sign up. The trip has always included at least 12 people, with the largest group having 17 participants. The program is open to all SSW alumni and social work supervisors in the community. Frankel is very appreciative of the support from the Office of International Programs and hopes to expand the program and maybe even provide some internships in the future.