With the unexpected disruption of Spring 2020 study abroad, many students had their experience cut short. But with the help of technology, and a supportive local staff, many CIEE students continue their study abroad adventures from home. Below we highlight just a few of the ways our sites and students are continuing to make the world their classroom!
In Rabat, Morocco, students and staff have joined each other from many miles apart to participate in cultural activities and conversations. From birthday celebrations to cooking classes making Moroccan bread and Ramadan cookies, these online events have allowed the spring '20 cohort to stay connected beyond academics. Although the "quarantine routine" is quite different from the day-to-day of living in Rabat, these students continue to learn from one another despite the distance.
For the CIEE Russia spring students, game nights and pub trivia are just a few of the fun activities that have been brought online with their Russian buddies. It's not all fun and games though, these students mean business. During their time at home they've also participated in virtual networking, remote volunteer opportunities, and Russian tutoring with CIEE staff in addition to their regular university sessions!
When asked to reflect back on their time abroad this spring, Kyoto students were eager to recall how quickly Japan exceeded their expectations. Despite a tumultuous semester, one student says, "It was a learning experience I will never forget. Both for expected and entirely unexpected reasons!" The friendships formed with Japanese students, enjoying the Konbini's and the clean and convenient subways, were just some of the moments these students reflected on. Perhaps the most surprising of these reflections, one student expressed, "I am grateful for the unexpected opportunity to observe the handling of a global crisis from a new perspective while in Japan."
Although their time was cut short in Seville, many students were just starting to find their groove. Despite having just a few weeks of tutoring lessons prior to leaving Spain, the students were eager to continue their sessions remotely. Initial challenges with moving to a remote learning situation we quickly overcome and conversations became more structured, providing not only lessons in language, but also favorite foods, hobbies, and holiday celebrations. The online tutoring sessions ultimately helped the CIEE students forge even stronger cultural connections to the people of Seville first hand, although it looked different than originally planned.
With the help of eager students, supportive staff, and local communities across the globe, it is clear that global learning can, and will, continue.