Published on: October 31, 2013
Experience adventures camping in the Serengeti or backcountry expeditioning in the rainforest and earn psychology or kinesiology credit through Lone Star College-CyFair’s 2014 Study Abroad Tanzania and Costa Rica programs.
Psychology professors Lori Richter and Davida Rodgers are returning to Africa in June with students interested in exploring risk and resilience among orphans and vulnerable children in Tanzania. While immersed in a vibrant and diverse culture, students will help children in need and earn credit in both Lifespan Growth and Development (PSYC 2314) and Social Psychology (PYSC 2319) classes.
“Students stated that they learned more about culture and other topics covered in psychology than they could ever have learned from a textbook or from a classroom experience,” said Rodgers. “As instructors, we were impressed at the extent to which the students immersed themselves in the culture. Many learned an impressive amount of Swahili, were bold in trying new foods and activities and made lasting friendships.”
Last summer the program started in Bagamoyo where the group visited the Baobab Home, an orphanage started by an American woman and her Tanzanian husband, said Rodgers. They traveled to Arusha staying in a hostel with a “unique family feel” and volunteered at schools and safe houses during the day. At night, students would enjoy class discussions and learn while eating dinner. The program culminated in a three-night camping safari, where students were able to see the country-side, abundant wildlife and a traditional Masai village.
“The response from students was overwhelmingly positive. We were repeatedly told that the experience was life-changing and several students said that they intend to return to Africa as volunteers or were inspired to volunteer in our own community as a result of their experience abroad.”
Kinesiology professor Ronnie Nespeca will return to Costa Rica in May with students to explore the Costa Rican jungles, cloud forests and mangrove swamps. This study abroad program will focus on developing specialized, extended travel techniques in an international destination. Students will earn credit for the Backcountry Expeditioning I (KINE 1172) mini-mester course.
“Costa Rica was the greatest adventure of my life,” said Sophia Solis, who participated in the 2011 program which included a biology class as well.
Not only did Solis say she faced her fears in Costa Rica, but the class work was more hands on and exciting from hiking in the rainforest to recording 150 different species to kayaking and even zip lining.
In an opportunity to visually share their experiences, the college held a study abroad photo contest and Solis won an award for her ‘Whispering Waters’ entry.
“Being that Costa Rica is known for its rainforests and scenery, I wanted to capture the beautiful country in its purest, and most natural state,” said Solis. “The photo that received an honorable mention was taken at the beach right along Campanario where we stayed. After a long day of traveling we took some time to relax and enjoy the scenery.”
LSC-CyFair’s 2014 Study Abroad Programs: Destination Tanzania and Costa Rica are open to students from all Lone Star campuses. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis and programs are expected to fill, so submit applications as soon as possible.
Study Abroad Scholarship applications are now available online at LoneStar.edu/study-abroad. Completed applications with all supporting materials are due by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11.