About 225 students go abroad on semester or full-year exchange programs in a given year. About 250 students go abroad on short-term or faculty-led programs.
You can get a glimpse at some of their experiences, at the small but engaging Study Abroad Photography Exhibition in EUC. Fourteen students exhibit one photograph each, presenting unique perspectives.
Darren Rayburn’s photograph (in visual) depicts an Earth Day event in Ayampe, Ecuador, in which children of the village danced. He was part of an international study abroad experience last summer led by Dr. David Cardenas.
Rayburn, a senior in Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management, says the trip focused on sustainable tourism planning for Ayampe, located on the coast of Ecuador.
“Even though this was my first experience outside the United States, it has inspired me to want to travel to other countries in order to explore and learn more about other cultures. He added, “I would highly recommend UNCG students to study abroad. My experience wasabsolutely amazing as well as educational.”
Jenny Celin’s photo is of a woman and a young student in Ghana. “Twice a week, I went to a school to teach the students, ages five to eight, English and songs … The kids were a joy to my heart,” she wrote.
Laurene Callender studied in Mannheim, Germany. Her picture was taken in Paris, France, atop the Notre Dame cathedral, her first first time visiting. “I took over 200 pictures in Paris. It’s an incredibly interesting city,” she says. Her photo focuses on a gargoyle, surveying the city below.
A stop by the EUC’s Multicultural Resource Center at 4:30 p.m. last Friday showed the photos exhibited on the wall to your left as you enter. A group of male African-American students in the Rites of Passage program were editing and previewing footage for an interactive presentation they’d make to high school students the next day at a local YMCA. Jeffrey Coleman (Multicultural Affairs) assisted them. When asked how the exhibition came about, he says, “One of our former GAs [graduate assistants] presented the idea of this exhibit to me and we followed up with Tom [Martinek].” Martinek is assistant director of Study Abroad and Exchange programs.
This is a “one-time thing,” Martinek says, adding that his program also sponsors a photography contest during International Education Week each November.
A visitor reads the first line of Martinek’s introduction at the small exhibition: “Study abroad provides students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and see things from a different perspective.”
The photos illustrate that point well.