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UWyo Magazine

May 2016 | Vol. 17, No. 3

Student Gabriel Selting on Mount Sinai in Egypt during a faculty-led course with Lecturer Seth Ward. Courtesy Photo

Student Gabriel Selting on Mount Sinai in Egypt during a faculty-led course with Lecturer Seth Ward. Courtesy Photo

 

“I’ve known I wanted to study abroad since I was really young,” says Emily Sikorski of Pinedale, Wyo., a junior studying international agricultural business. “If I’d gone anywhere else, I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it.”

Sikorski first took a faculty-led course on Mayan art and culture with Visiting Assistant Professor Mary Katherine Scott, currently the acting director of the International Programs Office. Students studied architecture and art styles and then completed individual research projects, with Sikorski focusing on agriculture. That trip inspired her to do a semester exchange in the Netherlands.

“I learn so much every time I go abroad,” she says. “You learn how to communicate effectively with people who are vastly different from yourself. You also learn that there’s not just one way to do things—for example, agriculturally you learn a lot of different methods. I feel like traveling is an integral part of experiencing life.”

Bonnie Zare, professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, leads a winter break course to India titled Social Justice in Culture and Practice for which students must take a prerequisite course the previous semester. “I’ve literally had students say to me, ‘I have learned more and grown more from three weeks in India than I have in an entire year,’ simply because the experience is so hands-on and so intensely different from anything they would have imagined, even after having studied it for three months,” Zare says. She adds that the trip also builds her students’ confidence and cultural awareness, both valuable in their future career searches: “I think that in this marketplace, global citizenship skills are really needed—not just interpersonal skills but cross-cultural skills in terms of creating a good means of communication, following through, being sensitive to potential differences or being misunderstood. I feel like every minute on this trip we are practicing that.”

“Staying in my own backyard proved to be my real gateway to the world,” says Gabriel Selting of Laramie, Wyo., a global studies major who plans to graduate in 2018. “Over the past year and a half since coming to UW, I have been abroad on five separate occasions, engaging in activities ranging from tomb exploring in the Golan of Israel to craning my neck trying to take in the beauty of the Sistine Chapel. Right now, I’m studying in France for the academic year. My first venture was in the summer of 2014 in Haiti, where I assisted at a women’s medical clinic and children’s camp. My second experience was a trip to Morocco over the winter break in 2015 where I taught English, music and theater in Casablanca. Over spring break of last year, I went with my Freshman Interest Group (Gateway to the World) to Trinidad and Tobago, where we volunteered our time in a city beautification project. Over the summer of 2015, I went to Israel, Egypt and Jordan with a faculty-led class directed by Lecturer Seth Ward, where we studied the religions of the Middle East. I then stayed in Israel and studied terrorism and responses and Israeli history at the University of Haifa through a UW study abroad.”

Selting hopes to one day work with refugees, focusing on the public health of camps and facilitating medical treatments. Through his international experiences at UW, he believes he’s getting the best education possible. As he says, “Study abroad turns you into a true, primary learner.”


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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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