Study Abroad

I love to travel, and I want to pass that on to future generations. I have done this with my family as my son did a semester in Costa Rica and short-term programs in New Zealand, Australia, Greece, and Ireland. I have visited 33 countries covering about 10% of the globe.

When I began to think about Study Abroad, I wanted to create an experience that would be different than most programs. In many cases studying abroad involves students spending most of the time in a classroom, so it does not matter if they are in another country or Valdosta, Georgia. I want students to be out and about as much as possible.

To accomplish this goal, I believe in programs that are immersive experiences for students. My design focuses on upper-division students interested in experiential and project-based learning. The programs attempt to meet the different needs of students. The travel experience is treated as field research.

The design has three parts.

Part I – Preparation (20%) – Students engage in research to develop a general understanding of the country, the basics of traveling abroad, and developing a background in their project area. Students complete assigned readings and exams, submit a project proposal, and attend an orientation program to study abroad.

Phase II – Field research (50%) – The time spent abroad is field research. Students keep a journal, collect data required for their project, and meet daily with the course instructors. Students engage in approved individual and group activities during their abroad time.

Phase III – Return (30%) – Students are charged with completing their substantive projects when they return. Often, this project becomes the students’ capstone experience.

Sample student projects

Here are some examples of student projects completed as part of this program.

Graduate research

Brown, T. (2010).  Study abroad promotional program. Eastern Illinois University

Hensley, B. (2009).  Intercultural competence and short-­‐term study abroad:  One month in New Zealand and Australia

Dormagen, J. (2007).  Student awareness of local and global environmental issues.

Undergraduate research

Eckhouse, N. (2011).  Cultural differences in emergency preparedness in high-risk environments; New Zealand and Australia. Supervised with L. Bryan.

Glaze, K. (2010). The relationship between background music and customers’ behavior in restaurants and shops.  Supervised with M. Mills

Kavanaugh, K. (2011).  International dance culture and body movement/language.  Supervised with L. Bryan.

Krosher, K. (2011).  The changes in communication and interaction between individuals during mealtime. Supervised with L. Bryan

McElhenny, S. (2011).  Energy systems and renewable energy in New Zealand

White, E. (2011).  Restaurant communication styles in New Zealand and Australia.Supervised with L. Bryan

Hurley, B. (2011).  Expression of non-­‐verbal communication through photography.  Supervised with L. Bryan

Luber, N. (2011).  Sounds of New Zealand. Supervised with L. Bryan