Concordia offers the opportunity study abroad in another country in an accelerated format. The Global Education Program by the Study Abroad Department allows students to experience a culture apart from our own in a short-term trip.
CUW Coordinator of Study Abroad Operations Chris Reeder said global education courses are highly experiential.
“Global ed courses are a great way for students to ‘get their feet wet’ in cultural exploration and global citizenship. They are affordable, brief, and led by excellent faculty to exciting destinations, making them a great choice for many students,” said Reeder.
This program enables students to take a course during either fall or spring semester, followed by a short-term trip related to the course material immediately following the semester.
Junior pre-physician assistant student Casey Deshambo recently returned from a short-term trip to Puerto Rico in which Deshambo completed a 3-credit course, Biology 367: Ecology of the Tropics, during the Fall semester prior to departing for Puerto Rico.
“This short-term study abroad was an experience of a lifetime. The course was held Monday evenings for one hour during the fall semester. During the class, we were lectured on the Caribbean’s unique plant and animal life. Then, we traveled to six different islands, where our course professor provided a wealth of knowledge for us as we explored them,” said Deshambo.
Photo by: Sara Crynock; Castillo San Felipe del Morro, San Juan, PR
In most cases, students will complete the global ed course prior to the trip, so the trip is a chance to expand on the course curriculum learned in the course without homework.
Senior accounting student Sara Crynock also returned from the Puerto Rico trip with a positive perspective.
“The trip was a seven-day to cruise to the Caribbean and was a required trip for the Ecology of the Tropics class. Our class went to a myriad of places including San Juan, the British Virgin Islands, Martinique, Dominica, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas. Honestly, I have written pages about my experience. It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Crynock.
Global ed courses are offered in numerous academic concentrations to complement most academic paths. According to the CUW Short-Term Global Ed Courses webpage, current course listings include the concentrations of religion, music, nursing, occupational therapy, history, biology, art, geography, social sciences, and several master’s level courses. These courses can satisfy core requirements and program requirements depending on students’ academic concentration.
Photo by: Sara Crynock; Plaza San Cristobal, Old San Juan
“Students can expect the same level of academic rigor on global ed courses as they can expect on campus. Of course, the difference is that global ed courses are highly experiential. The course material jumps off the page and becomes part of your lived experience as the world becomes your classroom,” said Reeder.
These global ed courses stay true to the CUW mission to ‘develop students in mind, body and spirit’ by benefiting personally, cognitively, socially and spiritually.
“Students say the top three benefits are personal growth, growing in understanding for diverse peoples, and making friends. I think the benefits of the global ed courses are that they are short, so they are more accessible and by going with Concordia students and faculty, students have the opportunity (and almost always do) to develop long-lasting relationships with fellow travelers,” said Reeder.
Crynock said the most fulfilling aspect of the trip was putting her classroom knowledge to experiential use.
“The best part about my experience was how I able to apply what I learned in the classroom with what I saw on trip. For example, in the lab portion of the class we had to memorize about 26 types of fish commonly seen in the Caribbean. When we went snorkeling, we were able to see these fish in real life including a barracuda,” said Crynock.
Photo by: Sara Crynock; San Juan, PR
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