Students reflect on summer studying abroad

By Hannah Newman

Summer of 2022 was filled with opportunities for Broncs to study abroad, expand their education and understanding of the world. This summer, trips to England, Croatia and Sweden were offered to students with each country providing several programs for a variety of majors to explore their interests under the guidance of experts in designated fields.

England

The Norm Brodsky College of Business selected 20 students to join the seven day Moonshots and Moneymakers Conference with the Birthing of Giants delegation of entrepreneurs, designed to bring forth different aspects of entrepreneurship, in Oxford, England. 

Senior finance major Michael Langeveld explained what the conference offered business students.

“At the Moonshots and Moneymakers conference held at Oxford University, myself and other Rider students learned about entrepreneurship through classes and lectures, observational analysis with industry executives and through practical entrepreneurial study workshops and seminars. We were able to network and converse with highly accomplished CEOs and Business Executives from a diverse range of industries,” said Langeveld.

Students stayed on a college campus in Oxford where they interacted with the staff and exchanged different perceptions of business strategies pertaining to generational differences.

“Not only did we get to live and learn at St. Edmund Hall, but we got to learn more about entrepreneurship in a week than we could in a semester or even a year. Having lived through the triumphs and challenges of being an entrepreneur, they all had amazing advice and insights for the students. Some also sought our advice as the younger generation for their businesses,” said junior business administration Mollie Brislin.

Norm Brodsky, 64’, gave two students a full scholarship for the trip, and gave the rest a half scholarship to attend. Brodsky, the namesake for the college of business, joined the students on the trip, and stayed in the college dorms with them.

“It was one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever been on,” said Brodsky. “We brought over 50 entrepreneurs, and the students really blended in with these people. Two students have already gotten a job so far, and I am sure there are going to be a number more.”

Overall, many students felt that the experience contributed to the development of their future careers in the business world that, for some, is only months away.

“Oxford was truly an incredible experience ranging from the beautiful historic scenery to all the people in attendance,” said senior marketing major Blake Oramas. “Everyone there wanted to learn, better themselves and connect with others, especially their students.” 

Croatia

 Students whose studies are framed around education got the opportunity to see the school curriculum of Croatia firsthand. The trip was geared toward strengthening methods of teaching for education in America.

Students explored two different towns and four different schools — two that were vocational and two that were private. 

At each school, students were given a tour of the building and time to speak with the principals and teachers. They were also given the opportunity to interact with Croatian students in their classrooms, ask them questions and play with them during their recess.

Senior elementary education major Jayme Schneider was inspired by the Croatian educational experiences that she saw.

“I will remember this experience for the rest of my life. It has impacted my learning experience greatly. Getting to experience something that was so different made me look at education systems much differently. Experiencing education systems outside of the United States has encouraged me to try new methods of teaching and incorporate what I have learned abroad into my own lessons in the future,” said Schneider.

Students on the trip saw diversity in education systems and learning environments that brought forth a new understanding of how to be an effective educator. 

“I loved everything about this trip, but my favorite part was really being able to go into schools in Croatia and compare our education systems to theirs,” said senior education major Carly Solomon. “I learned so much from their schools and can’t wait to apply that to my own classroom one day. I would definitely recommend this experience to others in my major.”

Sweden

The program in Sweden was offered to the Baccalaureate Honors Program (BHP) and guided by a developmental psychologist and play therapist with a goal of introducing students to the several differences in play.

Students were taken to a variety of places in Stockholm where they observed the elements of how children play. Observation locations consisted of attractions such as museums, playgrounds, zoos and amusement parks.

Senior elementary education major Danielle Spalding expressed her appreciation for the experience and its contribution to building a better education. 

“I had an amazing time on the trip because, as an elementary education and psychology double major, I felt like the focus of the trip met my interests. There was a nice balance between planned activities and free time, and I felt like it allowed me to grow as an early childhood educator,” said Spalding.

Senior elementary education major Melissa Juarez recapped her study abroad journey with encouragement after traveling to Croatia. 

“I definitely recommend this experience to others as it was super eye-opening and an overall amazing experience to create new friendships and learn about a new country,” said Juarez.

The Rider News editor Tristan Leach is a member of BHP and was on a study abroad trip to Sweden this summer. Leach had no part in writing or editing this story.

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