Students Harvest Rich Experiences in Courses with Travel

Angel Tylock '17 at Giardino degli Aranci, overlooking the city of Rome, Italy, in March 2016

Angel Tylock ’17 at Giardino degli Aranci, overlooking the city of Rome, Italy, in March 2016

Angela Tylock ’17 knew she wanted to study abroad, but where did she want to go and for how long?

“When I looked into it, I discovered that I could do three, quarter courses to three different locations for the same cost as one semester in one place,” she said
on a study abroad panel, part of Oswego’s award-winning “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign in the fall semester.

She opted to do that. So far, she has traveled to Rome, Italy; and Machu Picchu, Peru. She hopes to do one more quarter course before she graduates with a double major in political science and international studies and a minor in Spanish.

For many students like Tylock, quarter courses are popular because they require shorter time commitments, have potentially lower costs and are more closely tied to specific courses.

In fact, Joshua McKeown, director
of international education and programs, said that during the 2015-16 academic year, a total of 179 students attended 15 short-term, faculty-led programs to 12 different countries.

This includes a record number of faculty-led second-quarter courses that sent students and mentors to the Bahamas, Benin, Cuba, Ecuador and India over winter break. The classes help students put into immediate context and practice what they learned in class through research, projects and the arts.

Students traveling to the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas saw what a devastating hurricane does to beaches and to objects as large as boulders. They saw what the influence of man and of warmer waters has done to reefs. They were able to compare fossilized geologic structures with ones in building stages.

Other second-quarter courses took students to Calcutta to perform on stage with actors from India, to Benin in West Africa to share knowledge about permaculture, to Cuba to experience culture through photography and music and to Ecuador for a mountain-climbing expedition.

“These are trips involving active research projects, ongoing activities in learning,” McKeown said. “They follow
a well-designed course structure and pro­duce authentic, rich encounters with people and cultures abroad.”

McKeown said there’s a great deal of work for faculty and for his office involved in preparation for an eight-week course, the international travel and the busy agenda of a 7- to 17-day trip. “Without compelling leadership by committed faculty, we would not be having these successes,” McKeown said.

McKeown emphasized that scholarships and other opportunities have put the cost for study-then-travel courses within reach of more students than ever before. SUNY Oswego recently won a national award from the Institute for International Education for the “I, Too, Am Study Abroad” campaign to raise awareness and provide mentoring on campus for students traditionally underrepresented in study-travel experiences.

For more information on faculty-led quarter-courses and the many other study abroad opportunities, visit oswego.edu/international.

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