New Perspectives from Diverse Study Abroad Destinations
SCU Study Abroad is often considered as an essential way for students to get out of the "SCU Bubble". Escaping this bubble has been challenging for some because of the large numbers of SCU students on certain programs and because of the large numbers of SCU students studying in traditional study abroad destinations (Western Europe or in English-speaking countries). SCU Study Abroad now offers programs in 55 countries and students are taking advantage of more and more of these global opportunities. In fall 2014 alone SCU students will study in 33 different countries including many non-traditional destinations such as Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Hong Kong, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and Turks and Caicos.
Increasing the diversity of destinations provides SCU students with options that are powerfully connected to their academic, professional, and personal goals. With this range of destinations we have seen students approach study abroad with more knowledge and attention to how study in the specific country and community will help them to accomplish their study abroad goals. We have also seen students considering more more in-depth research opportunities, intensive language study, professional opportunities, and community service placements that relate directly to the specific destination that they have chosen.
Diverse experiences abroad challenge students more and bring new perspectives back to SCU. As a community we are dedicated to educating students with competence, conscience, and compassion (as Delaney Bantillo's story and image illustrate below). When our students spend 10-15 weeks in non-traditional study abroad destinations they are challenged to develop new knowledge and skills, consider the perspectives of others, and demonstrate concern and kindness for other cultures.
Delaney Bantillo studied abroad in with IES Abroad in Delhi, India during Fall 2013
"At one of the famous Hindu pilgrimage sites on the banks of the Ganges River, my friend and I spent a day in Haridwar, in Northern India. Visitors from throughout the country and around the world come to the sacred waters to bathe, all days of the year. We wanted to participate! (During our time abroad we studied a variety of religions born in the Indian subcontinent, and immersed ourselves in as many experiential learning opportunities as possible.) For reasons of safety and respect, we didn't take our clothes off, but we filled one of our empty bottles with water from the river and engaged in our own alternative ritual bathing."