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UC Blue Ash Marks 20 Years of Learning Around the World

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UC students in dublin ireland posing with statue

Mike Roos (back row, left) and students in Dublin, Ireland as part of British Summer Study Abroad. They are posing with the statue of James Joyce, the famous Irish poet and author.

It was bold experiment for a regional college, but the study abroad program at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College is still going strong 20 years after it was founded.

UC Blue Ash professor emeritus, Mike Roos developed the study abroad program at the college in 1997. He participated in study abroad as a student at the University of Evansville and wanted to offer the same life-changing opportunities to students at UC Blue Ash.

“It was a real sales job on my part to get it going,” says Roos of getting the program started. “The dean of the college at the time, Barbara Bardes, was supportive of the idea but she said we would need a minimum of 10 students. We really had to look hard for those 10 students, but we got them.”

The study abroad programs offered by the college typically last between three to five weeks, with classes beginning on campus before the actual journey. There are scholarships and grants available to help students afford the amazing opportunity to truly experience the subject they are studying.

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UC Blue Ash hosted a study abroad program in Peru for the first time in 2016. Students studied Latin American culture and visited Macchu Picchu.

The first British Summer Study Abroad program traveled to England and offered English Literature courses on Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters while also visiting sites where the authors lived and worked. “You learn the material in the context of the culture where it was created, and so the experience goes far beyond the classroom experience,” says Roos. “It goes to everything you do and see, the people you meet.”

As the program marked its 20th anniversary this summer, UC Blue Ash offered courses in Great Britain, Peru, and, for the first time, Australia. Over the years, students and faculty from the college have visited more than 20 countries as part of study abroad courses that range from Latin American culture to gothic architecture to tropical ecosystems. Some of the countries visited include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland and Peru.

Chris Strohofer in Great Britain, 2014

Chris Strohofer in Great Britain, 2014

The combination of traveling out of the country and learning about new cultures can help students gain a sense of confidence and adventure. Chris Strohofer is a UC Blue Ash alum who went on study abroad to Great Britain in 2014. The experience changed his life and his future. He is now an International Affairs major at the UC Uptown campus. “I never thought I would study international affairs. I always thought that traveling and seeing places beyond my hometown was out of my reach,” says Strohofer. “Since my initial experience abroad I’ve had the opportunity to intern at the U.S. State Department and went on study abroad to Ghana for a full semester to conduct research for my senior thesis.”

Strohofer is applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English abroad and is considering graduate school and a career either in urban planning for municipalities around the world, or working for the State Department.

The 2018 study abroad programs offered by UC Blue Ash will visit Costa Rica to study Spanish language and culture, Great Britain and Spain for courses related to the Spanish Civil War, and Quebec City and Montreal to study French and explore the unique history of the French language and culture in Canada. These programs are available only to current UC students. More information is available at www.ucblueash.edu/academics/study-abroad.

About UC Blue Ash College

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