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Short-term Study Abroad Experiences Growing in Popularity
08.28.13 |
Jill Russell, LVC’s director of study abroad, notes that while LVC still sends a majority of its study-abroad students away for a full semester, in recent years students have increasingly opted for short-term rather than semester-long programs. For some students, the reasons are financial; others aren’t interested in being far from home for a whole semester. For others, it’s simple logistics: education majors, for instance, can’t study abroad for a semester and still graduate on time. For these majors, LVC offers a summer study-abroad program in London. “They take an LVC course with an LVC faculty member where they visit six different schools in England and meet with students and administrators,” Russell says. “The whole course is designed as a comparison between the U.S. and English systems.” Another program focuses on children’s literature by linking explorations of key literary sites in London, such as the Beatrix Potter exhibit and the famous Harry Potter tour, with major works of children’s literature. “This program is quite unique,” Russell says. “No other schools do it this way.”

LVC offers short-term summer study-abroad opportunities in London and Ormskirk, England; Wurzburg, Germany; and Maastricht, in the Netherlands. One of the most popular of LVC’s summer programs, the six-credit Maastricht program is led by a member of the College’s business faculty and focuses on the European Union (EU). Last summer 13 LVC students, led by Treva Clark, assistant professor of business administration, took courses on the EU and intercultural communications; toured the headquarters of businesses based in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium; and visited the EU Parliament buildings in Brussels.

“I saw an awakening in those students, almost from the first week that they were there,” Clark says. “There was a curiosity there. These students saw that Europeans do a lot of the same things that we do, but they do them differently, and the students pushed themselves to understand how things are different, and why.

“I was so impressed by their willingness to try new things,” she adds. “There were a number of students on the trip this year who had never been out of the U.S., had never been on a plane or even a train before. But one weekend that we were there, every single student was in a country outside of the Netherlands—they’d traveled to Switzerland, England, Germany, and other places. I was so proud of them for negotiating that kind of movement. It was fun to see them stretching like that.”

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