Albany, Georgia – This summer, an Albany Technical College group of Culinary Arts students and one instructor will travel to Waterford, Ireland for two weeks. They depart Sunday, July 29 and return Sunday, August 12. This cultural experience is part of Albany Technical College’s commitment to creating a strong and viable workforce in the community.
During the trip, Albany Tech students will be housed on campus at Waterford Institute of Technology where they will get to meet faculty and students at Waterford, as well as fellow students from other Technical College System of Georgia institutions participating in the program. These students will experience Irish cuisine and culture along with sightseeing and tours. In addition, they will have an opportunity to get real-world experience preparing meals in Ireland.
Chef Todd White, Chairperson of the Culinary Arts Department at Albany Technical College, will accompany the students to Ireland. White says, “We expect that the Study Abroad Program will help our students catapult themselves into new ways, new ideas, forward thinking, and new cultures! This experience will allow them the opportunity to ‘step outside the box,’ get out of comfort zones, and to proudly represent Albany Technical College and our community!”
The culinary students are excited about the trip and Albany Tech faculty and staff see this as a learning experience that will shape careers and instill confidence. This trip will be the first time many in the group have traveled out of the country.
The Culinary students, led by Chef White, have been raising money since March of this year to help finance the trip. In March, the Albany Tech Foundation sponsored “A Taste of Ireland” event featuring Irish Chef Lorain Walsh. Chef Walsh is a faculty member at Waterford Institute, where the students will be studying. The Albany Tech Culinary travelers also organized the “Flights and Bites” fundraiser at Pretoria Fields in May, as well as the first ever Baking Series. The Baking Series featured classes for the community in Irish bread making, cake decorating, and Southern biscuit baking. On campus, the group also prepared several lunch events, a bake sale, and gift raffle to earn trip money.
For several years, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) has been constructing a robust and innovative International Studies Program. This initiative supports the TCSG mission of building a well-educated, globally competitive workforce for Georgia. The program’s benefits to TCSG students include: creating a learning environment inside and outside the classroom; exposure to new experiences; achieving cross-cultural competence and appreciation of diversity; and preparation to succeed in the global marketplace.
In part, TCSG chose to work with WIT in Waterford, Ireland due to the robust and evergrowing economic connection and trade association between Georgia and Ireland. In 2014, Georgia exports to Ireland totaled more than $172 million, a 7.1 percent increase from the previous year. Top exports from Georgia to Ireland include civilian aircraft, engines and parts, compression piston engines, and medical instruments. In addition, Georgia leads the nation in the export of pumps; gas turbines, wood pulp, and carpets to Ireland. Also in 2014, Georgia’s imports from Ireland totaled more than $655 million. Top Irish imports include perfumes, beer, and pharmaceuticals.
About Albany Technical College
A public postsecondary institution of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Albany Technical College provides technical education and training support for the evolving workforce needs of Southwest Georgia through traditional and online classroom settings. Albany Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). For more information about Albany Tech, go to www.albanytech.edu or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlbanyTech or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbanyTech. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel by visiting www.youtube.com/albanytech1.