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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
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Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

UWyo Magazine

May 2016 | Vol. 17, No. 3

Students Christian Bopp, J.P. Willson, Jessica Grunow and Karissa Rybicki photograph river hippopotamus on the Ewaso Ngiro in Laikipia, Kenya, on a study-abroad course with Assistant Professor Jacob Goheen. Photo Courtesy of Britt Brito

Students Christian Bopp, J.P. Willson, Jessica Grunow and Karissa Rybicki photograph river hippopotamus on the Ewaso Ngiro in Laikipia, Kenya, on a study-abroad course with Assistant Professor Jacob Goheen. Photo Courtesy of Britt Brito

Gateways Abroad

Short-term, faculty-led courses provide the perfect introduction to study abroad.

By Micaela Myers

About 400 University of Wyoming students study abroad each year, and the International Board of Advisors (IBOA) is committed to helping raise that number so that 25 percent of the total UW student body has an international experience by the year 2025. For many students, short-term, faculty-led study-abroad courses are the perfect way to get started. Held over summer, winter and spring breaks, these courses allow students to travel with other UW students and faculty members while learning hands-on and gaining course credit.

“If UW graduates are going to have a chance at competing in our global economy and global organizations, they must begin as undergraduates to develop international understanding,” says Celeste Colgan, an IBOA board member whose career highlights include serving as a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, vice president for administration for Halliburton, director of the Wyoming Department of Commerce and deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. “I spent three months in Europe between my junior and senior years at UW. That experience dropped scales from my eyes. I understood and saw people and ideas in an entirely different way. Schoolwork was easier, and I began to view my own future broadly.”

 

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Recent graduate Caroline Boarini of Indianapolis, Ind., took two faculty-led summer courses—one to the Yucatan of Mexico and one to Spain. “I acquired a totally new outlook on life and education,” says Boarini, who graduated with a dual degree in history and Spanish in 2015 and now works as an archival assistant at the American Heritage Center before attending graduate school. Improved language skills are one of the many things she gained from the trips. “When you’re in a different country, you have to take advantage of your language skills and really bolster your vocabulary. I tell everyone that if you’re learning a different language, you need to study abroad.”

Faculty-led courses can cover everything from language to science. Students in Department of Zoology and Physiology Assistant Professor Jacob Goheen’s Ecology and Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation course may very well see elephants or even leopards in their campsite in the Laikipia Highlands of central Kenya. There, they study issues of human-wildlife interactions and conduct fieldwork in methods of wildlife ecology, including independent projects. Rather than completing known experiments in the lab, this hands-on learning shows them that science is also about creativity. “There’s a perception that science is a meandering accumulation of facts: You just learn stuff, and it’s buried in a library somewhere,” Goheen says. “But in fact, it’s a process of generating and overturning ideas. That’s one of the things that we’re able to do out there when we do independent research projects.”


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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


About UWyo

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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

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