Unique Learning Opportunities in Study Abroad

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Jill Kruidenier
November 18, 2014

No one studies abroad to spend all day, every day sitting in a classroom, listening to a lecture. That’s why IES Abroad organizes countless opportunities to bring the host country’s culture to life. Here are just a few ways we pack unique learning into our academic programs:

  • Internships
  • Service Learning
  • Course-related Excursions
  • Field Trips
  • Cultural Activities
  • CORE (Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Program)

Take an insider’s look at how IES Abroad Shanghai student blogger Jennifer Ushakov is learning both inside and outside the classroom, as excerpted from her recent blog post:

Being more of a hands-on learner, I love how much outside-the-classroom activities the IES Abroad program provides. It seems like almost every week there’s either a leisure field trip to experience a different aspect of China’s culture or a professional company visit.

My favorite day activity planned by IES Abroad has been a trip to Fudan University. A group of migrant school children visited the university that day and we taught them to sing English songs, like “Row Row Row Your Boat” and “You Are My Sunshine.” I had a lot of fun interacting in Chinese with my group of kids and learning about their lives. As migrant children living within the city limits, these kids don’t have the same privileges (access to education, health care, housing, etc.) and resources as city-born children (China uses a system called the Hu Kou that has recently raised a lot of debate). Afterwards, we played badminton (LOVE badminton!) for a few hours with local students.

This past week, my Economics & Politics of China class went to Shanghai Volkswagen on Friday afternoon. Last year, I visited Beijing for two weeks, during which we did four company visits. One of our visits was to Hyundai. It was really interesting to go to Volkswagen and compare the two. The plant is huge, and we received a tour of the floor where the car parts are actually manufactured, put together, and tested. The areas were more enclosed than Hyundai, leading me to believe it’s a safer work environment. Both companies are similar in that they require at least a high school degree coupled with some onsite technical training for factory floor workers.

Read more of Jennifer’s blog posts here.

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Jill Kruidenier

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