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Western education becomes a global experience

For Western students impatient to explore and experience the world outside their classroom, a steadily widening range of educational and professional programs conducted off campus has opened exciting new horizons for learning stretching to Scotland, Spain, Venezuela and beyond.

The WCSU faculty and administration have sought to enrich the educational and cultural value of a Western degree by organizing diverse opportunities for student learning across the United States and around the world. Here is a sampler of where a Western education can take students during undergraduate and graduate studies:

·         This summer a group of WCSU students will immerse themselves in the language, art and culture of Spain as participants in the university’s sixth annual study-abroad program  in that country. Over the past winter break, Western for the first time opened a new study-abroad program in Italy, conducted in the historically and culturally rich city of Florence.

·         More than 70 students in the theater arts department traveled to Massachusetts in January to stage a production of “Sweeney Todd” at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Western theater arts students also have traveled abroad to participate in the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland; a group of 24 students joined the most recent trip in 2011 to present the Chekhov play “Three Sisters.” 

·         WCSU biology students have traveled to the Pacific coast of Mexico and the tropical forests of Latin America to work side-by-side with their professors in field work to collect specimens, data and other information critical to faculty research projects.

·         Four students in the Ancell School of Business MBA program last summer presented an award-winning case study at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).  Ancell School students are accustomed to thinking globally as well: Since 2005, participants in advanced marketing courses at Western have undertaken case research and market planning for business operations in China and India.  

·         The recipient of the annual Provost’s Prize at WestConn Research Day, held each May to showcase student research work, will receive a $1,000 grant to meet expenses for presentation of an original project at a professional conference during the next academic year.

·         Since 2006 approximately 50 Western students have participated in one or more of the humanitarian travel programs organized by Dr. Jean Hatcherson, adjunct professor of anthropological studies, introducing them to peoples and cultures spanning the globe from India to Ghana to Ecuador.

Why does Western strive to provide a truly global educational experience – and why is it important for the university to seek the support of private donors to open up even more opportunities for student learning abroad? The best answer may be found in the experiences shared elsewhere in this enewsletter by our faculty, recent and current students, and benefactors committed to opening new horizons for learning.

Cover photo: Katerina Kruzykowski Coutsouradis '07 and other students volunteered at a non-profit daycare in Battambang, Cambodia.
Above photo: WCSU students in Edinburgh, Scotland busking to entice an audience to come to their performance of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" at the Fringe Festival.


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