Professors encourage students to study abroad

Every spring, students are faced with the challenge of deciding what they are doing the upcoming summer. From working a job to summer classes to simply just traveling, there are many options.

The University of Miami has various summer abroad program where professors lead a group of Miami students through their respective courses in foreign countries, usually over a period of one to six weeks. Some faculty-led study abroad courses can be used to knock out prerequisites such as economics professor David Spigelman’s trip to Italy, France and Spain. Others are specific to certain majors and have more focused classes like School of Communication professors Sarai Nuñez’s and Alex Heria’s social media, design and photography classes in the Netherlands and Germany.

Marketing professor Trini Callava can explain this sentiment better than anyone else. She is the faculty director for the luxury marketing program in Florence and the fashion and luxury program in Paris.

She said she deeply regrets not studying abroad during her college years and compares American students to the diversity of foreign students on campus by saying that foreign students know to “take the small jobs” in order to get experience, whereas Americans think that “nothing is big enough for them.”

“You become more flexible, you become more adaptable, you have a global mindset,” Callava said.

She said the global mindset is very important and that American students need to learn to be competitive in this international job market, something they cannot learn by sitting in lectures.

A recent graduate who received his degree in management and marketing, Emmanuel Lorenzo, was Callava’s student and is planning on going abroad to Paris to take part in her fashion and luxury program.

He said he hopes to “get one step forward to his career” and that it will be good experience for achieving his goal “of going to grad school in Europe.”

Nuñez said her social media, design and photography program as different from other study abroad programs because her program goes to more than one city. She chose these two cities- Berlin and Amsterdam- because “they are very different from one another so you get two very different experiences in one short trip.”

Nuñez herself said she deeply regrets not studying abroad in her college years and encourages everyone to consider it even if it’s just for three weeks. She said she thinks it’s really important for students to expose themselves to “other cultures, to other traditions, to people.”

“It expands your mind and your overall sense of the world, which is not something you can gain reading about another culture,” Nuñez said.

Spigelman, the faculty director of the macroeconomics program agrees. He said that “this is an opportunity to get to know your professors better,” which is better for letters of recommendations.

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