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BG Falcon Media

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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

University departments spread the culture around

Students are surrounded with a world of opportunities to learn and discover different cultures and societies.

Departments such as international studies, Canadian studies, Russian studies, and romance and classical studies encourage students to look beyond the horizon.

“It teaches students to be tolerant of other cultures and raises their awareness because if you really want to see what is out there you need to first understand where it comes from,” Russian instructor Anastasia Alexandrova said.

The international studies department has been focusing on subjects such as women’s rights, religion, and politics in different cultures and societies.

“We need to deconstruct stereotypes,” said Director of international studies Kristie Foell.

Learning cultural differences before leaving the country hopes to better prepare students.

“You could go through college and never really change your opinions if they are not questioned,” Foell said.

Instructors encourage students to study abroad to further understand what they are studying in the classroom.

“It encourages students to look at this culture with a different perspective which educates them, and further develops yourself as a person and the way you see yourself and your country in this world,” Alexandrova said.

One of those new perspectives is offered through the Russian department.

The Russian department offers programs in St. Petersburg and Moscow that range from five weeks, to a semester, to a year.

The five week program gives students the opportunity to study in St. Petersburg where they will attend five classes a day, five times a week while staying with host families.

“It’s a great experience that opens so many opportunities when they come back and allows many students to see what to do with their majors,” Alexandrova said.

Students also have the opportunity to join Russian Club.

The many other language and cultural departments also offer similar programs.

Students in the romance and classical studies departments are encouraged to sign up for a class known as Intro to Study Abroad.

It is a one hour class that lasts for the last six weeks of the semester.

“We used to only give students the orientation booklet, now students can sign up the day after the study abroad deadline for this class,” romance and classical studies instructor Cynthia Whipple said.

Students will have the opportunity to listen to students who have gone on the study abroad program in the past.

A Facebook group has also been set up to connect students who have and who plan to study abroad in places such as Spain and France.

These resources encourage students to prepare early.

“It’s important to paint realistic expectations for students because we want them to know that there will be difficult experiences,” Whipple said.

All romance and classical studies majors are recommended to study abroad and people who wish to teach are required.

Students can also attend a general orientation held in the Union Theater to help prepare for the trip.

Students who wish to study abroad through the University’s programs will pay the same tuition as they would here.

The Canadian studies department also offers programs for students to experience what is taught in the classroom.

“I think it’s something we need to encourage because you probably won’t find another time,” Canadian studies instructor, Rebecca Mancuso, said.

The department offers a trip to Montreal and Quebec City during the week of spring break.

Students will receive 2 credits for the week abroad.

These programs and departments continue to encourage students to learn about different cultures not only on a study abroad program but in the classroom as well.

“You can ask more intellectual questions because you won’t be starting from ground zero,” Director of Study Abroad, Nicole Anderson, said.

Study Abroad students have felt ready when leaving the University.

“In general I felt really prepared. I took the cultural seminar class and learned about things like culture shock,” alumna Nora Solomon said.

The faculty and students from the cultural studies departments continue to prepare students to learn about their world and the differences that surround us.

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