The Global Marketplace + Language and Cultural Competency.
Can you imagine what it might be like to work internationally? How will an international experience determine or shape your future professional work? How will you combine your existing skills in your major with a U.S. and world demand for greater language and cultural competency?
Today, students are expected to not only be familiar with but intimately understand other ways of doing business, and other ways of doing business means understanding other cultures and their practices. You must find ways to expand your exportable skills, manage other languages, and utilize cross-cultural expertise. Employers have a growing demand for students who can utilze knowledge garnered through experiences living, and working in diverse cultural contexts. The ISU on the Meditrreanean, Summer in Valencia Program will help you to learn what it is like to work within the demanding global marketplace by strengthening language skills and improving cultural knowledge about Spain and the E.U. Students will take at least one Spanish course that will help improveor perfect language and culture skills. Taught by Spanish professors who are specialists in language and cultural training, you will not only improve your Spanish proficiency, but work toward becoming bicultural, a goal you cannot achieve by staying in the U.S.
The Recipe for Competency
Living with a Spanish host family and moving about the country will increase cultural awareness and understanding. You will improve your Spanish, learn about cultural do’s and don’ts, how Spaniards live on a daily basis, what they eat, how they talk, what types of things they like to do in their spare time, etc. This is information you can ONLY get by living with others.
Students who have completed 9 credits (3 courses) at the 300 level in Spanish can enroll in SPAN 499, Internship. For the internship students are placed with a company in Valencia so that they can improve their Spanish skills and professional understanding of the international professional environment. It also is well known that an internship abroad will open doors to other internships or co-ops, as well as future employment.
You gain confidence in every thing you do. By studying abroad, you learn how to navigate airports and train stations, you talk to people in another language, you try new things, seek out new challenges, appreciate your home country more, and begin to love your host country. These are skills and abilities that change you and make you better not only on a personal level, but for future employment. Research continually shows that one of the greatest values provided by a minimum 6-week program it confidence, creative thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and a change in both perspective and attitude about accomplishing difficult tasks.
Get a better job! By participating in a program abroad, students are more likely to later earn an exellent internship or co-op, or improve their chances at securing a challenging, well-paid position with an international company. In fact, if an international position is your later goal, many students later are given assignments in a variety of countries and cultures simply because they have had a previous experience living abroad in Spain, and can learn to become successful in the new culture, too.
Could you do all of this at home?
How Life Works
Biologists are interested in “how” life works, and they manage and address a number of problems that transcend national boundary lines. One’s professional colleagues also frequently live and work abroad. The growing interdependence of the world’s problems and peoples presents a challenge and an opportunity for personal and professional growth in the Biological Sciences. The ISU on the Mediterranean Summer in Valencia Program helps address these challenges and opportunities.
Biology 394 (International Field Trips in Biology) meets the “International Perspectives” requirement for graduation (3 credits). The objectives of this requirement are to enable students to:
- analyze the accuracy and relevancy of their own worldviews and anticipate how people from other nations perceive that worldview.
- describe and analyze how cultures and societies around the world are formed, are sustained, and evolve.
- analyze and evaluate the influence of global issues in their own lives.
- describe the values and perspectives of cultures other than their own and discuss how they influence individuals’ perceptions of global issues and/or events.
- communicate competently in a second language.
How will these objectives be realized in Biology 394?
- Each student will take at least one of several Spanish courses to improve his or her language and culture skills. You do not need to have any experience with Spanish before participating in the program. In fact, many students participate with no previous Spanish at all! The Program Directors will help place you in the appropriate level based on your past experience, or no experience at all, with Spanish.
- Living with a Spanish host family and moving about the country will increase cultural awareness and understanding. You will learn such things as cultural do’s and don’ts, how Spaniards live on a daily basis, what they eat, how they talk, and what types of things they like to do in their spare time. This is information you can ONLY get by living with others.
- In addition to a Spanish course (3 credits), each biology student will be required to take Biology 394 (3 credits). Biology 394 will be offered in English. Students will choose one (3 credits) of two modules:
Module I: Lab Experience
Students will conduct research in the lab of a University of Valencia faculty member. The goal is to immerse students in techniques and research methodology, and to acquaint students with the culture of science in Spain. We anticipate participation by faculty from a variety of biological disciplines, and will do our best to match student and faculty interests.
Module II: Field Work, “Valencia as a Biology Lab”
- The theme of this module is “experiential learning,” and it will take advantage of unparalleled opportunities to explore biology-themed venues in Valencia and environs with specialists as guides. These explorations will be supplemented by “in-class” discussions by University of Valencia faculty. Venues include:
- The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencia (City of Arts and Sciences): a huge futuristic complex of 4 buildings that includes an interactive science museum, IMAX theater, planetarium, and the largest aquarium in Europe.
- La Albufera, a large freshwater lagoon that is well-known for its diversity of birds, plantlife and marine life.
- El Jardín Botánico (Botanical Gardens), one of Europe’s largest, oldest and most complete.
- Bioparc, a newly-built zoo based on contemporary values of environmental soundness and humaneness to animals.
- The rocky picturesque, coast of Javea boasts marine life and geological formations native only to the region.
- And, of course, the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.
- Management 372 (Responsible Management and Leadership in Business), in English with permission of the Ivy College of Business, for ISU credit
Each student will take at least one of several Spanish courses which will improve his or her language and culture skills. You do not need to have any experience with Spanish before participating in the program. The Program Directors will help place you in the appropriate level based on your past experience, or no experience at all, with Spanish.