Honors International Studies

Study Abroad

Hinds CC’s Institute for Honors, Leadership, and International Studies offers several study abroad options for students including Costa Rica and the UK.

We live in a world that seems to be growing smaller each day. Telephone, Internet, and television, provide instant connection to our international neighbors, yet how to do we bridge those barriers that still divide culture from culture? Study abroad can provide that initial foothold into global understanding.

We are all experiencing really tough economic times. Why then, should you consider studying abroad? Study abroad can help you

  • Build your résumé and distinguish yourself from other job and scholarship applicants
  • See the world
  • Experience Adventure
  • Try new things
  • Develop an appreciation for different cultures
  • Gain a greater appreciation for all that we have in the U.S.
  • Learn more about yourself
  • Test your boundaries

Hinds Community College’s Institute for Honors, Leadership, and International Studies offers several study abroad options.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a very progressive nation in Central America with modern electricity, water treatment, and communications. The country does not maintain a military force but is very safe and works hard to promote tourism. Hinds offers two international study options in Costa Rica.

Foreign Language Study Abroad

For five years Hinds has worked with the IPED Language Institute in Heredia, Costa Rica. Total immersion, as offered in this program, is the best way to actually learn a language. Groups that reside together in hotels will revert to speaking English at the end of the day, but in the home-stays offered through our program, you’ll be challenged to work on your language skills throughout the day. Your Tico family will provide you with breakfast and dinner each day, and you’ll have a true glimpse into life in another country.

This year, you’ll also have the opportunity to give back to those who are less fortunate. In addition to studying Spanish, we will be spending a few hours each week in a local orphanage as part of a service-learning project. Besides gaining the satisfaction of helping someone else, you’ll also gain valuable experience that will build your résumé and make you more competitive for jobs and scholarships.

We won’t just study every day all day, either. Day trips to Poas Volcano, the quaint market village of Sarchi, and the Café Britt coffee plantation will allow you opportunities to see the countryside as well. We’ll also enjoy weekend excursions to the hot springs of Volcan Arenal and to the warm Caribbean waters of Puerto Viejo.

Environmental Science

With the Environmental Science class offered in Costa Rica, your classroom will be rain forests, jungle rivers, waterfalls, ocean reefs—the outdoors itself. There’s no better way to study biology than to experience it close up!

You will travel across the country to explore mangrove estuaries on the Pacific side and tidal rivers on the Caribbean side. You’ll swim in a freezing pool at the base of a mountain waterfall and soak in thermal waters at the base of a volcano. With this trip you will see the biodiversity that makes Costa Rica a top travel destination and a perfect location for studying biology.

In classes in the spring at Hinds, you’ll study plants, mammals, reptiles, and birds of Costa Rica to get you ready for your travel. You’ll also practice hiking and kayaking to prepare for the adventure that awaits you. The class will travel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to compare Mississippi’s ecosystems with those you’ll encounter in Costa Rica.


Hinds’ Costa Rica programs are entering a new phase of development this next year. In addition to Environmental Biology or Spanish, students may choose a third option for study–Sociology.

Spring semester 2010, students will enroll in “Community Involvement” and will take “International Studies in Ethnic/Racial Relations ” while in-country during the May mini-term. Cultural immersion, service learning, interaction with many diverse groups of people, and the country’s devotion to environmental issues make Costa Rica a perfect setting for the study of Sociology.

Willie Frazier — Biology Major

The trip to Costa Rica was a transforming experience for me in a couple of ways. Before we left, I was overweight and out of shape. My fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the group spurred me to work out and eat right, so I lost 97 pounds before we even left the States.

In Costa Rica I fell in love with the friendly Tico people and found that I really enjoyed trying to communicate with them. This experience gave me a desire to learn as much Spanish as I possibly could. And, as a Biology major, seeing animals in their natural habitats in the wild gave me experience that I simply can’t duplicate at home. I loved my trip last year so much that I am going again this year!

Hannah Koester — Biology Major

In the Environmental Science class, we were all assigned a reptile, mammal, and plant to research and present to the class in a brief PowerPoint. In Costa Rica, we all screamed and were so excited when we found “our” animals. I didn’t just learn about the Roseate Spoonbill in a textbook—I saw it, up close and personal, in its natural habitat.

In Costa Rica, the world is your classroom. You kayak rivers, hike cloud forests, swim in thermal hot springs, and learn about the natural world all around you. One of my favorite experiences was climbing thirty feet up into a tree hollowed out by the Strangler Fig that encircled it. In Costa Rica, you see and touch what you are learning about and experience nature first-hand.

Kennya Johnson — Nursing Major

One of the reasons I’ve been a commuter at Hinds is because I didn’t think I’d enjoy giving up my personal space in the dorm. In Costa Rica, I learned how much fun it could be to room with a group of girls and to travel with friends. Now, I’m applying for Delta State’s nursing school, which will mean that I’ll be living in a dorm, far away from my hometown, something I never would have considered doing before my travel abroad.

Costa Rica really pushed me beyond the comfortable boundaries I had established for myself. I felt such a warm and supportive environment from both students and faculty that I tried and thoroughly enjoyed both kayaking and snorkeling—even though I didn’t even know how to swim! My time in Costa Rica has certainly changed my view of myself and what I am capable of doing.


For fifteen years Hinds has partnered with a sister college in the Southwest of England, Bridgwater College, to provide short-term study abroad opportunities for Hinds faculty and students. Hinds students studying Honors English, Music, Dance, Theatre, and the men’s soccer team have enrolled in Humanities classes that prepared them for travel. In the class, they learned about the history and significance of the locations they would visit in the United Kingdom as well as how the British education system works. At Bridgwater, students enjoyed home-stays with student hosts and attended classes with these students.

Hinds reciprocates by hosting visiting student groups from Bridgwater. British students experience life in the Deep South and attend classes with Hinds Community College students, who are their home-stay hosts. The home-stay feature of this exchange provides the best opportunity for individuals to really learn about daily life in another country. Thus, participants come away from the experience with new global awareness and lifelong friends “across the pond.”

For Hinds faculty, the learning that takes place through these study abroad opportunities is exponential and the college has benefited in numerous ways as a result of this exchange. In fall 2008 Hinds added an immensely successful Music Industry program after Hinds faculty viewed this program in operation at Bridgwater. A new, more student-centered approach to recruiting at Hinds grew from a similar approach at Bridgwater. Additional outcomes of faculty/administrative study abroad at Bridgwater are explained in the link below.

Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of the traditional music world. Students wanting to become band directors, choir directors and professional musicians can take classes at Hinds that will teach them to use popular and inexpensive recording equipment. Before this program, students were playing music in their homes and garages, but now they can come to Hinds and participate in a rock band.

Hinds’ Music Industry Program was developed as a direct result of our partnership with Bridgwater College. This international study opportunity was invaluable in developing a new program that is attracting many new students to Hinds

British Studies with USM

The British Studies Program is a residential summer session offered annually during July and August in London. Students are housed at the University of London, King’s College.

The session offers undergraduate and graduate coursework in a wide range of academic disciplines with offerings for almost every major or minor field of study. Participants also have ample free time for independent travel. Students have traveled to Venice, Rome, Istanbul, and even Cairo during their travel break.

In the regular four and one half week session, participants enroll for six semester hours in the academic discipline of their choice. Students will attend lectures led by eminent British scholars, artists, business leaders, and government officials, which allows students to learn from a unique perspective. A portion of the class is also devoted to supervised research. As much as possible the classes are conducted in field trip settings. For example, when the Art History class studies Stonehenge, the class travels to Stonehenge.

The six credit hours earned through the British Studies Program are awarded by The University of Southern Mississippi, a fully accredited institution of higher learning, and are transferable upon request.

This summer, Hinds Community College History Instructor and British Studies Coordinator Cameron Beech will lead the program’s World War II course. This course will give students the unique opportunity to learn about the war via lectures from some of Britain’s leading World War II historians. It will also include daily excursions to the Imperial War Museum, the Cabinet War Rooms, and several prominent historical sites, as well as a field trip to the D-Day battlefields in Normandy where the Allies invaded Nazi-occupied France. In addition, students will have the opportunity to conduct historical research on a World War II-related topic of their choice at the British National Archives.

You can learn more about the British Studies program through the University of Southern Mississippi’s Web site or by contacting the Hinds Community College Coordinator of British Studies.

Hinds Community College British Studies Coordinator
Cameron Beech
P: 601-857-3670



Sochi, Russia, a balmy, seaside resort town, is situated between lovely Black Sea beaches and Caucasus Mountain ski slopes. Since 1999 Hinds and People’s Friendship University in Sochi have maintained a student exchange agreement.

Each year, two students from Sochi study at Hinds and three student/faculty groups from Hinds have completed a short-term study abroad in Russia as guests of PFU.

This program continues as a testament to the goodwill and understanding between the presidents and faculty of our two colleges.

International Counselor

Hinds is home away from home for many international students who travel from more than 20 countries (on 5 continents) each semester to attend classes at Hinds Community College. These students require assistance with and U. S. Government travel and visa forms, as well as advising and other practical concerns during their stays in the U.S. The Institute of Honors, Leadership, and International Studies provides a counselor with many years of experience with international living and travel.

Michelle Davison
Honors Center
Administration Building
Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
P: 601-857-3314


Student Services Bldg.
3805 Hwy. 80
Pearl, MS 39208
Jenkins Hall 213
PO Box 1100
Raymond, MS 39154