Scholars of the World

Dozens of dynamic courses are offered to students while studying abroad, from CHEM 090: Bio-Chemistry of Wine Making in Florence to SPAN 320: Cuba in Revolution.

Like an extended field trip, studying abroad is one of the best ways to see the world, and to make learning come alive by studying a new language and immersing oneself in a foreign culture. Now, Manhattan College students can further their studies by taking classes that examine specific topics such as ART 402: Art and Architecture of a Floating City in Venice, CHEM 090: Bio-Chemistry of Wine Making in Florence, and CMPT 464: Special Topics: 3D Game Development in Kyoto, Japan.

During winter intersession, business students enrolled in MKTG 414: International Field Study Seminar traveled to India to study an emerging economy firsthand, and attend advertising workshops and site visits to global manufacturing plants.

Changes in political circumstances have even allowed Manhattan classes to venture to previously restricted places. A loosened embargo with Cuba meant that Laura Redruello, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish, could take her SPAN 320: Cuba in Revolution class to Havana for a lesson unlike any other.

“This was a field trip to a country that is very close, but we do not know very well,” Redruello says. “Both groups, my class students and the other students that chose to come, had a common interest — to better know Cuba, its history and its people.” 

The trip was especially meaningful for education major Andy Gonzalez ’17, whose father is from Cuba. A visit to a crowded, underprivileged Cuban school provided him with more drive to become a good teacher.

“I want to be the type of teacher who takes pride in what he does,” says Gonzalez, who is planning on becoming a Spanish teacher. “I want to be a teacher that students respect, but at the same time, show them that they can have fun learning something.”

Fun is a key part in ensuring that Manhattan College’s field trips work; that students leave with a lasting impression and the knowledge to apply to a future career.

Sometimes, however, it can be difficult for students in programs such as engineering or science to study abroad or take hands-on electives and still graduate on time with all requirements fulfilled.

This year, a special trip allowed 12 chemical engineering students to spend two weeks abroad at the Universidad La Salle in Mexico City and study ENGG 678: Sustainable Energy and CHML 316: Computer Simulation and Design. A vibrant itinerary ensured that the cohort also got to experience the culture and sites of Mexico, from ruins and cathedrals, to outreach day trips at migrant centers.

“The students saw how their chosen profession is truly universal and that the theory and techniques they have learned can be applied anywhere,” says Gennaro Maffia, D.Eng.Sc., professor of chemical engineering. “This reinforced the global nature of chemical engineering and allowed the Manhattan students to see our traditional schoolwork applied in a different context.”

Photos courtesy of Laura Redruello and Kathy Ciarletta

By Julie Benns