Study abroad is every student’s dream, and it greatly influences their college experience. Spending a semester or a year in a foreign country is not always possible. Keeping in mind what international education means to students and its restrictions, University of Portland has started a 3-credit leadership course with a university in South Africa. The course will begin in Spring 2019 semester, followed by a trip of four-weeks to South Africa in May.
Eddie Contreras, study abroad director, feels that it is really exciting to see a collaborative work between various campuses and colleges. It is a way of creating different programs types and listening to student feedback to meet the requirements that are still high-level learning opportunities and help them go to different places. Students can start applying for study abroad program in fall 2018 and will cost $5,500. This new program is a continuation of another program that was offered this spring. 16 students who completed the program, called Global Perspectives on Leadership course, will be visiting New Zealand on May 8th, where they will learn indigenous leadership.
The program of South Africa follows a similar protocol as the New Zealand program and will be divided mainly into three phases. Dave Houglum, head of the program, said that he is trying to uproot university students from their comfort zone and move forwards them to their edges so that they can grow personally as leaders. During four weeks of the program, students will travel all across the country; engage in projects related to service, and outdoor exploration.
During their travel, the students’ will maintain a blog during their journey, where they will upload their experiences. Houglum said that it is an incredible opportunity to broaden students’ perspective on leadership. It will help not only to have a positive impact on their confidence but also help them excel in the diverse and interconnected global society.