International Exposure

Last week, 66 MCCC students and faculty returned safely from their Study Abroad trip to Italy and Greece. They spent 19 days on this trip. As great as it was, I am sure they are all glad to be back home. Welcome back home! According to their program leader, Dr, Joanna Sabo, ” It was a fantastic, educational and amazing study abroad journey! We were blessed with fun, talented tour directors from EF (Education First) and fabulous sunny weather. We studied everything from ancient civilizations to modern business and the current Greek Parliament….” Also on the trip were Professors Dan Shaw, Bill McCloskey, Ed La Clair, and Wendy Wysocki.  Dr. Sabo goes on to say that  “The program has now been running ten years. We have an incredibly successful model being copied by other colleges. It has brought in over $100,000 in tuition over 5 programs, more than half of that from the last two….”

You see, these study abroad programs are not simply excursions, they are actually a form of experiential learning tied to courses ranging from art to business. Since members of our community are allowed to go on these trips (they must first register for a class), it not only benefits the students and MCCC, it also benefits our community. We cannot underestimate the importance of international exposure. Traveling internationally exposes one to other cultures, ways of business, and so much more. It brings about greater tolerance and understanding. Individuals with a true global perspective think very differently from those without. As a multicultural, multilingual individual who had lived in four different countries by age 18, believe me, it makes a big difference in one’s outlook.  My recent trips to China, the Ukraine, and Ghana continue shape my global perspective. We are shaped by our backgrounds and experiences, and traveling abroad is positive exposure for our students. If you have not traveled abroad, I encourage you to try journeying to and immersing yourself in another culture for a couple of weeks; you may never be the same.

This was Dr. Sabo’s last study abroad trip at MCCC, as she will be retiring at the end of the year. Thank you, Dr. Sabo for your many years of service to MCCC and for starting the Study Abroad program and International Studies designation. We look forward to carrying on your “global legacy”.