Faculty lead students in Europe
October 12, 2016
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San Diego State’s faculty led study abroad programs offer shorter study abroad trips for students in any major.
One option available to students is the faculty-led study abroad program, where students are guided through a country of their choice by a faculty member.
This program is available to students who are looking to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, but still want to have a fulfilling experience. They tend to last for one to four weeks, in either the spring, winter or summer.
Just as with any other study abroad program, students have an assortment of destinations to choose from, offering a variety of different curriculums.
One of the upcoming faculty-led study abroad trips this winter session is the International Entrepreneurship program led by professor of Global Marketing and Consumer Marketing Strategy, Lois Olson.
Olson has been leading study abroad trips for 13 years in Shanghai and Paris. This winter will be her first time taking students to Bangkok, Thailand.
While these faculty-led programs may be shorter than others, Olson says it does not affect the capacity of knowledge and experience that student obtain during their journey.
“They learn more in two to three weeks in the other country in a regular class and with company and cultural visits than in a whole semester with five courses in their seats at SDSU,” Olson said. “Mostly, they learn what they are capable of achieving beyond their comfort zone. The biggest problem is once they are introduced to travelling and learning, they cannot stop.”
Olson said another benefit of the faculty-led program includes the lasting relationships that are formed between students and professors.
“On campus, I teach very large sections, usually with 235-300 students,” Olson said. “In the faculty-led programs, I have 22-24 students. Students get to interact with faculty on a very different level.”
Another faculty-led study abroad program is held by English and Comparative Literature professor William Nericcio. He guides students on a culture-filled trek through London every other summer.
Professor Nericcio has been taking students to London for eight summers through a program that he calls London Rocks.
Nericcio first began his excursions to London during the fall semester of 2001.
Nericcio’s said “London Rocksfully immerses students in a world rich with art and culture.
“My program is made up of field trips,” he said. “We go to all the art museums, music concerts, the theater and we always make it a point to visit Oxford and even just hang out in pubs. We do a lot in the short time that we’re there.”
Nericcio said the claim that study abroad is a “transformative experience” is not a mere cliché.
“It really does change the students,” he said. “In other countries, they’re truly treated like adults. Even the fact that they can just go to a pub and have a drink with their meal, and not have it be a big deal, is a really maturing experience for some of them.”
The impact study abroad programs have on students can be seen in the decision many students make to return.
“Many of the students I’ve taken to London end up going back because they love it so much,” Nericcio said.
For those who may be interested in participating in a faculty-led study abroad program, more information can be found in the Faculty-Led Study Abroad Office in the Extended Studies Center, 303.