Short-Term Study Abroad Opens SUNY Plattsburgh Students' Eyes
As a student in “Political Economy of Sustainable Development” class, Lisa Zimmerman had been introduced to some of the issues facing Nicaragua.
But it wasn't until she traveled there — as part of a SUNY Plattsburgh short-term study abroad trip — that she gained a better understanding.
Zimmerman, who spent much of her time there discussing development issues with the locals, said her trip was an "excellent eye opener."
“It is an affordable opportunity to stretch our imagination outside the box and expand our knowledge of the world,” she said.
Students and SUNY Faculty Examine Regional Issues
Like Zimmerman, other SUNY Plattsburgh students are gaining valuable experience off campus — and in another country. The class travels to Nicaragua, Mexico or a similar country almost every year. After spending time in the classroom studying the challenges of development, the history of the region and some social science techniques, they travel to that country for a few weeks, where they visit with officials involved in development work.
In Dr. Simona Sharoni’s “Study Abroad in Women’s Studies” class, students have studied gender, culture and politics in Ireland. Another class trip involved attending the 10th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in Madrid, Spain, where they studied gender dynamics in campaigns for human rights.
“These trips do something to you as a person that years in college may not do,” said Sharoni, a professor and the department chair for SUNY Plattsburgh’s gender and women’s studies department.
Study-Abroad Trips Expand Students’ Knowledge
Ashley Yakey, who has studied abroad with Sharoni, says the trips widened her understanding.
“What you come back with from a study abroad is not just knowledge; it is experience and life lessons that come from everyday situations others face. We take for granted the advantages and privileges that come along with our status in society,” said Yakey.
“With every study-abroad experience, students become more aware of this situation,” she added.