By Taylor Connolly
With new freshmen still getting acquainted with everything around the Union campus, I wanted to take a moment to make everyone aware of the exciting opportunities offered by the International Programs office, with emphasis on upcoming deadlines for applications and brand new mini-term destinations!
With applications for Spring 2011 terms abroad fast approaching on September 24th, head on over to the International Programs Office on the third floor of Old Chapel and learn about the numerous countries to which you could travel. These include Germany, Italy, and the three countries included in the National Health Systems term abroad. These all count for 2 LCC credits and a chance to see places you may never have visited on your own.
While these programs are all opportunities not to miss, two new mini-terms to Uruguay and Russia have just been added for the Summer of 2011.
Professor Seri of the Political Science department and Dean Travers have organized a three week trip to Uruguay to study and work in conjunction with students at the Universidad de la República in the capital of Montevideo. The group will be contributing to the ambitious Uruguyan version of One Laptop Per Child, “Plan Ceibal.” This program has already reached children in elementary schools throughout the nation. The program plans to expand to include high school students; the goal is to promote social inclusion by bridging the digital gap through the distribution of laptops and training.
Along with the three-week trip in the summer, this mini-term includes five project planning sessions in the spring and five project meetings in the fall. While in Uruguay, students will learn about and experience the culture, government, and education system as it relates to Plan Ceibal.
Professor Arndt of the Modern Languages department has arranged for students to jet over to Russia in June, with visits planned to the Kremlin in Moscow, the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, and a stay in Novgorod.
During these three weeks, students will also be immersed in Russian culture by attending a bathhouse, a ballet, and experiencing Russian and Georgian cuisine. Students will also attend classes in Russian language and history at the Nevsky Institute in St. Petersburg.
As a past participant in Union terms abroad, I cannot encourage you enough to get out of your comfort zone and apply for these amazing trips. Both will provide unique experiences you will appreciate for years to come. With one allowing you to make a difference in a life you otherwise would not have met, and the latter to appreciate and immerse yourself in a foreign culture, there is not way your summer will be boring.