Taking your education global | Work of Arts
Taking your education global | Work of Arts

Taking your education global

Faculty of Arts’ Study Abroad programs appeal to the adventurous

Explore the world while earning your degree.

Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t.Study Abroad CROPPED main page image

Across four continents – from Africa to China – the Faculty of Arts has multiple study abroad programs and courses designed for students interested in seizing the educational opportunities that lie beyond the classroom in other countries around the world. Experiential learning at its highest and most rewarding potential.

Students with an eye toward antiquity (and a taste for olives) may opt to carry out their studies under the Tuscan sun at the School at Cortona. Following a regular term schedule, UAlberta professors conduct classroom lectures on culturally relevant subject matter such as Renaissance Art, Italian Language and Modern Italian Politics. The textbook, however, serves only as a starting point. History is brought to life as students travel to see Michelangelo’s David, walk through the archeological remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and converse with local residents and shopkeepers. The ancient town of Cortona, where students stay in a converted 500-year-old monastery, is yet another classroom – or as student blogger Alex Migdal states in his Alex Abroad posts for WOA (Work of Arts) blog: “a place tinged with a mythical quality, rooted in centuries of history.”

Music professor Michael Frishkopf addresses the audience at a 'Singing and Dancing for Health' performance in Ghana

Music professor Michael Frishkopf addresses the audience at a ‘Singing and Dancing for Health’ performance in Ghana

The newest study abroad opportunity is the Ghana Summer Program, which launches in July. The nine credit, six week program located at the University for Development Studies in northern Ghana, will focus on the role of music, performance and the visual arts in the promotion of human development. During the course of the program, students will spend time in urban and rural areas of northern Ghana, centered on the regional capital of Tamale, with an extended fieldwork stay in the village of Tolon — home of UAlberta’s Singing and Dancing for Health project. Students will receive Community Service-Learning (CSL) credit through their work with Youth Home Cultural Group, a local NGO. Optional weekend excursions to sites of natural, historical and cultural interest are also on tap.


Harbin Summer Program

The six-credit Harbin Summer Program is a month-long, intensive Chinese language learning program taught at the Harbin Institute of Technology (H.I.T.), one of China’s top universities. Located in northeast China, Harbin is not only Edmonton’s sister city, it is also famous for its standard, unaccented Mandarin pronunciation, making it a perfect place to study Mandarin for both non-native and near-fluent speakers. All students receive a Chinese government scholarship provided through the Canada Learning Initiative in China (CLIC) program, and students with a GPA of 2.7 or higher receive scholarships of $750 provided by UAlberta’s Go Abroad office.

Continuing in this theme, students can brush up on their French language skills in La Rochelle, France with the French Study Tour program, offered annually in June by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies. The course is a two-pronged program of cultural exposure (FREN 333/French Cultural Moments) and language immersion (FREN 499/La Rochelle Project), all within the picturesque setting of La Rochelle, France – a 10th century port town on the Atlantic coast. Consisting of both in-class and on-site lectures and presentations, students may expect to achieve fluency upon completion, enabling them to proceed with literature, translation and composition courses.

Global citizenship doesn’t have to be aspirational.

Study abroad programs expose participants to unfamiliar situations, and typically, students develop an awareness of the small details of behaviour – the gestures and practices – that are the cultural markers of a community. Only one study abroad opportunity specifically addresses this practice, known as ethnographic sensibility. The Field School for Ethnographic Sensibility is a six week, six credit undergraduate/graduate course offered by the Department of Anthropology.

Drvengrad, Serbia (Ethnographic Sensibility Field School photo)

Drvengrad, Serbia (Ethnographic Sensibility Field School photo)

Located in Belgrade, Serbia, the program will appeal to budding anthropologists, but also artists, performers, urban planners and others who want to develop their observational skills (with a particular focus on nonverbal patterns of everyday life) through “playful field exercises” that break perceptual habits. Students are encouraged to explore and exhibit their research using alternative forms of representation such as writing, film, performance and other forms of artistic expression.

Global citizenship doesn’t have to be aspirational. The selection world-class educational opportunities available to students in the Faculty of Arts, whether just around the corner in a classroom or in a village in Africa, is an achievable reality for adventurous students in every discipline.

To learn about other Study Abroad opportunities in the Faculty of Arts, please visit this website.

Filed under: Features, Students
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,