Students compare field notes during a study abroad trip to New Zealand in 2016. (SUNY Geneseo/Keith Walters '11)
More than 100 students are expected to travel abroad on SUNY Geneseo Study Abroad programs in Summer 2022. Eight faculty-led programs enrolling 96 students plus 11 partner programs enrolling another 24 students have students studying in 16 different countries after a hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Students are able to take courses in diverse fields, including cross-cultural psychology in Austria, biology and global health in Ghana, the poetry of W.B. Yeats in Ireland, and humanities in the United Kingdom. One of the summer programs allows students to participate in an archeology excavation of an 1800s homestead in western New York.
Two US-based programs that ran through Study Abroad over the winter and earlier this spring were the first “away” courses offered following pandemic limitations.
“SUNY Geneseo is excited to resume student travel!” says Samuel Cardamone, director of Study Abroad. “Many students choose to earn their degree at SUNY Geneseo based on our reputation as the SUNY campus with the highest study abroad participation rate, and we are eager to offer transformative travel abroad learning experiences once again."
During the Intersession 2022, eight students examined Anthropology of the U.S.-Mexican Border in Tucson, AZ. It was led by associate professors of anthropology Jennifer Guzmán and Melanie Medeiros, who drew on their experience of research with Latin American farmworkers in western New York to design the course. Most of the New York farmworkers, they say, have come through the migration corridor of the Sonoran desert by Tucson.
Students partnered with several nonprofit organizations, including Borderlinks, whose members advocate for migrants and education surrounding immigration issues. They also accompanied members of No More Deaths on a desert walk as their members left food and water for those crossing from Mexico. Students also discussed larger questions regarding immigration, policies, and society.
In March, 13 students participated in an Education Advocacy for Anti-Racism course in Washington, DC, led by School of Education assistant professors Crystal Simmons and Thea Yurkowecz-Stellato and School of Education director of field experiences Jennifer Haines. Designed to explore the influence of education on society, government, and culture, the course introduced students to Howard University School of Education students and administrators as well as advocacy chairs of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Students also toured national landmarks and explored topics such as the effect of politics on curriculum and the disproportionate effects of standardized testing and other systems on black and brown students.
“We want to prepare teachers, not to just to be teachers of their content, but to also be advocates for their students,” says Yurkowecz-Stellato.