About the BRICS Initiative
It's a Friday in April, and you're boarding a flight to spring-break fun. You settle back in your seat, slip off your flip-flops, and mouth the words "L-U-V, Madonna" to the track your iPhone is piping into your earbuds…a week of freedom before it's time to declare that major.
The shoes and that iPhone: made in China. The plane you board: a Brazilian Embraer. They just debuted their new corporate jet in India, where their market is booming. And the catchy song that'll take you back to spring break years after you graduate? The buzz is Madonna ripped it from Brazilian singer João Brasil. He says he's flattered.
From iPhones to intellectual property, the BRICS have already changed your world. Shouldn't they change you?
The BRICS Initiative is a new program designed to give you a crash course in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russian, India, China, and South Africa) over a nine-month period. Regardless of your major or career path, we aim to turn you into a lean, mean, globally-aware machine. Someone who can go into any situation, any organization, and bring an international perspective to bear on the work, the mission, the product, you name it.
The BRICS Initiative is a logical extension of your liberal arts education. You'll learn from an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and in-country experts about a variety of topics, issues, problems, and opportunities regarding the BRICS nations and their increasing significance as global powers. We'll show you how to synthesize these different perspectives into the bigger picture of a rapidly-shifting world. An in-country visit is a major component of the program. And you'll put everything you've learned to work for the community by participating in a one-day conference for local and regional businesses with an interest in the BRICS nations. Your resume will be chock full o' relevant and marketable travel, education, and project experience.
Still with us? Sounding good? Here are some specifics:
Who may participate?
Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. Yep, sorry first-years, but we want you to have enough time to really settle into Wofford before we totally blow your mind. Apply next year, okay?
Is it a major? A minor?
You can't major or minor in BRICS. You'll receive course credit for the portion of the program occurring during January (see the calendar), but the rest of what you do as a BRICS Initiative participant will be in addition to your regular coursework. Think of BRICS as the ultimate side dish complimenting the perfect entree. The two together make one heck of a satisfying meal (nom, nom!).
What will be expected of me?
Check out the calendar to see the general program schedule. It will give you a good idea of what we'll be doing and when. >>
Tell me more about the TRAVEL!
The travel component really sets the Wofford program apart. Each summer, we'll spend two weeks visiting one of the BRICS countries. You'll participate in the culture, get in-depth instruction in governmental processes, visit ports, go inside businesses and start-ups, and anything else we think you should see. In 2013, we're heading to Brazil. In 2014, it will be China. In 2015, Russia. That's as far into the future as we can comfortably predict at this point (remember, rapidly-shifting world!).
Is BRICS a multi-year commitment?
Not at all. We've designed the program so that you'll get an excellent introduction to all of the countries, and then very specific knowledge of a single country during the in-country visit each year (see above for the trip schedule). Participate during the year that most interests you, or participate each year. It's up to you.
How much does the program cost?
$5,900 ($1,000 for on-campus Interim; $4,900 for travel to Brazil) includes all course fees, materials, travel and accommodations, and most meals in-country. Scholarships are available!
How do I participate?
Space is limited to 12 participants, and we want one of them to be you. Check out the "apply" page for complete details, including scholarship instructions.