Winter SIE: Five itineraries, eight countries, 187 sophomores
An international academic experience can offer a unique perspective on cultures and commerce in different countries – and even shift a student’s career aspirations.
At Bryant, nearly 50 percent of students study abroad, and the University has emerged as a leader in global learning. Among the reasons for this success is the Sophomore International Experience (SIE), Bryant’s alternative to the traditional study abroad experience. (In fact, 35 percent of the Class of 2015 participated in the Sophomore International Experience.) The three-credit course, held during winter and summer breaks, begins the semester before departure with an introduction to cultural norms, historical reading and analysis, language study, and art appreciation. The culmination of the program is a two-week trip that more often than not marks the first stamp in a student’s passport.
Itineraries are set for five SIE trips during winter break. Accompanied by faculty and staff, a total of 187 students will take part in business presentations, service learning projects, cultural activities, visits to historic sites, and more. A select sampling:
- Argentina/Chile: Students will meet with representatives at Yamaha Motor Argentina and Ogilvy & Mather;
- In China, students have meetings scheduled at Lenovo and Chartis China (AIG China). They will also spend time at the University’s new campus, Bryant Zhuhai;
- Germany/Spain: Students will tour the BMW Welt. A visit to the memorial site of what was once the Dachau Concentration Camp is also planned.
- Malaysia/Singapore: In Singapore, students will take part in a performance/task-based tournament by Destination Imagination – led by Emily Panasowich ’08, director of the company’s Asian Operations.
- In Italy, students will immerse themselves in the art, history, and culture of Verona, Florence, and Rome.
Julie Fougere ’18, an Applied Mathematics and Statistics major from Cumberland, RI, who is studying Mandarin Chinese, is excited about traveling to China.
“Immersing myself in Chinese culture will allow me to take what I’m learning in the classroom and get a feel for how much I know – and what I still need to work on. It promises to be an amazing experience.”