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Loyola adds to its study abroad lineup

Loyola adds to its study abroad lineup

Students can now enroll in new faculty-led study abroad programs to Iceland (above), Cuba, and Panama.

By Neha Simon  |  Student reporter

Loyola’s newest set of courses will take students not only outside the classroom, but outside the country.

The Office of International Programs is now offering faculty-led study abroad programs to Iceland, Panama, and Cuba. (The University already offers nearly 20 faculty-led programs to other countries.) The three new courses are centered on community engagement with activities that encourage students to take their knowledge from notebook to action.

“Students really enjoy the opportunity to bond with the faculty and dive deep into the curriculum in a hands-on way,” said Kelly Heath, associate director of the University’s study abroad programs. Each three-credit course is narrowly tailored to explore a specific issue pertinent to the region and highlights the expertise of the faculty who lead them.

Panama City, Panama

When: Spring Break
Class: TLSC 231: Teaching Writing and Science in Elementary Schools
Taught by: Lara Smetana, PhD, and Sarah Cohen, PhD

Elementary education or special education majors can learn to teach writing and science in a nine-day field-based course in Panama. This course will let students dive deep into the techniques of teaching in various school and non-school contexts. The class also will visit the Panama Canal locks and the Smithsonian’s Barro Colorado Island ecological research center to help students understand the science and engineering elements of the Next Generation Science Standards. Learn more here.

Havana, Cuba

When: Summer
Class: PLSC 300: Cuba Today—Politics and Society
Taught by: Peter M. Sanchez, PhD

Spend two weeks learning about the rich cultural traditions and the quest for social justice in the tropical island once called the Paris of the Caribbean: Cuba. In this class, students will take a first-hand look at the country’s rapidly changing communist political system. The class also will work with local school administrators and visit the Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site in western Cuba. Learn more here.

Reykjavik, Iceland

When: Summer
Class: ENVS 224: Climate Change or ENVS 398: Sustainability Management in the Global Context
Taught by: Richard DiMaio (ENVS 224) and Nancy Landrum, PhD (ENVS 398)

Students interested in exploring environmental issues abroad can now select one of two courses in Iceland. Both classes will spend time in Iceland’s famous Solheimar eco-village and visit museums, national parks, and geothermal power plants. Students also will plant native tree species to ensure a carbon neutral trip and see the region’s most popular attractions: Gulfoss waterfall and the Blue Lagoon hot springs. Learn more here.

Ready to return

These short-term courses are perfect for any student interested in learning a favorite subject abroad. Some classes meet periodically before the trip to review course materials, get acquainted with the faculty leader, and offer guidance to one another before embarking on the adventure together.

“There is a high level of support from faculty and students on the trip,” Heath said. “Even though these programs are short, the students engage so deeply with their destination that many of them return to Chicago wanting to go back.”