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May 31, 2011 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-05-31

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Students spend their summers around the world


arious summer the workers around the villa
speak Italian to us, and all the
)ortunities allow shopkeepers in town speak Ital-
ian," Biltz wrote. "I believe that
udents to study, I will become more comfortable
with my speaking abilities as the
'rn and volunteer days go on, though Iknow that my
accent is still largely American."
By CLAIRE HALL Cultural immersion is an
Daily StaffReporter important facet of the trip,
according to Italian Prof. Sabina

While many University stu-
dents are staying in Ann Arbor
to take spring and summer term
classes, others have decided to
venture around the nation and
overseas to take courses, embark
upon internships or partake in
volunteer groups.
By engaging in worldly pur-
suits, many students said they're
gaining far more than just an addi-
tion to their resumes or a fulfilled
requirement. Instead they said the
opportunity to mingle with peo-
ple from different backgrounds
and ethnicities presents a unique
learning experience, as well as a
chance to learn more about them-
selves and their place in the world.
LSA sophomore Nicole Biltz
is fulfilling the LSA language
requirement while living in an
Italian villa outside Florence for
six weeks. In an email interview,
Biltz wrote that the experience
has allowed her to grow more
confident and independent, and
that by being fully immersed in
the language she has been able to
become more proficient in Italian.
"When we don't have class,

Perrino, the program's faculty
coordinator. Sabina said that in
addition to attending class Mon-
day through Thursday and com-
pleting internships at an Italian
elementary school, the students
also have the opportunity to trav-
el the country.
The North American Sum-
mer Service Team proves that
students don't have to leave the
country to have a meaningful
summer traveling experience.
NASST, which operates under
the umbrella of the Ginsberg Cen-
ter, sends students to U.S. loca-
tions throughout the summer to
volunteer with local organiza-
tions and explore social justice
issues such as sustainability and
community health, according to
Lilliane Webb, business junior
and NASST's public relations and
outreach co-coordinator.
LSA junior Holly Godden
spent the first week in May in
New York City with NASST work-
ing with God's Love We Deliver,
an organization that delivers
meals to individuals struggling
with illnesses like HIV and AIDS.

"I really liked going into a
community and seeing how peo-
ple's lives are different than mine
and also how they're similar,"
Godden said.
Recent LSA graduate Anne
West's NASST team traveled to
Waco, Texas from May 3 to May
15 and studied agricultural sus-
tainability with the organization
World Hunger Relief. West said
the experience has reinforced
notions she learned in her courses
at the University.
"I can understand better what
I've learned in the classroom by
taking it out and applying it to
this kind of work, and then it res-
onates more with me," West said.
Engineering sophomore Erica
Mertz said her experience with
World Hunger Relief taught her
about more than just the orga-
nization's mission. Near the end
of their trip, they had to prepare
their own dinner with limited
tools, which involved catching
and preparing a chicken for con-
sumption. Mertz called it an "eye-
opening" experience.
"When you buy packaged
chicken in the store, you don't
really think about ... where that
chicken was raised or how it lived
or how it died," Mertz said.
The one-year, intensive cur-
riculum of the Accelerated Sec-
ond Career in Nursing program
normally does not allow for inter-
national study, so when a summer
trip to Ghana became available
this year, SCN student Peter

Kachur jumped at the opportu-
"I'm really interested in see-
ing (Ghana's) level of health care
and their knowledge base in
regards to medical care and nurs-
ing and learning about how they
utilize their resources," Kachur
Nursing Lecturer Norma
Sarkar, the trip's on-site coordina-
tor, said that the group - which is
made up of both SCN students and
undergraduate nursing students
- will be visiting hospitals and
community care clinics, as well
as teaching about health issues in
schools in Tamale, the capital of
Ghana's Northern region.
LSA junior Kaille Megouiar
is among a group of students
who spent four weeks in New
Zealand this past May with the
Global Intercultural Experience
for Undergraduates program.
Meguiar will work in schools
and on environmental projects to
study and promote revitalization
of land, language and culture in
the small island nation, accord-
ing to Cathy Reischl, an associate
professor at the School of Educa-
tion and one of the GIEU faculty
site leaders in New Zealand.
Meguiar, who hasn't been
abroad before, said the reason
she chose the New Zealand trip
over other GIEU destinations was
the unique opportunity to "join a
community, if just for a month."
Living with New Zealand fam-
ilies in home stays have allowed
the students to get a firsthand look
at local customs. LSA sophomore
Hayley Sakwa said the home stay
families take the students on a
variety of afternoon excursions
around the city of Hamilton.
"We weren't coming here just
as tourists, we were coming to
live," Sakwa said.
Sakwa added that her expe-
riences in New Zealand have
altered and expanded her per-
spective in a multitude of ways.
"I really liked how this trip
worked very hard at making the
effects of the trip itself last past
actually being in New Zealand,
learning the idea that you don't
know everything about everyone
and that they have more to offer
you than you have to give," Sakwa

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