Summer offerings connect students to global experiences

Laptop open on desk

The Division of Global Engagement at the University of Oregon has launched a new suite of low-cost, credit-earning #NoPassportNeeded remote programs, which provide students with academic and remote learning experiences from around the world.

As the world adapts to new realities, UO students can still develop a deep connection to the people and places traditionally accessible through travel-based global education. They can connect to virtual internships in other countries, join international conferences and register for new credit-bearing learning opportunities taught by world-class faculty members from around the globe.

“As the world adapts to new realities, we’re making it easier than ever to, remotely, experience the furthest reaches of our interconnected planet,” said Dennis Galvan, dean and vice provost for global engagement. “These opportunities combine cross-cultural communication, technology use and an experiential learning process, all vital to a global education.”

Global Education Oregon, the UO’s study abroad office, has a number of new remote experiences open to all students, including graduate students. For example, students can choose from a range of Spanish language offerings taught by faculty members from Casa de las Lenguas at the University of Oviedo, Spain.

Students will also have access to former BBC producers teaching journalism practice directly from London. Also, many UO faculty members have adjusted their study abroad programs to a remote learning experience.

Journalism professor Peter Laufer is among the many UO faculty members who have adapted their programs to a remote learning experience, or as he likes to call it, “armchair traveling.” Laufer regrets that students cannot travel, but said he feels the current realities are a good set of constraints for future journalists.

“Nothing equates to interviewing and developing stories from the scene,” Laufer said. “That said, as journalists, we often cannot get to the locales where news breaks. So we use a wide variety of tools, devices and tricks of the trade to bring characters and their stories to life without leaving our hometowns. We can produce consequential newsgathering from our cloistered realities.”

In addition, students can join international peers and experts during the UO Global Leadership Challenge from July 19 to Aug. 20. Students from around the world will come together online to develop professional skills, strengthen their leadership, and focus on the critical and pressing challenges of sustainability.

The program will guide students in small teams to remotely address a sustainability-related challenge for a community partner based in Eugene. Working remotely and in collaboration with their assigned community partner, each team will draft a proposal or action plan for a sustainability challenge their stakeholders currently face. 

Students also will be able to connect with remote international internships. GlobalWorks has reformatted its programs and is working with companies to accommodate new and modified internships.

Currently, students can be paired with companies and organizations in Argentina, China, India, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and Vietnam. Students will receive internship placement in the country and industry sector of their choice, earn 12 UO credits and have access to professional development activities, including career coaching. Remote international internships will run from July 24 to Sept. 17.

Among those conducting a remote internship this summer will be Julia Anderson, an international and environmental studies major. Anderson will be working remotely with a nonprofit in San Jose, Costa Rica. While she recognizes current circumstances make the setup challenging, especially the time differences, she did not want to miss the opportunity to gain experience in her potential career field in an international setting and a chance to practice her Spanish.

“I am hoping to build my teleworking skills and gain experience in my field,” Anderson said. “I think this experience will help me identify my strengths, improve my remote learning skills, gain more applicable experience, and improve my access to future development and employment opportunities!”

To learn more about the many remote learning opportunities offered by the Division of Global Engagement, connect with staff and advisers through one of the information sessions available via Zoom or visit the website.

—By Chakris Kussalanant, Division of Global Engagement