Winter Park Campus’ Global Studies Program Welcomes Netherlands Students

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A message from Stacey Johnson, President, East & Winter Park Campuses

Global Studies is alive and well on the Winter Park Campus as faculty, staff and students welcomed Valencia’s sister college, Koning Willem I College (KWIC) from the Netherlands, in February 2016. 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.

The program began with students from both schools being paired up to complete cross-cultural projects that supported the learning outcomes to their courses. The students communicated with each other via Skype and email over the last two years. 

Through the generosity of the Sue Luzadder Endowed Chair in Communications, Suzette Dohany, professor, speech; Jean Marie Fuhrman, professor, reading; and Val Woldman, professor, humanities, traveled with 22 Honors students to the Netherlands last spring. This study abroad trip provided Valencia students the opportunity to engage with people whose world views, histories, beliefs and aspirations may be very different from their own.

Now this semester, the Winter Park Campus hosted 20 students and four faculty members from KWIC. Students from both colleges attended many on-site Valencia events; they attended classes together, watched the play “Buried,” sat in the Wil Haygood lecture and participated in a Seneff Honors reception. Additionally, students went biking and paddle boarding, and there was a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Walmart.

Global Studies Honors Student Katey Bator stated, “The relationships that are formed between Valencia and KWIC students are just wonderful and have been a life-changing experience. Most of us have never had this type of multicultural experience in our classes. I was fortunate to be introduced to them during my first semester in the Global Studies Program.”

In addition, Honors Student Laura Breeze added, “Suddenly these are real people living in a real country different from ours, not some place on a map that we can easily forget about. I genuinely feel better informed about the world, thanks to my experience with classmates from KWIC.”

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