Senior Early Childhood major Holly Casadevall shares her experiences traveling to Italy and Ireland to study abroad:  

In the field of education, there is a movement towards diversity by exposing and educating students about our numerous and unique cultures. There is no better way to do this than by traveling and immersing oneself in different cultures. This year has been filled with discovering the secret beauties that the world has to offer through the Study Abroad Program offered at Stevenson University.

In January 2017, I traveled to Florence, Italy, and studied for three weeks at Lorenzo De’Medici in the heart of Florence. During this time, I participated in two classes: Art History and Pairing Food & Wine. Both courses exposed me to the Italian culture and included many hands-on experiences, allowing students to be active participants in the Italian culture. The weekends offered plenty of opportunities to hop on a train and explore the other cities in Italy or the neighboring countries.

My second study abroad experience took place in July, when I traveled to a little rustic town in Ireland named Maynooth, where I studied at Maynooth University. At Maynooth University, I participated in two courses: Creative Writing and Travel & Tourism. On the weekends, there were opportunities to travel with the school on their sponsored day and weekend trips throughout Ireland or you could explore on your own.

Through my study abroad experience, I have met many people of various backgrounds. When I become a teacher, I will introduce my students to the cultures that I have been able to experience. One idea is to establish a “pen pal” system that will introduce my students to a different culture and share first-hand what it is like in that country. The ways to expose students to the world’s many cultures and build on the diversity factor can be accomplished in many ways.

My study abroad experience has been amazing! I am excited to one day expose my students to different cultures and encourage them to take the opportunity to study aboard and get to know a new culture.

(Submitted by Holly Casadevall)