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UC Blue Ash Study Abroad Takes the Classroom to the Subject

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Students from the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College recently participated in three separate study abroad programs that visited four countries and provided a number of lifelong memories.

The study abroad programs offered by the college typically last between three to four 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 subjects they are studying.

Professor Sue Sipple and Study abroad students

English Professor Sue Sipple takes a group selfie with Study Abroad students in Spain.

The 2018 British Summer Study Abroad program traveled to England and Spain, where students learned about the Spanish Civil War that took place in the late 1930s. One of the courses focused on the immigration issues it triggered. Thousands of refugees – mostly women and children – fled the country to escape the fighting and many were welcomed into Great Britain.

“This course resonated with a lot of our students,” says Angie Woods, Spanish professor and co-leader of the British Summer Study Abroad program. “Since we’ve been back, I often wonder what our students are thinking about some of the current events in the world that relate so closely to the things we studied during that month abroad.”

The program also included a course on British and American writers who covered or actually fought in the Spanish Civil War. Sue Sipple, chair of the English/Communication Department at UC Blue Ash, was co-leader of the program and taught the course. The students and professors visited a variety of sites in the Basque Region of Spain, Barcelona and London as part of their education.

In a separate study abroad program, students had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica with Brian Hunter, professor of Spanish at UC Blue Ash, to learn about growth and expansion in the country. The program encouraged students to immerse themselves in the local culture and enhance their Spanish by staying with host families and primarily speaking the native language.

“I enjoyed everything about study abroad,” says Maddie Munro, a student in the UC Blue Ash honors program who participated in the Costa Rica program. “I developed a personal connection with a bunch of other students and I have a lifelong experience of knowing a different culture besides the one I grew up in. I think that’s really important for personal growth.”

Students also visited the capital city of San Jose, as well as the mountains and rain forests of Costa Rica while learning about how urban expansion is affecting the limited infrastructure of the country.

Students in the Quebec City/Montreal Study Abroad program visit the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.

French language and culture were the focus of the study abroad program that visited the French Canadian province of Quebec. Students spent two weeks in Quebec City and one week in Montreal, and explored sites that included the Cathedral Notre Dame, a Huron Indian Village, and Chateau Frontenac, which hosted the Quebec Conference during World War II. They spoke French almost exclusively and studied at UC’s partner institution, the Universite de Quebec a Montreal.

“Our students found the people of Quebec extremely nice and helpful with their language learning,” says Jody Ballah, a French professor at UC Blue Ash and leader of the Quebec program. “They really loved the opportunity to be immersed in French while also enjoying the natural beauty and learning about the history of this province of Canada.”

The UC Blue Ash Study Abroad programs began in 1997 and have been going strong ever since. The programs planned for 2019 will be held in Great Britain and Peru.

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