Nestled on a small peninsula in the Bronx, SUNY Maritime is well-known for its top-of-the-line nautical educational facilities and deep international ties. 

This summer, the school decided to expand its footprint all the way to Haiti, bringing 20 Haitian professionals to New York City for a three-week language course.

The program, named the Sustainable Village and Learning Community (SVLC) Project’s Language and Leadership Program. The program involved hours of English-language training, leadership building and an immersive New York experience that involved everything from the Bronx Zoo to tours of Harlem.

Longtime SUNY Maritime Professor Dr. Karen Markoe served as the Project Director and adjunct professor Nancy Karabeyoglu managed the day-to-day schedule of all 20 men and women, who came from cities and towns across Haiti. 

From July 14 to August 3, the students practiced English and learned other ‘soft skills’ like presentation skills, public speaking and teamwork. Funding for the program was provided by The W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“The Institute also has a historical and cultural component—exposure to American culture and government, for example– half and full day trips in the metropolitan area. These several weekly theme-based trips to iconic NYC landmarks fuel language production and provide experiential learning, which helps develop leadership and teamwork skills,” Karabeyoglu told The Haitian Times.



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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a journalist based in New York City working as a contributing writer for CBS Interactive. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia...