Travel Course offers students the chance to travel abroad over the summer

October 31, 2017

Quinita Thomas

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    Next year, students will have the opportunity to experience various cultures as part of the Cultural Diversity and Identity Abroad travel course.

    Sentwali Bakari, vice-chancellor for Student Success and one of the five faculty members who will teach the course believes that it is important for students to study abroad.

    “This course is a cognitive and lived experience that promotes global and multicultural understanding within three countries and two continents,” he said

    “You can watch all the films, and you can read all the literature, but when you are there, you are living the experience,”   

    Students will travel across three countries and two continents in course to take place May 16- 28, 2018. Those who attend will visit Barcelona, Spain, Casablanca, Morocco, Lisbon, Portugal and Madrid.

     Bakari will lead the course alongside Philip Morris, director of the Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs; Sandy Ho, director of the Social Sciences and Languages Center; and Garrett Gatlin, director of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class.

    The cost for the entire trip is estimated to be between $4,200 to $4,700. There are currently five students signed up for the course, but Bakari and his colleagues hope to have at least 20 interested.

    According to Mandy Hansen, director of Global Engagement in the Global Engagement Office, students must register with the GEO and fill out an application to take the course.

    “Students must provide a copy of their passport, and provide their travel and health insurance,” Hansen said.

    According to Bakari, the travel course also meets the goals in the UCCS Strategic plan called 2012-2020, which includes 12 goals that surround increasing the university’s diversity.

    Through the class, students will gain more global consciousness and self-awareness, as well as improving on their cross-cultural communication skills.

    Learning objectives include articulating an awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity, critical thinking. Students must also demonstrate and/or be willing to have their cultural assumptions challenged; either implicitly or explicitly by others.

    “Studying abroad will also help create a positive outlook when it comes to looking for jobs,” Bakari said. “We anticipate students will increase their capacity for self-awareness and deep reflection while having their cultural assumptions challenged implicitly or explicitly.”

     Both Hansen and Bakari think it is important for students to sign up for the course.

    “For students who have traveled abroad before, this allows them to visit a new location they have not been to yet.”

     The course will also help students feel more comfortable about traveling outside the U.S.

    “For some, this course will reduce personal fear of the unknown as it relates to cross-cultural interaction and inspire students to further their appreciation of international travel and global engagement,” Bakari said.

    Students interested in participating in the travel course can apply by Feb. 15, 2018.

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