UBToday Online Alumni Magazine -Spring 1997
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study abroad is personal growth

ub's cuban odyssey

good golly,
miss molly

write handed player

the message of art


Study abroad translates into
opportunities for personal growth

It used to be that study abroad was viewed as a pleasant diversion from a regular academic degree program-a luxury reserved for language and arts majors.

Not any longer. Today, a well-planned program of overseas study is considered an important asset for students in most fields and a competitive advantage in the international marketplace. Such study demands not only an acquaintance with foreign languages and a sensitivity to other cultures, but a global perspective on current affairs and on one's field of study. The students of today who seize the opportunity to enlarge and expand their education through study abroad will be the broad-minded, internationally savvy leaders of tomorrow.

With 47 overseas study programs in 23 countries, the University at Buffalo is specially qualified to offer outstanding study programs overseas. UB has more than 20 years of experience in organizing and overseeing study abroad programs in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America; the professional staff of our Study Abroad Office help students find the programs that best suit their needs. Programs are available in virtually all categories: overseas academic programs and exchange programs; programs with course offerings in many subject areas, as well as field-specific programs in such disciplines as architecture, management and engineering; academic year, semester, and summer programs; and credit and noncredit options.

The university's expanding opportunities for study abroad parallel a growing national trend. Overseas study by American students is on the rise, according to the nonprofit Institute for International Education, which has been maintaining records on U.S. study abroad since 1985. In the 1994-95 academic year, 84,403 college students from the United States studied for credit in a foreign country, an increase of 10.6 percent from the previous year. The institute shows a 30 percent increase in students going to China and a 42 percent increase for those traveling to Australia. UB has programs in both nations. Europe remains the preferred destination for two-thirds of U.S. students who study abroad, however.

At UB, some of our most well-established and popular offerings-like the French language and culture program in Grenoble, France-continue to attract many students. Traditional language and arts programs are also available in many new venues, including Russia, Poland, China, and Japan. Some of our programs are intended for those just beginning the study of a foreign language, others are for those at an intermediate or advanced level, and still others include course instruction in English.

In addition, we have developed a variety of new programs in nontraditional fields that promise a special kind of intellectual and personal adventure for those who are up to the challenge. For example, our program in environmental policy in Brisbane and Cairns, Australia; our Summer in Vietnam Program; and our interdisciplinary program in Havana, Cuba, are among the most exciting and demanding academic opportunities available to U.S. students overseas, and illustrate UB's "cutting edge" approach to study abroad.

These programs combine multidisciplinary academic course offerings-with more fieldwork and hands-on learning than traditional classroom teaching-and unusual (not to say exotic) cultural settings in parts of the world that are currently undergoing rapid transformation. These programs challenge participants intellectually, as well as culturally and linguistically, inviting them to rethink their worldview and understanding of their academic field.

It is a high point in their education and an incomparable opportunity for personal growth.

By Stephen C. Dunnett
UB Vice Provost for International Education

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