Traveling the world and experiencing the food, art and culture of another country is a dream many students hold, and now BMCC is making that dream a reality in more ways than ever.
The BMCC Study Abroad program is distinguished by its variety of destinations. These include Nanjing, China; Montreal, Quebec; Oviedo, Spain; Kasos, Greece and Tuscany, Italy. In Summer 2017, the program will expand to the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Southern Italy and Peru.
Southern Italy: Immersion in a diverse culture
BMCC students who want to explore the culture of Southern Italy while earning college credit will soon have that opportunity.
A three-credit course, Field Experience in Italy, will be offered through Study Abroad and made possible by BMCC’s partnership with Università della Calabria, in tandem with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, CUNY.
“In Southern Italy,” says BMCC Modern Languages Professor Kristina Varade, who will join the trip, “students will be less likely to interact with English speakers, creating more of an immersion experience.”
Students will focus on “the topographical, historical and cultural diversity of Italy,” she says. “I love introducing students to Italian language and culture, and discovering the new aspects of Italian culture that we can’t present in a classroom setting.”
Dominican Republic: Examining community interactions
Another Study Abroad course being introduced, Latin American and Caribbean Society (the same course offered through the location of Brazil) will take place in the Dominican Republic (DR).
This course and travel experience will be co-hosted by the Yale University nonprofit Yspaniola, “which helps Dominicans living in bateyes, or marginalized communities, obtain free public education in addition to funding for college,” says BMCC Center for Ethnic Studies Professor Daly Guilamo.
“We will take the students to rural areas where Dominicans and Dominicans of Haitian ancestry reside,” she says. “This trip centers on the DR's relationship with Haiti. Students will see how Haitians and Dominicans live in rural versus urban areas, and it will expose students to the ways immigrants are treated.”
Brazil: Exploring African-descended communities
Judith Anderson, a Professor in the BMCC Center for Ethnic Studies, will accompany students on BMCC’s first Study Abroad trip to Brazil.
“The Brazil trip, which will involve the Study Abroad course, Latin American and Caribbean Society, is wonderful because our partner, Brazil Cultural, specializes in academic programs that connect U.S. scholars with local grass roots organizations in Brazil,” says Professor Anderson. “The students will get to know Brazil through interactions with Brazilians, including Brazilian college students.”
Brazil has the second-largest population of African descendants in the world, Anderson says, “second only to Nigeria, and we’re going to Salvador, the heart of Afro culture in Brazil. You really do see Africa in the Americas there in a way that you don’t get to see anywhere else.”
Peru: Discovering traditional Andean culture
Cross Culture Health Education Peru, another new BMCC Study Abroad course set to was developed by Nursing Professor June Soto along with Health Education Professor Michael McGee.
The students will be taking classes at Centro Tinku, an educational and cultural institution in Cusco, Peru that promotes traditional Andean cultures and provides instruction in the indigenous Peruvian language, quechua.
“They will attend classes at Centro Tinku that cover health-related issues of people of the Andes, especially the Quechuan people,” says Professor Soto. “They will observe treatments in local hospitals and clinics, and visit local herbal healers. On the weekend, they will be visit historical sites such as Machu Picchu, and the salt mines.”
Earning credit and gaining global perspective
“Whatever Study Abroad location and programs students choose, those who successfully complete the program earn three credits toward their degree, as well as immeasurable gains in insight and global perspective,” says Deborah Stengle, Study Abroad Program Manager. “They learn first-hand that education extends beyond the classroom, and across cultures. Oftentimes, their experience in Study Abroad impacts their choice of a career and further degree programs.”
For more information, students are welcome to stop by the Study Abroad office at 199 Chambers Street, Room 103-G.