“What I did on my summer vacation”

by · August 20, 2018

Traveling the bustling streets of Tokyo, feeding kangaroos by hand in Australia, taking selfies in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa: If anyone asks Mount study abroad students “What did you do during your summer vacation?” they’re in for a great answer.

Dozens of Mount students and professors traveled around the world this summer through the college’s study abroad program. In addition to two programs led by Mount faculty to Australia and Italy, Mount students also studied independently in Morocco, Tokyo, London, and Thailand. All trips were arranged with the help of the Mount’s Career Center.

Leading an enthusiastic group through Australia was Michael Fox, assistant professor of Business Law and the Pre-Law advisor at the Mount, and fellow School of Business teacher Scott Russell, assistant professor of Sports Management. The group began in Sydney and stopped in Canberra (the Australian Capital Territory), Cairns, and Brisbane, enjoying tours of museums and government offices, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, visiting Aboriginal tribes, and more along the way.

The group with Hon. Meegan Fitzharris, member of the ACT Assembly and Minister of Health for Australia Capital Territory

“Study abroad is a wonderful experience,” noted Fox. “Living in another country provides one with an appreciation for other cultures, and other ways of life. One comes away with a respect for both the similarities and differences between nations and peoples – something very much needed in our world.”

“As a professor, I had a front-row seat to watch the students expand their minds and horizons through first-hand activities, and learning opportunities that would not be available in a classroom,” he explained.

As the Australian cohort enjoyed meeting government officials and staying at the Australian Olympic athletes training institute, another group of Mount students and faculty were taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Italy on the other side of the Equator.

The students studied the human brain and its evolution with Sarah Uzelac, Mount professor of Psychology and chair of the Division of Social Sciences, and Renaissance math and science with Suparna Bhalla, associate professor of Biology, and Maureen Markel, professor Emerita. The students were able to apply their learning in real-life scenarios through visits to Italian eateries, historic churches, and cultural sites such as Pisa, Siena, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast.

“It was an adventure every day,” explained Alexander Perlak, a senior Mathematics major. “Most of our sessions met outside of the classroom exploring the city, museums, and buildings. On the last full day, our class climbed the Duomo, one of the buildings that defines the city. The views were breathtaking and it was a nice ending to the experience.”

While their peers were enjoying Mount faculty-led trips, some students also chose to study independently in Morocco, Japan, England, and Thailand with help and preparation from the Mount’s Career Center.

Chalondra Garrett, a junior Psychology and Information Technology double major, studied in Tokyo, Japan this summer, thanks to an award from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

“Overall my experience abroad in Tokyo was something I would never think I would get to experience in my lifetime,” she said. “It was an amazing place, filled with many things to do and places to see.”

While there, Garrett was not only able to study, but also do some networking, including beginning to talk to a company to potentially intern with in Summer 2019.

“I’m very fortunate for the experience, and was glad I had the opportunity to go,” she said.

Want to learn more about studying abroad? Click here to check out the Mount’s numerous study abroad programs!

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