WKU students and faculty made good use of their time off during Winter Term 2016 through WKU Study Away and Faculty Led Study Abroad. WKU faculty taught courses in seven programs with over 74 participants.
WKU Study Away offered courses in geography, floodplain management, film and theater, which took students to Hawaii, Utah, California, Death Valley or New York City.
Dr. Warren Campbell led a course in floodplain management, which took students to the southern California coast, through Death Valley and into Las Vegas. Dr. Campbell says that teaching study away is very different from teaching in a classroom because students get to fully experience what they learn. He said that students “actually see the overflow spillways at Hoover Dam and see that you can float a battleship in there. They need to see something in concrete, rock and dirt to fully appreciate these important engineering concepts.”
Through Faculty Led Study Abroad, WKU faculty taught in Costa Rica, France, New Zealand, South Africa and Taiwan, where students studied biology leadership, outdoor recreation, economics or political science.
Dr. Brian Strow and Dr. Claudia Strow taught political science in South Africa. Dr. Brian Strow said that teaching abroad really opens up mentoring opportunities that do not always manifest themselves in a classroom environment. “Students gain a sense of context from being surrounded by a learning environment rather than just abstractly looking at it from the outside,” he said.
Dr. Timothy S. Rich and Dr. Yufen Chang led students to Taiwan, where students studied political science. He said the students “gained immersion into a foreign election, seeing rallies, talking to voters and understanding firsthand why this election mattered” as they saw first-hand the first woman to be elected president of Taiwan. He added that teaching abroad allows for an intense in-depth study of a topic, aided by having experiences outside of a traditional classroom.
The goal of these programs is to provide students the opportunity to enhance their academic achievement by providing unique experiences that complements their coursework. Faculty also get to offer students unique perspective by making the course location their classroom.
Spring and summer courses are open for applications with over 34 four different locations available for students to earn WKU credit. New programs include courses in Barbados and Morocco, along with a spring beak class in Arizona, and a summer class in North Carolina.
More information is available on our website at www.wku.edu/studyaway or by calling the Office of Study Away at 270-745-4512.