departments and schools teach courses in international studies. With 325 majors, it has grown into a significant presence on campus. International studies is a tough curriculum requiring six semesters of for- eign language, a concentration in one of the social sciences and an international thematic concentration. "The requirements are as substantial as the University will allow us to impose," Griffiths said. Yet it has no faculty of its own and operates with a small staff and budget. Its offices are not even on campus. "In a sense, we don't fit in," said Griffiths. "We're located on Franklin Street, next to the Carolina Coffee Shop on the second floor of an old bank building." Majors are encouraged to study abroad, but the University can't make that a requirement because no scholarship money
fees, which brings in an average ofabout
$250,000 per year.
a recent task force headed by Jim Peacock,
Kenan professor of anthropology and
director of the University Center for
International Studies. The University is
examining ways to do away with it, but,
Solloway said, "unless the Legislature is
prepared to fund this, where do you find
John Florin, executive director of the
is available. Griffiths, noting that UNC-
Greensboro recently raised $1.5 million
to support its global studies program, said
UNC's curriculum needs to hire a fund-
raiser so that a study abroad scholarship
program can be endowed. "This is
absolutely critical if international studies
is going to take off"
The Study Abroad office operates out
of the basement of Caldwell Hall with a
budget that averages $25,000 from the
College of Arts and Sciences. But most of
its revenue is raised by charging student
Shelby Bond's parents were openly concerned when she told them that, for four months during fall 1997, she would be studying in Ghana. Imagine how
they must have felt when she told them she would be returning to Africa this fall
for a two-year tour with the Peace Corps.
"They were a little taken aback," said Bond, who graduated from Carolina with
honors in May with a degree in political science and a minor in African studies.
"My dad was against it, kinda, because of the stereotypes about poverty, violence,
During a yearly harvest festival called Afahye,
Shelby Bond ' 98 visits with Ghanaian women and
children wearing clothing traditionally associat-
ed with puberty rites.
AIDS. When you think of Africa, that's
what the media exposes us to."
It was just that topic-the percep-
tion of Africa created by Western
media-that Bond wanted to explore
as her honors thesis. In Africa, she
found she was right.
"Of course, you have poverty, but
being there puts faces with that poverty,"
she said. 'The American notion of
poverty is very different from what
Africans consider poverty. There, you
utilize everything; there's no waste. As
for crime, I've never felt safer in my
life. There was absolutely no crime;
guns were illegal."
In fact, she said, Africans sometimes
have trouble believing what they hear
about America. "They'd ask: 'Is it true
that you have people driving by in cars
and shooting people?' They'd ask about
rape and murder, and, 'Is it common?' It
made me realize how many of our per-
ceptions of Africa are stereotypes."
Bond, who grew up in Florida, had never left the United States before her work in
Ghana A random course she signed up for changed the direction of her studies. "I signed
up for a political science class on Central Africa, and I was just fascinated with it"
As a minor in Asian studies, Bond is a product of six area studies programs at
Carolina that concentrate on Africa, America, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Russia-
Like many students and faculty who take the opportunity to study and work
abroad, she said the experience has changed her immensely. "It was something
long overdue," she said. "It was really important for my independence."
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