From Australia to Brazil to the Netherlands, Genesee Community College students and faculty are traveling the world and experiencing true global learning. With the recent return of three faculty members from an English language cultural program in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Genesee is readying for the upcoming academic year with several more global education and study abroad opportunities.
Three Genesee faculty members, Connie Boyd, Charley Boyd and Susan Drexel are settling back into life at Genesee after spending three weeks teaching English language and cultural immersion to students at FATEC Americana in Brazil. The three instructors taught students aged 17 all the way to adults in their 50’s. They focused on teaching American culture to the students through video clips, show-and-tell style activities and group projects. Each night they taught a different topic, including holidays, food, families, music and sports. During the sports night, the Batavia Muckdogs were shown to the Brazilian students through YouTube clips to teach them about American baseball.
Connie, Charlie and Susan were amazed at the dedication of the students, who many times worked all day then attended the cultural immersion classes from 7:00pm until 11:00pm. “The students were incredibly dedicated to the program,” Connie Boyd said. “They wanted to know about our culture and were very open with us. The Brazilian people are very gracious and have such pride for their country.”
“I really felt like I was taken in and was a part of a family when I was there,” Sue Drexel said. “The people were so protective and we knew we could trust them to show us around their beautiful country.”
Genesee and FATEC Americana hope to expand and develop the program throughout the next academic year. In the fall, director of Curriculum Development, James Goodwin will visit FATEC and the first group of Business faculty members will travel to Brazil in January to teach business and culture to FATEC students.
Meanwhile, Genesee Biotechnology student Leah Reino just left on an eight-week exchange to Brisbane, Australia to study and work in medical pathology. Leah, 17, is the third Genesee student to travel to Australia, but the first biotechnology student. Two nursing students, Natalie Wedge and Crystal Fial, traveled in the spring of 2010 for a nursing placement at Princess Alexandria Hospital in Brisbane. The work placement will allow Leah to work in two medical pathology laboratories. One is a standalone facility, and the other is in a laboratory at a veteran’s hospital. Leah is documenting her travels in a blog at www.gccblogs.wordpress.com.
In addition, an international photography exhibit featuring the photographs taken by students who traveled to the Netherlands in May 2010 will kick off the 2010-2011 gallery schedule for Genesee Center for the Arts. The exhibit reflects the students’ study abroad course which focused on Dutch culture. Genesee partnered with SUNY Brockport to develop the GCC faculty-led study abroad program that took students on a month-long cultural journey through Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Genesee faculty members, Josephine Kearney and Heather Jones, led 20 students from Genesee and SUNY Brockport on a study tour to document culture through photography, writing, group discussion and experiential observations.
In the spring of 2011, Genesee will offer an immersion trip to Costa Rica to study the Central American rain forest. The tour is open to all students as well as community members who are interested in learning and studying the ecology and conservation methods of Costa Rica. Participants will have the chance to earn college credit while learning about ethnobotany, elementary botany, ecology and earth science during this nine-day ecological tour. The tour is led by Genesee biology professor Maureen Leupold, who has traveled to and studied the rain forests of Costa Rica on two previous college trips. Students who enroll, will earn three college credits while studying the stunning ecological terrain of Costa Rica, including volcanoes, rain forests and beaches.
Lastly, Genesee continues to attract students from around the globe to study and earn a wide array of different degrees. Last year, the College had 101 students from 27 different nations.
“A decade ago, studying aboard was primarily the domain of baccalaureate and graduate level institutions. But today, forward thinking community college are fully engaged in the global network of teaching and learning,” Dr. Eunice Bellinger, executive vice president for Academic Affairs said. “Genesee has always been and continues to thrive at the cutting edge, and it is exciting to see those edges in all four corners of our globe.”
To find out more about any of these global learning opportunities please contact James Goodwin, director of Genesee’s Curriculum Development at 585-343-0055 x6322 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Editor’s Note: Photograph from Genesee’s faculty exchange to Brazil:
From left to right: Osvaldo Succi (FACTEC professor who initiated the cultural immersion program), Richard Cattabiani-Ulster College faculty member, Charley Boyd- GCC faculty, Connie Boyd– GCC faculty, Dave Drexel – Sue’s husband and Sue Drexel – GCC faculty.