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Students broaden cultural perspective through study abroad

Loyola press release - February 1, 2012

Students who attend Loyola’s summer abroad program in Italy spend four weeks experiencing some of Italy’s most unique assets, from archaeological excavations in Pompeii and a tour of the Sistine Chapel to the famed nightlife of Rome’s piazzas and a visit to Blue Capri Island. Last summer, students even had the opportunity to visit Miguel Diaz, United States Ambassador to the Vatican.

While abroad, Loyola students immerse themselves in the culture and traditions of their host country, and in Italy, that means enrichment through Italian music, drama, art and architecture. Students take courses related to their country of study, but they are also encouraged to pursue the subject of their major in a non-traditional classroom setting.

According to Terri Bednarz, R.S.M., Ph.D., assistant professor of New Testament studies and faculty advisor for the summer program in Italy, a lot of the education for study abroad students happens in the streets.

“We encourage them to be active learners—to be engaged in the material most interesting to them, even if it is unconventional,” Bednarz said. “By breaking out of their comfort zones and going on field excursions and interacting with the vast culture around them, students gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will forever enrich their personal and academic lives. Study abroad really expands their world view.”

Over 32 percent of Loyola students have studied abroad in more than 50 countries. According to the 2011 Open Doors Report, which is published by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Loyola is ranked 34th for undergraduate participation in study abroad programs for those universities ranked as a ‘Top 40 Master’s Institution’ by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

The Center for International Education at Loyola University New Orleans is currently accepting applications for the summer 2012 study abroad programs, which typically last three to four weeks and are led by Loyola faculty members. In addition to Italy, countries for study abroad this summer include India, China, Ireland, Belgium and Spain.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at jlbrown@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.

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