’Truly understanding diversity’
In a strategic charge to make UC a truly global university, President Gregory Williams aims to achieve greater success in worldwide education and outreach. A belief that opportunity to study outside the United States is critical to our students thriving in a global environment has made study abroad a university-wide priority, including fundraising efforts.
Private support opens up a world of opportunity to students, a world that gets much larger through international study. While most of us are in bed sleeping away the challenges from our workdays, students are having cultural experiences on other continents. Below, four students/alumni explain how they enriched their education through study beyond our country’s borders.
• Fourth year, urban planning, DAAP
• Study abroad — fall quarter ’10: University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Destination — “More than 170 nationalities reside in Amsterdam, making it truly one of the most international cities in the world. Also, the Netherlands is a relatively small country, making it easy to travel around Europe.”
Accommodations — “There are no forms of on-campus housing, and university buildings are scattered throughout the city. I resided in an affordable apartment arranged through a nonprofit housing corporation affiliated with the University of Amsterdam, within walking distance of my classes and public transportation.”
Highlights — “Because Amsterdam is so international, the Dutch are extremely open and generous to foreigners and will help you if you are lost or have a problem. The highlight was being immersed in the culture and being able to enjoy all the aspects of Amsterdam that make it such an interesting city, such as its canals, historic buildings, museums, nightlife and, of course, its bikes. I met people from all over the world and made contacts with many international students with whom I hope to network in the future.”
Importance of the trip — “My time in Amsterdam exposed me to the customs and traditions of another country, which is valuable since our society gets increasingly more global. As an urban planning student, I gained insight on the world-renowned infrastructure that the Dutch have meticulously constructed, from its numerous canals and dykes to its excellent public transportation. Those are definitely cues I will take in my own career where possible.”
• Master of Community Planning, DAAP ’10
• Study abroad — Sint-Lucas Brussels, University College of Art and Design, Belgium (fall ’09)
Destination — “My concentration was on international development, and the program I applied for was a unique blend of urban design, city planning and European architectural design. I wanted to experience firsthand the European teaching methods that pertained to urban design, architecture and sustainable approaches in this field. The program also brought students from all over Europe and Asia to share ideas from their perspectives.”
Accommodations — “With a studio apartment adjacent to the University of Antwerp, I experienced two major cities in Belgium on a daily basis, which offered varying perspectives on culture and language.”