Skip to main content

 Study abroad programs help internationalize SRU education. 




February 29, 2008

Contact: K.E. Schwab  



Study abroad programs help internationalize SRU education


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 200 Slippery Rock University students will spend their spring break learning about the languages, cultures and history of Italy, Amsterdam, Brussels, England, Ireland, Costa Rica and other nations as part of their classroom studies.

            "Each spring semester we offer classes that include an international travel component," said Pam Frigot, director of international services at SRU. "Students undertake a traditional class at the start of the semester, but then spend spring break getting up-close instruction at an international location directly linked to their class work."

            As an example, Frigot points to SRU's Professor John Craig's class "Historians Craft." His 25 students will spend their break in Ireland visiting various historical sites.

            Scott Zema, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, and Marketa Schublova, an instructor in the same department, will lead 30 students to Italy to examine how athletic training programs in other nations operate. The group will focus its academic activities in Milan examining the Milan football program and its world-famous soccer team. 

            "The students will meet with athletic training and medical staff, observe player treatments, physical evaluations and team practice," Frigot said. 

            The group will also learn about knee injury rehabilitation, massage and how chiropractic medicine is practiced in Italy. Students will visit the University of Insubria to learn about diagnostic imaging. A culture tour of Rome is planned.

            SRU's spring break program allows art students in associate Professor Tom Como's "Renaissance Tradition" class to visit various museums and art locations throughout Italy. Students in assistant art Professor Kurt Pitluga's "Art History Seminar" will spend time in various art museums and historic sites in Amsterdam and Brussels.

            SRU sport management majors will visit and tour arenas in and around London, England, as part of sport management Professors Robin Ammon and Catriona Higgs "Sport Facility and Event Management" class. Sport management students will be given a first-hand look at the 2012 Summer Olympic sites along with lectures on planning for the Olympics. Students will visit Wembley Stadium, Lords Cricket Grounds, London Golf Club, Wickenham Stadium, Emirates stadium and the Wimbledon Tennis grounds and museum. Details on operations as well as the history of the various facilities will be provided. Students will also talk with Metropolitan Police about crowd management at sports events.

            Also headed to Italy are 23 students in School of Business Professor Bruce Orvis' "Marketing Seminar" class. Twenty-one students will travel to London with Amy Walters, assistant professor of communication, as part of her "Honors Communication." The trip includes a visit to the BBC's facilities as part of a look at the future of developing communication systems.

            Political science Professor Donald Kerchis' "Politics of Developing Areas" class will examine the politics of environmental sustainability, including visits to the rain forest and the Arenal volcano. Students will review the separation of federal and local governance in the country and visit the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly, Supreme Tribunal of Elections and meet with local governmental leaders.

            Tamra Schiappa and Jack Livingston, both associate professors of geography, geology and the environment, will take 12 SRU students to San Salvador in the Bahamas to continue SRU's ongoing research examining the effects of plastics on the environment. They will also work on three, student-driven research projects. The group will meet local fishermen and an island family. They will also tours of historical sites. The students are enrolled in SRU's "Oceanography and Advanced Geographic Information Systems" course.

            In a related program, 17 students involved in "Student Leadership" at SRU will travel to Italy to meet with fellow students involved in student government and leadership programs at local universities. The tour is under the leadership of Constance Foley, vice president for Student Life, Rita Abent, executive director of University Public Relations, and Brad Kovaleski, director of the Center for Student Life and Leadership.

            SRU's spring break runs Wednesday through March 16.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report

Click here to view the Economic Impact Report