Monthly Archives: November 2015

Program Showcase: History and Culture of Physical Activity in Scotland, Paris, and London

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Are you a student looking to take 3-6 KHN credits while studying abroad? Are you someone who is just interested in the history behind physical activity? Check out “Scotland, London, and Paris: History and Culture of Physical Activity”. This is a 10 day summer term program where students all majors can gain global or capstone credit through hands-on experience focused on physical activity and sports!

With this program, students are able to:

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St. Andrew’s Golf Course: Known to some as the “home of golf”. Located in St. Andrew, Scotland.

  • Students are able to meet with exercise science and sports studies professors from universities in the UK to gain information on how exercise and sport are viewed in that country
  • Get behind-the-scenes look at Wimbledon and Chelsea Football Club, walk St. Andrews golf course, and have a guided tour of London’s Olympic site
  • Learn how to play cricket!

 

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If interested, check out Professor Lamia Scherzinger’s photos from last year:

Scotland, London, and Paris: History and Culture of Physical Activity Photo Gallery

For more information, contact:

Lamia Scherzinger, MS                                                                                                                     Visiting Assistant Professor                                                                                                                Phillips Hall Room 205B                                                                                                                Department of Kinesiology and Health                                                                                               Miami University                                                                                                                                     Oxford OH 45056

NOTE: The program will not be offered in summer of 2016, but may be offered the following year

Safety Update from Miami University

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Dear Miami University Faculty, Staff, Students and Families:

As we begin the new week, we are deeply disturbed and saddened by the violent acts of terrorism that occurred in France at the end of last week. Our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to everyone affected by the events in Paris.

We are in close and frequent contact with the Luxembourg campus, as well as our risk management and safety consultants and providers. The safety, security, and health of our students is our highest priority. We are reviewing plans for the remaining weeks of the fall semester, as well winter term travel programs and itineraries.

Strategies regarding Miami University winter term travel programs will be communicated through the Miami faculty who are leading programs in December and January. We ask for student and family patience as we work through the planning for each unique winter term location and program.

Students: Please share this communication with your parents and families.

We will continue to update you with all information as it develops regarding travel abroad at Miami University.

Cheryl D. Young
Assistant Provost, Global Initiatives

Meet our Ambassador, Amira Beasley!

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Amira in SpainAmira Beasley

Major: International Studies, Latin American Studies (Spanish minor)

Location: Madrid, Spain

Program: USAC 

Contact Me! beaslea2@miamioh.edu 

One tip that I would give a prospective study abroad student would be to plan ahead throughout the entire process. Take the time to look up scholarships, scour the internet for the best flight deals, and go ahead and plan out some of your weekend trips even before you leave the U.S.. There were a few places that I wanted to go to in Europe, but I waited too late to buy a plane ticket, and then the price spiked and it became too expensive… One of my favorite ways to begin planning a trip to a new city is to find out if there are any special events or celebrations that I would be interested in attending.

 

 

Valerie Westin: Semester in Granada, Spain

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Valerie Westin, a psychology major and Spanish minor, went to Granada, Spain, as part of the IES Abroad Granada program. Read all about her experience below! 

What was your favorite experience during your time abroad?

There are so many! From the late night tapa-hopping dinners with my friends to the unforgettable weekend trips to beautiful Spanish cities, every day was an adventure.

I would say that my favorite experience was just the general experience of living in Granada. I know that may seem like a cop-out, but it’s true! I was able to live and learn in a city that had so much history that I could not entirely comprehend it. The fact that I was a simple walk away from the Alhambra and various other ancient architectural structures always blew my mind.

There was also always so much going on. I would be walking to class and see someone Flamenco dancing on the plaza near my school, or see a group of people all dressed in matching costumes for no apparent reason. Granada was just always full of life, there was never a dull moment!

What classes did you enroll in? Which was your favorite and why?

I took a class required by IES Abroad (a Spanish grammar class) and some that counted toward my Spanish minor here at Miami.

Valerie Westin and her friends at Alhambra in Granada, Spain!

Valerie Westin and her friends at Alhambra in Granada, Spain!

My favorite class was about the art and architecture of Spain. In this class we got to go on field trips to various locations in Granada (and a trip to Córdoba) and see the art and history that we were learning about for ourselves. It was great to learn about the city that we were living in, and we even got to see some locations that most Granadinos (people from Granada) have not seen. For example, my class was able to go in a room in the Alhambra that is not open to the public, but only to private educational tours. It was full of really old wall artwork that was hand painted by those who created the Alhambra. This class was like going on a VIP tour of the city, while learning and getting to understand the history behind everything. It was a history class like I had never had before!

What were some of the biggest cultural differences you encountered? How did you overcome them?

Valerie Westin in Cabo de Gata!

Valerie Westin in Cabo de Gata!

In Spain, the cultural differences were not too difficult to overcome. It was helpful that at the first two days of my program, they informed us of some of the differences that we would encounter, so that helped me to be prepared. Spaniards do not have as much of a “personal bubble” as Americans do. When I was walking on the street with some students from the University of Granada, they were both walking on either side of me, practically touching me with their arms, and my immediate reaction was to move further away. I did not realize that I had such an American “personal bubble” until that moment.

When you greet and say goodbye to Spaniards, they expect two kisses on the cheek. This particular aspect was probably the most different to me. I wasn’t used to getting that up close and personal with strangers, but I had to hide my discomfort in order to remain polite.

Is there any advice you have for people who study in your location in the future?

Valerie and her friends outside of their favorite tapas restaurant!

Valerie and her friends outside of their favorite tapas restaurant!

My main piece of advice for future study abroad students is to make sure to experience your home city. A lot of people from my program traveled to different cities every weekend, and they didn’t get the chance to experience Granada’s culture as much as I did. Take at least a weekend to explore the city; just walk around and see what you can find. Try different restaurants, leave the areas where the tourists congregate and really see what being a citizen of that city is like.

“Really getting the chance to immerse yourself in the culture is what makes studying abroad so worthwhile; you build a home away from home halfway across the world.”

Where was the coolest place you visited?

I really enjoyed my trip to Morocco. My study abroad program took a majority of the students from my program to Morocco for five days. Here, I got to live with a Moroccan family for two nights, ride a camel, and explore a few different Moroccan cities.

From this trip specifically, my favorite part was when we had the opportunity to travel to a rural Moroccan village and have a traditional lunch with a family who lived in the village. We had to trek through uneven paths and even got lost on the way, but nothing could have beaten that authentic couscous! I just knew that when I was there that it was not an experience that many people get to have. We were sitting in their home, asking them questions about their lives while they asked us questions about the United States (with a translator). I just loved how we really got to see the culture and veer away from typical tourist activities.

 Is there anything else you’d like to share from your time abroad? 

I had an amazing host family. I know that sometimes the thought of living with host families while abroad is scary, but it really enhances the overall study abroad experience. My host family owned another home in a village outside of the city, in the same village where a lot of their family lived. They took me there twice and I got to ride their horses, eat with them, and see what living in a rural village in southern Spain was like. They had a lot of farming artifacts that had been passed down the family, and they had the tallest tree in Andalucía! Besides my chance to go there, my host family was just generally a huge positive factor of my study abroad experience.