Bonjour Paris, Ni Hao Shanghai and Hello Study Abroad

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Headline: Bonjour Paris, Ni Hao Shanghai and Hello Study Abroad

Layercake: Deadline to apply for UC Davis Summer Abroad next Friday

By JACKSON YAN

Aggie Staff Writer

Go south and greet Buenos Aires with an Hola. Head north and say Hello to Ireland. Venture west and say Bonjour to Paris or go east to say Ni Hao to Shanghai.

The choices are plenty, but time is short. Applications are due Friday, Apr. 11 to take part in UC Davis’ Summer Abroad program.

Summer Abroad is increasing in popularity, said Kathy Cunningham, program coordinator for the UC Davis Summer Abroad program. The program is very valuable, and we integrate the [courses] into the student’s academic goals. It’s about the experience. It’s the learning not done in the classroom. It’s a personal growth you can’t get in Davis.

The Summer Abroad programs last four weeks and venture across all continents except the Antarctic. There are 38 programs offered across 24 different countries this year. Each program is tailored to balance the traveler’s experience with course work; a vast majority of the classes will meet major requirements.

Senior community and regional development major Wendy Ng is heading to Germany to study with the Citizens and Local Government in Europe program.

I wanted to do this program because it pertains to my major, Ng said as she turned in her application to the Summer Abroad office. I have never studied in Europe. The lifestyle there is pretty mellow and different from the United States. And I am graduating. [It’s a] senior present to myself.

As a gift to those in the summer program Travelers in Greece, lecturer Aliki Dragona will immerse her students in her homeland. Having run the Greece program since its inception in 2002, Dragona has strived to expose students to Greek culture and break stereotypes.

People hear so much about Greece and learn a lot about the ancient [history], Dragona said. But student’s stereotypes just crumble before their eyes. I do nothing but let them live in Greece. We try to show them contemporary Greece. It is really exciting.

Junior English major Emily Pena took part in Dragona’s program last year.

I learned so much by experiencing [the] culture first hand, Pena said in an e-mail interview. It was a thrill unlike any other. Plus, Aliki and her class were wonderful. Her Greek roots gave insight to her country and the class material that few others could.

Dragona and her students will travel to Athens, Hydra, Napilon and Olympia. She acknowledges that her students will want to see all the tourist attractions. However, Dragona hopes to transform her students from mere tourists of her homeland to seasoned travelers of Greece.

Greece has so much to see, Dragona said. Obviously, they want to sight-see, but they are reading and writing journals. We talk about what to expect as a tourist and as a traveler. Traveling means reading, knowing the culture and mingling with the locals. That is what distinguishes a tourist [from] a traveler.

The month-long program gives students an easy way to say Yia Sou to Greece, but Dragona says all her students inevitably have a hard time saying good-bye.

Some plan to stay longer, Dragona said. Then there are some who are ready to go home but say ‘I’ll be back.’ That’s wonderful that they want to go back and to do more.

Summer Abroad will feature Enroll In A Day at the Education Abroad Center from noon to 4 p.m. next Wednesday. Applications for the program can be found at summer-abroad.ucdavis.edu.

JACKSON YAN can be reached at features@californiaaggie.com.XXX