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The World is Our Classroom

Several groups of Eastern students traveled overseas and out-of-state this past year to participate in Global Field Courses. Such international experiences provide students with opportunities to broaden their world view and appreciation of other cultures, enhancing their personal perspectives and professional prospects.

Seven Eastern Connecticut State University students, accompanied by Assistant Professor of Theatre j.j. Cobb, traveled to Oahu, HI, from Jan. 1-13, to perform a series of theatrical pieces ranging from scenes to monologues to readings. The trip was the culmination of the Site-Specific Theatre course the group had taken during the fall semester, when they wrote their performances and learned about the history and culture of Hawaii.

In June 2013, six Honors students joined Richard Jones-Bamman, associate professor of music, on a 17-day tour of Sweden. The trip was the culmination of the spring 2013 course, "Nationalism and the Arts," which explored the impact of art and music in the development of modern Sweden. Highlights included visits to the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, the Folk Music House in Dalarna and the home of noted 19th-century artists Carl and Karin Larsson. The Eastern travelers also attended the nyckelharpa ('keyed fiddle') festival in Österbybruk and the Midsommar celebration in Umeå. A trip to Jokkmokk above the Arctic Circle included a stop at the Ájtte Museum, devoted to the Sámi people.

Business students had the opportunity in May 2013 to participate in a 10-day global field study course held at ESDES School of Business, Université Catholique de Lyon, a top-ranked international business management school in Lyon, France, one of the major academic and cultural centers of Europe. The course, led by Business Professor Branko Cavarkapa, consisted of learning about French business practices, cultural environments, and economic integrations in Europe, and also included visits to various businesses, international organizations, museums and other cultural institutions in Paris, Avignon and Geneva.

Communication Professor César Beltran led a group of students to Budapest, Hungary, from May 28-June 10 to investigate how the present-day Hungarian media represents the Holocaust. Students attended lectures held at the Budapest campus of McDaniel College that were presented by specialists from renowned European academic Institutions; visited the state-run television network, Budapest's Jewish Quarte and the Dohany Street Synagogue; and took an overnight excursion to the Nazi concentration camp located in Mauthausen, Austria.

Students enrolled in the Communication Department's "International Advertising and PR" course visited British advertising agencies such as international advertising giant McCann-Erickson and the BBC as part of a trip to England and France in May to study media from a multi-cultural perspective. The global field course was led by Associate Professor Olugbenga Ayeni and Professor Terri Toles-Patkin. An additional group of students enrolled in a course on women studies also toured London and Paris with Communication Professor Denise Matthews to learn about the influences of French and British feminists on the current status of women in France and the United Kingdom and to study the participation of women in media production.

Education students accompanied Professor David Stoloff to Jamaica during the January wintersession and spent a week serving as teaching aides at primary and high schools in Jamaica, correcting papers, helping out with lessons and interacting with the students.

Biology students explored one of San Salvador's coral reefs as part of their Tropical Biology field course, which provided hands-on field experience on the concepts of tropical ecology, island biogeography, and the natural history of marine and terrestrial fauna and flora. Leading the trip were Assistant Professor Joshua Idjadi and Professor Ross Koning.