SRU students head abroad during break to explore the world
Slippery Rock University students can register to take part in a variety of spring break or summer faculty- and staff-led study abroad programs. One such excursion will include a trip to Brussels, Belgium, to visit the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Oct. 23, 2019
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — There's nothing like learning up close and personal. There's no question that seeing original paintings by Rembrandt or Van Gogh is an entirely different experience than seeing the works in a textbook or on a computer screen. To ensure its students have the best learning experience possible, Slippery Rock University is offering a number of faculty- and staff-led study abroad programs.
"There's something exhilarating about seeing a work of art in the flesh that you studied in class; nothing can replicate that experience," said Kurt Pitluga, assistant professor of art, who has led 15 faculty-led trips. "By traveling abroad, you're experiencing an entirely different culture as well. Students gain a better respect for life outside their own orbit, particularly with my art majors as they come into direct contact with real art that may prove inspirational for the work that they are producing."
Pitluga will be leading students enrolled in his Art History Seminar course to Belgium and the Netherlands during spring break, March 8-15, 2020. The deadline to register for his and 17 other faculty- and staff-led programs traveling abroad for spring break and summer 2020 is Nov. 15, 2019.
Programs are organized through the SRU Office of Global Engagement and can be searched by visiting: abroad.sru.edu. Once a student identifies a desired program, they are asked to contact the professor and register for the class by the Nov. 15 deadline. Some programs have limits, including those exclusively for campus music groups or classes with prerequisites. However, Pitluga is waiving the prerequisite for the Belgium and Netherlands trip.
"The purpose of the trip is to view artwork in historical places and absorb as much of the Dutch and Flemish cultures as possible," Pitluga said. "I try to teach the class as if no one has had art history before to make it digestible."
Pitluga's students will experience the golden age of Dutch 17th century art, viewing works such as Rembrandt's "The Night Watch," Van Gogh's "Wheatfield with Crows" and Johannes Vermeer's "The Milkmaid." They'll visit museums such as the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels; the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.
"(Pitluga's program) is a perfect example of global learning," said Jenny Kawata, director of global exchanges and partnerships. "It epitomizes what we desire from these programs because it infuses intercultural learning in the class and then exposes students to different cultures and countries by bringing their discipline to life in a different way that they might not see on campus."
The estimated cost to participate in each of the programs is $2,099.
The following are spring break and summer programs for 2020. Spring break departure and return dates, between March 4-15, are to be determined:
• Beth Ann Rice, assistant professor of psychology, is leading a program to Costa Rica during spring break.
• Tim Ruppert, instructor of English, and Danette DiMarco, professor of English, are leading a program to England during spring break.
• Noora Alie, assistant director of international student services, and Sierra Bell, international recruiter and admission coordinator, from the Office of Global Engagement, are leading a program to Hungary during spring break.
• Susan Kushner and Nancy Shipe, associate professors of physical therapy, are leading a program to Ireland during spring break.
• Aksel Casson, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, is leading a program to Mexico during spring break.
• Christine Pease-Hernandez, assistant professor of communication, is leading a program to Spain during spring break.
• David Jordan, professor of health care administration and information systems, and Jerry Chmielewski, interim provost/chief academic officer, are leading a program to Spain during spring break.
• Allison Peiritsch, assistant professor of communication, is leading a program to Sweden during spring break.
• Linda Zane, associate professor of elementary education and early childhood, is leading a program to Sweden during spring break.
• Jonathan Helmick and Kathleen Melago, associate professors of music, are leading the SRU Symphonic Wind Ensemble to Italy during spring break.
• Melanie Anderson, professor of accounting, economics and finance, and Diane Galbraith, professor of management and marketing, are leading a program to the Czech Republic during spring break.
• Mary Ann Thurkettle, associate professor of nursing, is leading a program to the Netherlands during spring break.
• Jeananne Nicholls and Kurt Schimmel, professors of management and marketing, are leading a program to Belgium, May 10-19.
• Sara Tours, assistant professor of elementary education and early childhood, and Jeremy Lynch, associate professor of special education, are leading a program to New Zealand, May 10-22.
• Yukako Ishimaru, instructor of modern languages and cultures, is leading a program to Japan, May 13-25.
• Tim Oldakowski, associate professor of English, is leading a program to Canada, June 22-26.
• Jason Kush and Christopher Scott, associate professors of music, are taking the SRU Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Singers to Italy and France, July 10-21.
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