By Scott Creamer, Professor of Political Science, Osceola Campus
As faculty leader of the short-term study abroad program in international politics, INR 2002, I wrapped up a highly successful trip to France and Belgium.
From July 11–19, 2014, a group of 10 students and I visited Paris, Strasbourg and Brussels, where parliament and the U.S. Embassy are located. And, of course, we also got to experience the sights of these cities that make them world famous, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Grand Place.
From my observations and conversations with my students on the trip, I will be bold and declare a few key findings from this trip:
Namely, students definitely gained a more globalized view of the world. Moreover, I believe that the study abroad experience can and indeed, does, contribute to research and assists leaders in developing a network of overseas colleagues.
Equally important, I am convinced that travel abroad provides faculty leaders with a deeper understanding of student development, as the experience enables faculty leaders to develop deeper relationships with students than what might be possible here on campus.
Undoubtedly, the role itself is demanding as the hours can be long, and there are many “hats” to wear. The study abroad leader must serve as teacher, parent and tourist.
Overall, the experience confirmed the importance of incorporating an international perspective/component into on-campus courses.
I can’t wait to do it all again next summer!
If you are interested in leading or participating in a study abroad program, be sure to read the August 2014 SAGE Update for a list of important Study Abroad and Global Education (SAGE) deadlines.