Revealed: Fantastic Travel Study Locations for 2016

freixenetSPAIN: cookingChemistry of Cooking, a four credit course, will be offered in Spring of 2016 by Dr. Anthony Trimboli. Class will meet three times a week and once a week for lab. During the lab students will take cooking lesson at Whole Foods and meet with local restaurant owners.

According to the professor: During the trip, we will submerge ourselves in the unique learning environment of San Sebastian, the culinary capital of Spain and one of the top five food cities in the world.  We will prepare and taste authentic foods of the region. We will learn to create tapas, paella, and gourmet meals from fresh seasonal ingredients bought locally in the open air market and experience the art of presenting and serving in European fashion.  Come see the influence Spain has on food and many other things. Learn and experience science behind our food throughout this study abroad experience in the top kitchens and restaurants in Spain. Students from all majors are invited to take advantage of this program.

Paris in 1916… and Paris today!

Paris in 1916… and Paris today!

FRANCE: Join us over Spring Break, March 5-12, 2016, as we begin our travels to France. Dr. Neal Palmer is offering a class that reflects, and creates a greater understanding of the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Visiting the battles sites of WWI in Paris, France, and Belgium will be a highlight of the course which will also include an exploration of the Ivalides and Arc de Triomphe. The students will cruise the Seine River by night, see memorable sights of the city such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Left Bank, Monmarte and stroll the Champs Elysee. On this trip we will relive the past and then celebrate the present in the “city of lights.”

Interview: Dr. James Allen

Dr. James Alllen
is an assistant professor in the School of Business.

In what countries have you taught? I have only participated in Austria.

What programs did you teach in and how long? I have taught a Sport Industries course within a Hospitality and Tourism Management Master’s degree program at FH Johanneum University in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria.

How has study abroad as a professor influenced you? Being able to interact with students from another culture has been very beneficial. Also, to see how my field, the sport industry, differs in other countries. For example, a majority of the opportunities in athletics is provided by the national government in Austria. There are a few independent and privately funded organizations but a majority are owned and regulated by their federal government, which is very different from the United States.  It has been very informative for me to see that different model. Also, I have enjoyed the opportunity to interact with Austrian students who have different perspectives.

What would you say to the student who is contemplating studying abroad? Find a way to do it. I did not study abroad while I was a student; however I had a friend who did, and I made a trip to visit him in the Netherlands. Although I was only there for ten days, that small window was really eye opening and definitely provided me with a new perspective of the world and how other societies are organized. Even simple things like different foods and different music can be really enjoyable and you bring that back to the United States. People in our country say that this is the best country in the world, but traveling gives you a more well-rounded view and teaches you that there are other places that have certain strengths and weaknesses.  Some things they actually do better than we do. I would say the same thing about teaching in Austria. There are certain things about their culture, country, society and economy that are actually superior to things that are going on in our country, and vice versa. We have more freedom, more social mobility. So you take the good with the bad, but it’s nice to see how other people live so students on the fence just need to find a way! CBU will help you. We will make it happen.

How would you persuade a professor to offer a study abroad course? I think one way that has been effective is to offer a course that provides general education credit. This helps ensure a group is large enough for a specific study abroad program. I think many professors are willing to travel, but they know that it’s hard to get a large enough group to cover the cost.

Student Perspective: RaKesha Gray

RaKesha Gray is a sophomore majoring in English.

St. John Lateran Basilica

St. John Lateran Basilica

Ten days in Italy created memories worth a lifetime! I shamefully admit that in high school, I had no real interest in studying abroad. Even though I had been exposed to stories from my parents and friends of the family who had traveled abroad, I always thought of it as being uncomfortable for half of year in a foreign place.

I’ve always enjoyed traveling, but I did not realize the options of studying abroad until I got to CBU. I sat through a session in the summer. Dr. Forsdick and students passionately shared their experiences, and that passion must have transferred directly to me. I learned of the best opportunity ever dealing with studying abroad. There was a chance to take a class (The Chemistry of Cooking), get to know students, and then travel with them to enjoy a foreign place for about ten days. How cool! It dispelled my fear of being totally uncomfortable. Short study trips are a great segue for first time international travelers. However, I now have the excitement and courage to study abroad for a whole semester.

Lighting in Dozza

Lighting in Dozza

Being in Italy allowed me to experience the taste of authentic pasta, gelato, and pizza. (The pizza and gelato class was even more awesome!)  Being out of the country allowed me to realize how big the world is and what a small place I occupy in it. I also realized that despite language and cultural differences, we all smile the same. We all want to enjoy life.

I had not financially prepared to go on this trip, but a little faith and willpower took me a long way; literally. I learned to budget and to ask others for help. I am very appreciative for the generosity of family, friends, and church members. I am blessed to have been supported with monetary gifts and words of traveling wisdom.

The overall process of traveling abroad is indescribable, but I know it makes one grow up. I could go on and on about how life changing it was, but that doesn’t even touch the surface. If you want to be rich one day, study abroad. Traveling is truly the investment that pays. I agree with the saying it’s the only service you pay for that makes you so rich. In what ways is my life now richer? You’ll have to study abroad to find out.

Interview: Griselda Matos Martinez

Griselda Matos Martinez is a junior currently studying business at LaSalle Barcelona, one of CBU’s student exchange institutions.

Griselda in front of the Sagrada Familia

Griselda in front of the Sagrada Familia

How is attending a university in Spain different from attending CBU? I would say that universities in Spain are more relaxed than in the United States. For instance, instead of having homework, various exams, a midterm and a final exam throughout the semester like in CBU, the Spanish university only has one or two big projects and possibly a midterm or a final exam throughout the semester. Barcelona, which is where I am, is a very popular destination for international students. It is considered a city for the youth where many cultures converge and mix. That’s the reason why, on average, 20% of the classes are usually exchange students from different parts of the world.

Why did you decide to study abroad? I’m originally from Panama City, Panama in Central America. I went to the United States to pursue a dream and a better education. The same impulse that made me leave my country and go to the United States is the same one that made me leave the United States and go to Spain. Studying abroad in the United States opened so many doors and opportunities for me that I would’ve never been able to get in Panama. In the same way, studying abroad in Barcelona, is opening many more doors and opportunities for my future.

Why do you think it is important to study abroad? I think it is important to study abroad because it helps you broaden your horizons and it makes you look at things from another perspective. It looks good on a resume, but the most important thing would be the experiences gained while abroad. It will certainly be one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences in college.

Students listening eagerly at foot of professor.

Students listening eagerly to their professor in Barcelona

Tell us about Spanish culture. Spanish culture is very relaxed and informal. Since Spanish is my native language, it is easier for me to communicate with other people here in Barcelona. Although Barcelona’s most spoken language is Catalan, Spanish is also widely spoken. If a Catalan sees that you don’t understand Catalan, s/he will happily switch to Spanish or English if they know how to speak it. Since it is a popular tourist destination, English is common. I referred to Spanish culture as “informal” because of the way Spaniards communicate. A way of saluting or saying hello would be with a kiss on each cheek. That might come off as a culturally shocking experience for Americans because it is not a common practice in the United States. The way they address each other is also informal. Instead of saying “buenos días” (good morning) or “usted” (you in a formal way), they would merely say a simple “hola” (hi) and they would use “tú” (you in an informal way) to refer to people older than they are.

How has this experience affected you and how you observe the world? The biggest reward this experience has given me so far would be the possibility of getting to know myself a little better. When you find yourself in another country with another culture and having to do things by yourself without depending on others, you will get the chance to understand yourself better. I came to this country with a phrase on my mind: “Every adventure starts with a YES,” and I’m planning to make it count. Defeat fears, break barriers and explore every chance you get!

What are the best and worst parts of studying abroad? Why? The worst parts of studying abroad would be the feelings of being lost and uncertain that you get when you first arrive and the feeling of melancholy you get for being away from your loved ones for so long. Although you get that feeling of sadness, for me, the best part of studying abroad is being able to learn how to appreciate and cherish the time you have with those loved ones once you see them again.

A Letter from China

Brennen and classmate in Beijing

Brennen and classmate in Beijing

Greetings from Beijing!  After graduating from CBU with a business degree in 2014 and studying abroad in both Switzerland and China, I decided to do something a little more adventurous for graduate school.

I researched the best graduate schools in Asia and applied to their MBA programs.  Fortunately, I was accepted into the International MBA programs of the two highest ranked universities in China and am currently wrapping up my first year at Peking University in Beijing! It’s been an incredible year with lots of learning. Most of the professors are Chinese nationals that were educated in either North America or Europe, so class discussions often lead to really interesting discussions comparing and contrasting the Eastern and Western economies. Sitting in class with the brightest students in Asia every day is really eye opening and exciting because not only are our opinions diverse, but it seems as if we are all piecing the information together in a way that will benefit the whole world.

I highly recommend undergraduate students at Christian Brothers University to explore their study abroad options early in their academic careers. Starting early means having time to tailor your bachelor’s degree exactly to your needs by making sure you have time to spend a semester (or two) abroad- hopefully studying something different and enlightening that will set you apart from your peers in the future. Even if you aren’t sure what you want to do for a career, open as many doors as possible and make decisions NOW that will give you the tools and experience to accomplish anything in the future.

Good luck,
P. Brennen Reynolds (Finance ’14)