Athena’s Passport #10

Environmentally Sustainable Ways, New Courses, and the UK


Athena's Passport: Your Entry Into Our World of Study Abroad
Partner News | September 16, 2019 | New series issue #10

How to: Study Abroad in Environmentally Sustainable Ways

Athena Study Abroad is a founding member in the Global Learning Collective, the We Care Commitment of which includes Sustainable Education Travel.
All Collective partners have implemented various environmentally sustainable practices. Our friends at EDU Africa suggest “10 Eco-friendly alternatives [to plastics] to pack for your next trip,”
which Athena has modified a bit for U.S. students.
In this issue…
Around the Field: New Sorrento Sant’Anna Course Unearths Musical and Other Historical Connections Between the Black Mediterranean and the Black Americas
“Mediterranean Nero” is one of three captivating and interdisciplinary cultural studies courses offered to study abroad students at Athena’s program in Sorrento, Italy, hosted at Sant’Anna Institute. “Nero” is, as its syllabus says, about the “repressed and hidden histories of a largely silenced Black Mediterranean” and its “unsuspected dialogue” with the “Black Atlantic”—Haiti and other parts of the New World.

Course instructor Dr. Alessandro Buffa says in his syllabus that the course uses primary historical documents to discuss the “Masaniello revolt of 1648 in Naples; the Haitian Revolution of 1799; the international dimension of Black Power; the racialization of urban space and contemporary migration from Africa towards the Mediterranean” and much more.

Understanding How Program Factors Influence Intercultural Learning in Study Abroad: The
Benefits of Mixed-Method Analysis

By Dane S. Claussen, Ph.D., MBA
Manager of University Relations
Athena Study Abroad

“Understanding How Program Factors Influence Intercultural Learning in Study Abroad: The Benefits of Mixed-Method Analysis,” by Andrea Paras, Michael Carignan, Ashley Brenner, Jane Hardy, Jodi Malmgren, and Melanie Rathburn, was published in the Spring 2019 issue of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. The authors, from six different universities, studied a sample of 81 students who participated in various short-term study abroad programs, of which 53 completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) both before and after their study abroad programs. The researchers also performed a qualitative analysis of students’ writings about their experiences, to better study—as Darla Deardorff has called for—the process, rather than only the results, of students’ development in intercultural competence. The authors and students were from (with programs noted): Community College of Philadelphia (international fellowship, Tanzania), Elon University (history, Italy), Wabash College (global public health, Peru), Mount Royal University (biodiversity/ conservation, Honduras), St. Olaf (healthcare, Peru), and University of Guelph (ethics of international experiential learning, India).



The researchers were limited in drawing conclusions due to the impossibility of
controlling for even most, let alone all, independent variables that
might affect changes in IDI scores. One unexpected independent variable emerged late in their analysis: “intra-group dynamics have a surprising impact, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.” Still, the article authors were able to draw two general conclusions: IDI scores increase because of “significant pre-departure training that provides students with a toolkit of skills for responding to cultural differences” and “a major service-learning component, which seemed to provide more opportunities for meaningful intercultural experience, insights, and reflection.” In the future, such studies need to systematically compare mostly similar students, institutions, study abroad programs, pre-departure trainings, and service-learning work to isolate individual independent variables affecting intercultural learning processes and results; in other words, the six groups and their programs were too diverse (both among the groups
and within the groups) to draw more


Program Highlight: UK and Ireland Programs


PROGRAM: The University of Roehampton is an incredible university, and the most intimate setting of those in the University of London network. Roehampton offers you many courses to choose from, plus a personalized and active social scene on campus.
TERMS: Spring, Summer, Fall
COURSES: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Arts, Business.


PROGRAM: The University of Aberdeen offers an incredible amount of courses in nearly every academic discipline you are looking for, including STEM, while maintaining a smaller community vibe. The administration at the school is very friendly, personable, & approachable, which is exactly what you want while overseas.
TERMS: Spring, Fall
COURSES: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Arts, Business.


PROGRAM: Griffith College Dublin is a highly respected private college that gives students the opportunity to study a diverse range of disciplines in the heart of one of Europe’s top cities.
TERMS: Spring, Fall
COURSES: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Arts, Business.
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