Dutch Students Visit Winter Park Campus

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Global Studies is alive and well on the Winter Park Campus as faculty, staff and students welcomed students from Valencia’s sister college Koning Willem I College (KWIC) from the Netherlands in February 2020. The Seneff Honors College Global Studies Program, based on the Winter Park Campus, teaches students to be leaders in their communities and exposes them to a new world of opportunities. Professor of Speech Suzette Ashton coordinated this experience.

Twenty-one students from KWIC attended English and interpersonal communications classes, where they wrote and performed a dialogue poem titled “The Dream,” which highlighted some of the similarities and differences between the Dutch and American dream. As a special treat, the students were able to record the poem at Valencia’s East campus recording studio.

In addition, students explored the evolution of the American dream in the 20th century by creating a living “Museum of the American Dream,” while participating in a humanities class. Each group of Dutch and American students created a tableau depicting the American dream from different time periods. They opened the “museum” to visitors who walked through and pressed the on/off button at each tableau, bringing each scene to life.

Rudy Darden, professor, English, treated the Dutch students to a crucial conversation about identity and how we treat one another. Katie Tagye, director, organizational design and development, led an honors co-curricular Ice Cream Creative Thinking Social where honors students from Valencia got to interact with the Dutch students. The activities required them to use creative thinking and communication skills. Students said that trying something new, clear communication and eye contact helped them complete their task in spite of the language challenges and cultural differences.

It was not all work for the Dutch students while they were in Florida. They received a well-rounded view of several Central Florida attractions and visited the Pulse memorial. Both Suzette and a security guard shared additional information about the Pulse tragedy while the group visited the site. Dutch student Lottie shared, “Our teacher told us the story before we went to Orlando, but I didn’t expect it to be this heavy, this disturbing. We felt their sadness and the weight they were carrying on their shoulders as they shared additional details and how Orlando continues to heal.”

This is the sixth reciprocal visit between students from Valencia College and Koning Willem 1 College. The Seneff Honors College looks forward to many more visits.

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