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Global initiatives

St. Petersburg College has a longstanding commitment to international education. In February 1997, SPC and former President Carl M. Kuttler Jr. were presented with the Werner O. Kubsch Award for Achievement in International Education, one of community college education's most coveted commendations. SPC's international connections include:

Argentina | Armenia | Belgium | China | Costa Rica | Columbia | Ecuador | Estonia | France | Greece

Guatemala | Haiti | India | Iraq | Ireland | Italy | Jamaica | Japan | Kazakhstan | Lithuania | Multi-Regional

Puerto Rico | Russia | Spain | Trinidad and Tobago | Turkey | United Arab Emirates | West Bank

Western Hemisphere


SPC has received many international visitors and also cooperated in hosting delegations for several projects with the International Council of the Tampa Bay Region and Mary Ellen Upton, Executive Director. SPC has several contracts with international educational institutions for cooperation in the fields of science, education, culture and more.

For more information e-mail or call 727-341-4735.

In May 2008, five representatives from Universidad del Salvadore, Buenos Aires, arrived to sign an agreement with SPC to develop an exchange of experiences and staff.

In July 2008, four journalists visited to learn more about college activities in Latin America, as well as education and training in terrorism awareness, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery at the Allstate Center.

Chinese students from Sichuan Province visited SPC in January 2009


In January 2009, five visitors from three Armenian universities and the Ministry of Education and Science visited to learn more about university administration in the U.S. As a result, an agreement of cooperation that included possible faculty and student exchanges was signed with the Armenian Medical Institute and the Armenian-Russian International University.

Pictured here (left), Jim Olliver, Anne Cooper, Phil Nicotera and former SPC President Carl M. Kuttler Jr. meet with leaders from the Armenian Medical Institute and the Armenian-Russian International University to discuss the details of the agreement.

Mathematics professor Manuel Gerakios traveled to Armenia in Summer 2009, where he worked to set up a mathematics study abroad program. He also discussed ways to assist Armenian students in taking online classes at SPC.

In December 2008, the administrator for the Council of the European Union on military and NATO-EU issues regarding defense and military support to disaster relief visited SPC to develop understanding of U.S. perspective on security issues in the EU.

Chinese students from Sichuan Province visited SPC in January 2009

In January 2009, SPC was visited by 18 Chinese students (pictured right) from Sichuan Province who had their university damaged in an earthquake in 2008 and were studying at SUNY College, Cobleskill, NY for a year.

A Chinese delegation of six visited the city of Tarpon Springs and the St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs Campus in November, 2009. They were on a 10-day visit of major U.S. and Canadian cities. The delegation included politicians, a tourism specialist and the owner of a green tea company. Charles Wang, Huangshan University, conveyed that their district and university were interested in working with SPC towards faculty exchanges and study abroad programs.

In July 2008, at the invitation of the Tampa Bay World Affairs Council and World Trade Center, SPC International Programs co-sponsored a cultural exchange luncheon in Tampa for 35 high-level governmental and business officials from Colombia.

In Summer of 2010, a shipment of 200 computers was donated to the Colombian American Chamber of Commerce of Barranquilla, Colombia to help improve education for students in the area of technology. The computers will be distributed to various public schools within the Barranquilla region.

Faride Trujillo shops at a market in Ecuador.
SPC study abroad instructors, Roxana Levin and Faride Trujillo take a break with students from a Spanish class at Estudio Sampere.

Costa Rica
In November 2010, business professor, Roberto Fernandez, traveled to Costa Rica to develop a 2011 study abroad program for business major students. He visited many multinational corporations that students will be visiting while studying in Costa Rica. He also visited Instituto Centroamericano de Administracion the Empresas or also known as INCAE to discuss ways that SPC could work together in better educating students about Latin American business.

SPC signed an agreement in February 2008 with Estudio Sampere in the city of Cuenca to offer intensive language experience where students are immersed in the language and culture of Ecuador.

Estonia Student Exchange took place September 27-October 5, 2008, for SPC’s international business major students. This exchange was developed in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia.

In July 2008, the Prosecutor of the Republic, Court of Besancon, visited to discuss college activities in Latin America. He also learned more about the Southeastern Public Safety Institute and the National Preparedness Institute courses at the Allstate Center.

In January 2009, representatives from Kalymnos, Greece, were hosted by Conferlete Carney on SPC's Tarpon Springs Campus to discuss the availability of SPC courses for students in Kalymnos, a sister city with Tarpon Springs. An agreement between the city of Kalymnos and SPC was signed to work together on cultural and educational initiatives. Read a news article on the agreement on Tampabay.com.

In July 2009, Tarpon Springs Fine and Applied Arts Instructor Kimberly Felos traveled to Kalymnos and other Greek islands to plan a study abroad program with the country. She hopes to lead a group of students on a two-week study abroad trip to Athens and Kalymnos. The highlight of the trip will be spending time on the island of Kalymnos, where they will be immersed in the Greek culture.

Chinese students from Sichuan Province visited SPC in January 2009


In June 2008, guests from Mariano Galvez University in Guatemala visited to explore partnership options.  A general agreement was sent back with the visitors for review, and was subsequently signed by the University and SPC.
St. Petersburg College is the first and only college in the nation to offer a gang-related investigations specialty track as part of a Criminal Justice Technology Associate of Science degree. Students in the program now are offered a chance to participate in a study abroad program that offers participants the opportunity to explore the challenges of gangs and crimes faced by Guatemala’s Civilian National Police.

SPC has a signed agreement of cooperation with Galileo University for the purpose of exchange of experiences and staff. A truly gratifying result of our partnership with Galileo University has been the gift of about 1,000 SPC computers, which are now used by law enforcement officers (pictured above) throughout Guatemala’s 22 provinces to link different law enforcement agencies and improve record-keeping and training.

Dean Kachler and Stephany Orozco from Galileo University in Guatemala visited SPC in November 2009 for a week. Kachler teaches communication classes and spent time with SPC Professor Linda Johnston shadowing various communication courses on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs and Clearwater campuses. He was impressed with the caliber of SPC’s faculty and how each instructor uses different methods to teach the same core content.

Orozco, who works in the Corporate Professional Development department at the university, spent several days with SPC’s Corporate Training Director, Jim Connolly. She was able to see the variety of programs offered and research some online class ideas that SPC could offer Galileo University.

Computers in Haiti
An instructor teaches computer skills at the computer education center in St. Suzanne.

In 2009, SPC donated used computers to a charitable organization for the new computer education center in St. Suzanne, one of the poorest regions in Haiti. These computers are being used to educate Haitian children about basic computer skills.

In late Spring of 2010, 180 computers and 90 laptop desks were donated from SPC to the Toussaint L’Ouverture High School in South Florida for use by Haitian children. In partnership with the Governor's office, St. Petersburg College is joining colleges around the state to offer financial support to the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.

Dollars for Haiti is a college wide initiative proposed by students and supported by the college family to provide assistance to Haitian refugees here in the Tampa Bay area.

SPC assisted Help brings Hope to Haiti founder Patricia Eddy by donating 20 used laptops to their organization, for schools and hospitals in Haiti.

SPC continues to reach out and explore partnerships that can be established to provide online training for nurses in Haiti.

Dr. Mungara and Dr. Prakash of India are working with SPC’s International Programs Office to explore possible opportunities for SPC to partner with Oxford Educational Institutions in Bangalore.

In January 2008, a group of Iraqi business and economic leaders met at SPC for a roundtable. Under discussion were the roles of education institutions, businesses, the courts, civic and religious organizations, and youth groups in advancing young men and women as business leaders; the skills necessary for successful leadership; and methods used to develop skills in critical thinking, decision-making, communication, organization and professional development.

SPC study abroad students visiting Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

SPC professor, Dr. David Liebert traveled to Londonderry, Ireland in November 2009 to meet and work with faculty and administrators at North West Regional College (NWRC), and prepare for an upcoming study abroad trip.

During the November visit, Liebert worked closely with NWRC professors Susan McGrory and Eleanor Keanie on curriculum. Within minutes, it was apparent that these faculty members shared a similar passion for teaching and concern for their students.

"It was a rich experience to work closely with these faculty members and to meet others at NWRC like Mr. Willie O’Donnell, who oversees Student Services and who personally introduced me to the neighborhood," said Liebert.

In addition to working out the details for the May 2010 Discover Ireland trip, which maxed out with 22 students this summer and left many on a waiting list for next year, the visit set the stage for future collaboration.

In April 2011, NWRC participated in a 10-day visit to SPC with 8 students and 3 instructors. SPC visited Ireland again in May 2011 and brought 13 students and 2 instructors for the 2-week visit. Faculty exchange opportunities also are being explored.

Rome, Italy

In March 2008, Fr. Godfrey Onah from Pontificia Urbaniana University in Rome came to visit and discuss SPC course opportunities for exchange with Pontificia Urbaniana University.

An agreement of cooperation was signed.

In July 2008, the Director of the Office for Civil Protection and Emergency Management of Rome’s municipal government met with J. C. Brock for an overview of SPC’s Emergency Administration and Management program.

SPC hosted a summer trip for high school students who are dual enrolled at SPC to travel to Rome and study at Pontificia Urbaniana University in summer 2010 and will repeat the trip again in 2011. The interest was so high that they added an additional trip for traditional students in summers 2010 and 2011.


On November 7-22, 2009, Dr. Cher Gauweiler and Dr. Andrea Kelly, SPC College of Education (COE) faculty members, and Pamela Rivera, an SPC graduate, traveled to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, to participate in SmartKids, a service-learning project organized by Great Shape! Inc. (Gauweiler is pictured here with some of the Jamaican students).

Volunteers work with teachers and students in literacy, art, music, computer and physical education programs in an effort to improve the country's 40 percent literacy rate. Because many of the children live in poverty, limited access to books and school supplies is common.

They collaborated with local teachers and administrators working with students in grades 1–5 on reading and writing skills. They also delivered books and school supplies to the schools. Most of the books were donated through a Kappa Delta Pi book drive held on SPC's Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg/Gibbs campuses. Kappa Delta Pi is the College of Education's honor society.

Dr. Thomas Loveland from the Clearwater Campus College of Education hosted two Japanese Technology Education professors during the last week of March, 2010. Professor Kazuhiro Sumi from Saga National University and Dr. Toshikazu Yamamoto from Saitama National University were at St. Petersburg College to observe Dr. Loveland’s student teachers in classroom settings, present an interesting lecture on green energy, and to develop a transnational curriculum research study to be presented at an international conference next year.

On March 26, 2010, the professors visited Technology Education classrooms at Bayonet Middle School in Pasco County, and East Lake High School and Safety Harbor Middle School in Pinellas County. They also visited NASA and the Florida Aquarium.

Dr. Yamamoto’s lecture on green energy introduced a new (patented) curriculum kit on the Peltier Effect: generating electricity from temperature differences in the ocean. After his lecture, Dr. Yamamoto presented the curriculum kit to Dr. Loveland as a gift to use during his teaching of Energy and Power Systems.

They visited Sunlake High School and Rushe Middle School in Pasco County before meeting with the Center for International Programs and the Dean of the College of Education to discuss future ideas.

Professor Lim from Kagawa University visited SPC in March 2011 and gave a presentation on the changes occurring in the Japanese post secondary education system. An agreement was signed a few months later to discuss possible ideas of how SPC and Kagawa could work together on bring educational opportunities to both colleges.

In January 2008, Kazakhstani human rights advocates and political activists in Muslim organizations and the director of NGO Media Life met with the director of International Programs and SPC representatives from College of Tech and Management to discuss collaboration.

Tim Wolter
Tim Wolter teaching in Lithuania

Sodzius: Lithuanian Voices in Concert visited SPC’s Music Center in November 2009 as a wrap-up of their U.S. tour. The group is an acapella chamber choir from Vilnius, Lithuania. The concert featured a diverse program of original works by Lithuanian composers. Local Lithuanians and SPC students attended the show.

In the summers of 2009 and 2010, Tim Wolter (pictured left), Humanities Professor, St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, recently returned from Lithuania where he spent his second summer teaching English to students from Belarus, Latvia, Poland and Lithuania.

The Summer Language Institute (SLI), hosted by LCC International University, is located in the port city of Klaipeda, the third largest city in Lithuania. Wolter was one of 40 volunteer teachers who came from Lithuania, Canada and the United States to teach 300 secondary and adult students in this summer’s program. The curriculum integrated reading, speaking, writing, listening and grammar skills.

In July 2008, visitors from Bangladesh, Burma, Cameroon, Egypt, Hungary, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Montenegro, Morocco, Peoples Republic of China, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Slovak Republic, Sudan, West Bank and Zimbabwe, with their U.S. Department of State interpreters, met for a business roundtable discussion with SPC representatives and Mr. Andrew Hines, retired Chairman, President and CEO of Florida Progress Energy, regarding the Applied Ethics Institute initiative at SPC.

Puerto Rico
For more than 10 years SPC has been educating the police force in Puerto Rico, which now has more than 18,000 officers; 6,000 which have been trained by SPC.

In early April of 2008, SPC officials visited Puerto Rico in the latest of a number of visits aimed at forming partnerships. The SPC contingent met with political, academic and law enforcement officials in Puerto Rico and discussed a number of ideas. Just as SPC donated computers to Guatemala, discussions included a similar plan for sending out-of-service computers from SPC to Puerto Rican law enforcement agencies. The group also visited three universities to discuss various academic partnerships and exchanges and there is much enthusiasm on both sides for developing close, productive ties between the college and Puerto Rico.

Formal agreements were signed in 2008 with American University in Bayamon and Inter American University in San Juan. SPC also has a contract with an individual in Puerto Rico who acts as a liaison between SPC and their partners in Puerto Rico.

In February 2009, a delegation of technology staff visited SPC. Computers and equipment have been sent to San Juan as part of the San Juan Police Department and Community Initiatives project, a partnership developed to enhance training and education for Puerto Rican police officers.

Recently, SPC began working with Inter American University to offer a master’s degree in Spanish through our University Partnership Center. Discussions have focused on the different delivery options including traditional face-to-face, blended learning (videoconferencing and SPOC) and online classes. A law enforcement conference at the Seminole Campus Digitorium also is being considered.

SPC hosted famous Russian cosmonaut Boris Volynov and his wife Tamara in June 2006.

In February 2008, students from the college’s Department of Music traveled to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Orenburg, Russia, on a Musical Ambassadors Tour. While in Russia, the students performed a program of traditional American vocal and instrumental music for Orenburg students and faculty, and for television audiences in St. Petersburg. They were treated to dance performances organized by Orenburg students, attended a dinner where Russian cosmonaut Boris Volynov was the guest of honor. Also, they toured famous Russian landmarks.

In May 2008, Russian judges from Open World visited SPC. During the summer, Zhemchuzhinka, a student dance group from Orenburg State University, visited SPC and performed a variety of spectacular shows including to a sold-out crowd at the Palladium Theater.

Several Russian Work-to-Travel students spent the summer, 2008 working at SPC and other local organizations. They were assisted in many ways throughout their visit by the director of SPC International Programs.

In September 2008, SPC received the Rector of Kazan State University, Affiliate in Naberezhnie Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, and an agreement was signed.

On October 12, 2008, an event was held at the Palladium Theater which was organized by St. Petersburg College International Programs and New Image Line, Inc. Entertainment Company.  The program included Russian Ballet by the Russian Ballent Academy of Orlando, Russian Folk Dance by the Academy Ballet Arts of St. Petersburg, Classical Music by Natasha Stoll-piano, Alexsandra Borodina-violin, Nina Slyusar-Accordian and Sacred Music by the Quartet of St. Andrew’s Church.

In May 2009, SPC hosted the Orenburg “Divertissement” Chamber Instrumental Ensemble. The ensemble is one of the most popular classical music groups in the large Volga and Urals Region. The members of the ensemble are high-level professionals and all of them are real enthusiasts in bringing the best examples of the classical music to the audiences. They performed at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, the Palladium Theater and other venues around Tampa Bay.

During 2009-10, students from Kazan State University in Russia and from SPC are cooperating in a newspaper project writing articles with the theme "The USA from the point of view of Russia; Russia from the point of view of the USA."

In December, 2009, Vladimir Gerts, renowned Russian opera singer stopped by the college’s Music Center to perform with a group of travelling Balalaika players. He also made time to give a master class to some of the college’s voice students.

Pictured from left, Dr. Natalya Yankina Vladislavovna, Dr. Marilyn Michael and Elena Boguslavskaya

Marilyn Michael, SPC Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Opera and Jonathan Steele, Dean of SPC Humanities and Fine Arts, traveled to Orenburg, Russia in December 2009 by invitation of the Orenburg Philharmonic Society and the Divertissement Ensemble to be part of their 15th anniversary celebration.

Michael performed two solos by Richard Strauss (sung in German) and two duets by Tchaikovsky and Cui (sung in Russian) with the lead soloist of the group as part of the main event for the celebration, receiving an enthusiastic standing ovation for her performance.

They visited the OSU Museum for a question-and-answer session with musicians from the Philharmonic Society. Later, they attended a foreign language class for students majoring in English. They were asked to judge the students’ presentation of English songs followed by a discussion of different instructional techniques and types of music that are popular among people of different age groups in the U.S.

They also visited the OSU Student Center where Michael presented a master class in voice for several Orenburg students and their professors, Svetlana and Alexander Zhabin. Many other students, parents and professors also attended this class, which included a performance by a select chamber vocal ensemble of their music professors.

The young vocalists of the Bolshoi Theater visited SPC in April 2010. During their short stay, they spent time with faculty, taught a master class to voice students at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus and performed at the Palladium Theater.

Chinese students from Sichuan Province visited SPC in January 2009
Pictured left, Senora Levin eats tapas with the Directors of Instituto Sampere in Plaza Mayor

Foreign language professor, Roxana Levin traveled to Salamanca, Spain in November 2010 to develop a Spain study abroad programs for traditional and dual enrollment students SPC.

There are plans to sign an agreement in 2011 with Estudio Sampere in the city of Salamanca to offer an intensive language experience where students are immersed in the language and culture of Spain. These programs have been developed for the summer 2011 and will be offered to both high school and traditional students.*

Trinidad and Tobago
In June 2008, Dr. Kenneth Julian from the University of Trinidad and Tobago visited with SPC representatives to discuss a possible agreement of cooperation between the two institutions. A request for contract is in process.

John Hesting, SPC World History and Economics teacher at SPCHS, was selected to study abroad in Turkey through Rotary Foundation Program May 6 to June 6, 2009.

United Arab Emirates
SPC signed an agreement with the American College of Dubai in September 2008. The goal of the agreement is to assist in further developing its academic programs, facilitating the transfer of students from ACD to SPC, and conducting other activities mutually advantageous to both parties. They were seeking a partner for transition to 4-year status. SPC is looking at ways to offer other education opportunities to the University such as distance learning.

West Bank
In July 2008, West Bank mayors and village council members met with SPC representatives for an overview of Allstate Center academic programs, the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training , the National Terrorism Preparedness Institute, and a tour.

Western Hemisphere
In September 2008, visitors representing political, media, university and legal establishments from the Antilles, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Netherlands, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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