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"This trip has inspired me in so many ways. From wanting to seriously learn a new language to having a more open mind about other cultures, I feel as though I have grown more in the last three weeks than I have in my whole life thus far." Amy Jackson, junior
In June 2018, 24 students shared a unique opportunity as they participated in the School of Public Policy & Administrations (SPPA) first 3-week Summer Study Abroad session under the direction of Professors Karen Stein and Fred DeMicco and teaching assistant Paolo Cavaliere, SPPA Ph.D. student. Enrolled in LEAD411 Topics in Leadership Dynamics, students spent two weeks in Volterra, Italy and then boarded the Celebrity Constellation cruise ship for a one week cruise from Rome to Spain, with port stops in Livorno, Nice, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorcam and Barcelona.
Far from being tourists, students deeply engaged in project work to explore how leaders are using cultural intelligence to advance their organizations and cultivate successful teams, and they simultaneously developed their own competencies as culturally intelligent leaders.
In Volterra, students enjoyed intimate talks with community leaders who discussed the challenges of developing innovative new programs and solutions while reconciling local and global cultures.
On the cruise, ship officers gave an up close and personal look at the leadership challenge of forming collaborative relationships among crew from dozens of different countries all over the world who bring with them different languages, customs, ethnicities and diverse cultural backgrounds.
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Through experiences, class sessions, and projects, students gained hands-on experience in practicing leadership, followership, and teamwork behaviors in a culture not their own.
The best way to really appreciate the true value of this study abroad is through our students' own perceptions of the meaning of the experience.
"This trip has changed me as a person. I have become more compassionate and aware of people who are of different cultures and come from different backgrounds. I feel that when I go back to school in the fall I will really have found my place and purpose. I plan to use all that I have learned in and out of class throughout the rest of my life." Nicole Boylan, Junior
"Not only have I learned material relevant to my major on this trip, but also new things that I never would have dreamed of experiencing. I have interacted with people of so many different nationalities in such a short period of time, boosting my own cultural intelligence but also teaching me how people really do have a universal dialogue and are not all that different on the inside. Learning this has made me more open to interacting with different cultures than my own." James Barnett, Senior
"It was an experience I'll never forget and lessons I will carry with me throughout my life and career. This trip showed me a new version of myself that I hope stays with me forever." Annalise Maull
"This truly life-changing experience is one that I will remember forever. I believe that I now have a stronger cultural intelligence and ability to hold a conversation with someone of a different culture. The trip has provided me with more confidence. Furthermore, the program has given me strong bonds and friendships with such great people, professors, and classmates. I will grow old with these memories and remember how it was some of the best three weeks of my life." Aaron Bonsignor, Junior