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international education

Hello again! Here are the three videos I created from my trip to Italy. I went to Rome, Florence, and Pisa over an eight-day period. It was the biggest trip I went on in Europe but I went with my two Southern flat mates, Shannon and Andrea. We planned the entire trip on our own from the hostels, to trains across the Italian country side, to finding tours or simply exploring the cities ourselves! We got a lot of tips and advice from friends and family who have previously studied abroad or went to these cities.

The videos were all done with my iPhone and a selfie-stick. I held the selfie stick like holding someone’s hand so the entire blogs are meant to look as if YOU, the viewer, was with me the whole trip!

Italy has always been somewhere I wanted to go but it greatly exceeded my expectations. The Italian culture is simply beautiful from the language, to the historic roman architecture, and of course, the food! The people we met were also completely inspiring and enriched this experience. We me an older couple from Florida who raised kids and made a good life for themselves but then decided two years ago that they wanted more out of life. So what did they do? They sold their house and everything they owned, and have been traveling across Europe for the past two years. We were lucky enough to meet them in a café in Roma. We also met a nineteen-year old who was enjoying the views of the Vatican on his last day of his 11-month solo journey around the world.

My eyes of the world significantly got wider from this Italian adventure. It was an experience I will never forget. These videos try to do justice to what I saw and experienced for those eight days. I hope you enjoy them, and if I were you, start planning your trip to Italia!

Ciao!

America in Liverpool

Rome

Florence
Pisa

Miguel de Cervantes, author of the 17th-century Spanish novel “Don Quixote,” wrote of Salamanca, Spain, that it “enchants the will because once you have experienced its placid character, you have to go back.”

Hundreds of Southern students have experienced the “placid character” of Salamanca over the past quarter century, thanks to the university’s longest consecutively running international study program — the International Field Study in Spain — led by Carlos Arboleda, professor of Spanish in the World Languages and Literatures Department. And as one of those students, Rachel de la Torre, has said, “I definitely need to go back soon!”

To recognize the 25th anniversary of this program and the work of Arboleda as its organizer, the university will hold a gala celebration on April 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adanti Student Center Ballroom. Alumni, faculty, staff, and current students are welcome to attend the event, whose proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund for future study abroad students in Spain. The gala will include dinner and entertainment — flamenco dancing, live music, speakers, and a DJ — and Arboleda will have available for purchase copies of a book he has compiled about the Salamanca program; proceeds from the book sale will also benefit the scholarship fund. Tickets to the gala are $60 general admission and $20 for current Southern students and may be purchased here.

Celebrations also took place in Salamanca last summer, including events hosted by the City of Salamanca and universities with which the program has been affiliated over the years. One such event was a reception in the City Hall of Salamanca hosted by representatives of the city and the Colegio de España (pictured below). Now, Southern will host the campus celebration to highlight and recognize the Study Abroad Program in Spain and the SCSU study abroad faculty and staff for their con­tribution to the program’s success.

salamanca 2

Arboleda says, “As Director of the SCSU Program in Spain since 1990, I continue to be honored to work with a system that has such a highly developed commitment to internationaliza­tion. Southern Connecticut State University recognizes the significance of international education for the academic strength of its programs and the quality of the education it provides to its students.”

Upon being hired as a full-time pro­fessor at Southern in 1988, Arboleda accepted the university’s invitation to develop the program in Spain. Since then, he has successfully run the program in Salamanca, known as the Golden City of Spain. Since 1990, the SCSU program has worked with the University of Salamanca (1990– 1994) and later with the prestigious Colegio de España.

Over the past 25 years, the Salamanca program has provided professional development, commu­nity engagement, and intercultural travel experiences for students from Southern and other Connecticut higher education institutions. About 25 students attend the program each year. Many of the graduates of the SCSU–Colegio de España program have pur­sued careers in the field of teaching Spanish as a second language, international edu­cation, multi-national organizations, and in a variety of fields where the Spanish language is critically needed.

A key part of Southern’s mission is “preparing our local students for global lives,” and each year, a significant number of Southern students study abroad. The university recently joined 240 institu­tions nationwide in the Institute of Interna­tional Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. President Mary Papazian says, “Professor Arboleda saw long ago the need for students to have such experiences and has said that total immersion in another culture helps the indivi­dual not only to learn about that culture but also gain insight into him or herself. Dr. Arboleda’s vision and his understanding of the importance of study abroad have set a foundation for this university to build upon.”

Erin Heidkamp, director of the Office of International Education, agrees, noting Arboleda’s “steadfast commitment to international education, and to our students.” Heidkamp credits Arboleda’s leadership as playing a critical role in the growth of global education initiatives at Southern.

Steven Breese, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, who was present at the anniversary celebration in Salamanca last summer, says that the students who attend the program there are “forever changed by the great city and culture that is Salamanca.” Indeed, for nearly eight centuries, Salamanca has been home to the first Spanish language university, and it has been a World Heritage Site for more than 25 years and was named the European Capital of Culture in 2002. Salamanca is also recognized as an international leader in Spanish language education.

Laos

In terms of diversity of and access to faculty-led study abroad programming, Southern is now “walking the walk,” says Erin Heidkamp, director of international education. With the recent addition of five new study abroad programs, destinations now range from Liverpool to Laos, and program fees are affordable compared to other institutional and third-party programs study abroad programs outside of Southern.

New programs this year include Amsterdam (sociology), China (nursing), Guatemala II (special education), Laos (English), and Liverpool (recreation and leisure). These programs join the university’s existing programs in Belize (biology), Bermuda (the environment, geography, and marine sciences), Guatemala I (public health), Iceland (the environment, geography, and marine sciences), Rome (English), Spain (world languages and literatures) and Tuscany (world languages and literatures).

Heidkamp says, “The publication of our new 2016 faculty-led program abroad booklets has sparked tremendous interest among faculty interested in establishing their own programs. We couldn’t be more excited about the growth in this area of OIE (Office of International Education) services. It’s the direct result of having defined the direction in which we, as a university, want to move.”

A key part of Southern’s mission as an institution of higher learning is “preparing our local students for global lives,” and each year, a significant number of Southern students study abroad. Last year, the university joined 240 institutions nationwide in the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade.

Amsterdam

The Amsterdam program (July 7 – August 7) will address social problems in The Netherlands, especially as they relate to crime, drug culture, sexuality and social control. These and other topics will be covered in courses taught by experts on Dutch social policy and field experiences led by activists, policy makers, and scholars from the University of Amsterdam.

China

The 2016 China program (March 17 – 26) will provide nursing students a unique opportunity to study global healthcare abroad within a developing, culturally diverse population. Students will identify how cultural issues and global diversity impact the delivery of healthcare and will work collaboratively with Chinese nursing students from Central South University in Changsha, China, to explore, understand, and appreciate these differences as well as identify, assess, and plan interventions from a global perspective.

Guatemala

The special education field study in Guatemala (July 31 – August 14) will provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about special education in a developing country through interactions with children, teachers and families; discussions with in-country experts; community observations; and visits to schools, residential facilities and other agencies serving children with disabilities. Students will examine special education policies and services with attention to availability, accessibility, assessment, professional preparation, and resources. Topics such as cultural and linguistic diversity, literacy, school attendance and completion, and successful post-school transitions will be explored.

Laos

In the Laos program (May 30- June 16), students will take a course that introduces and teaches travel writing while offering intensive practice in multiple forms within the genre, making it suitable for seasoned as well as aspiring travelers and writers. Students will use their daily interactions with Lao culture, food, historical sites, and people to inform their written reflections on what it means to be a foreign person traveling through an unfamiliar country.

Liverpool

The Liverpool program – “Atlantic Crossing!” (April 3-12) — will provide students with the opportunity to meet like-minded students at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), and learn about the shared historical and cultural roots of two significant coastal cities that played a major role in the international economic and cultural development of the United States and England. The program may also serve as a practicum experience for a student in the Tourism, Hospitality and Event concentration, with student involvement in the planning and logistical management of the program. Students will be required to attend face-to-face meetings with RLS faculty, online meetings with LJMU counterparts prior to departure, and develop a research project linked to their current course work and concentration.

For more information about any of these programs, including fees and contact information, visit the OIE website.

To hear study abroad alumni speak about their experiences with international study, don’t miss the Global Ambassador Symposium on February 24 at 12 p.m. in Engleman A120.