Andrea Bard, the Coordinator and professor of Communication Majors and Justina Oliveira, a Psychology Professor will take a group of 24 students to Chile for two weeks starting on May 15, 2017.
Bard teaches COM-220, Intercultural Communication. Her Chile trip will be her fifth trip taking her COM-220 students to a foreign country to help them experience a new culture and life style.
Bard previously took her students to Greece, Belgium, Brussels, Florence and Madrid.
“I’ve always traveled because my mother was a travel agent,” said Bard. “I’m carrying my mother’s tradition to the world.”
Eighteen of 24 participants are from Kyle Viator’s Global Executive Management Class. Viator is the director of the Bradley three-year honors program at SNHU.
His class, which he organized this semester, does not meet regularly, but his students will have the chance to meet with the rest of the group before the trip.
“They will meet with their groups and they will do group bonding activities to get to know each other,” said Bard.
COM-220 students are required to go on a trip to a foreign country during the Spring Break.
However, students will have the option to take this class in both semesters. Students interested in traveling can register for the Spring Semester and those not interested in traveling can register for the Fall semester next year.
The University of Viña del Mar is in partnership with SNHU which arranged the “home stay” accommodation for the students. “This university is a great university at its home stay,” said Bard.
Students will be able to take some classes, such as a Chilean Cooking Class or Spanish, and immerse themselves in the Chilean culture through planned activities. They will be able to spend a day at Valparaiso, an artistic town, Casablanca Vineyard and Santiago city, famous in architecture.
Besides taking classes and visiting some parts of Chile, students will have an opportunity to complete some social service activities, such as participating in a program called “A Future Young Leaders Program,” which is a program for high school students.
Chile is rich in minerals; students will go to an international mining company, and they will also visit a business intelligence firm company.
According to Bard, on her previous trips, they did not have the chance to live among local people in order to fully experience their cultures.
“We were like tourists before,” said Bard.
Unlike before, this trip will happen in May. Participants will also receive three college credits for it. Bard prefers the two weeks trip rather than one week of the Spring Break because her students will have the chance to explore the city and learn more about the new culture.
“One of my students who went to Greece, started traveling since then,” said Bard. “He wrote a book.”
Most of the students stay in touch with their foreign host families. They share photos with each other. “By the end of the week, they were like a part of the family,” said Bard.
There are a lot of opportunities at SNHU for students to travel both regionally and internationally. Some of them are affordable for students as well.
“When you are in college, go abroad,” said Bard.