Explore Indigenous Cultures Coursework in Quito and Cusco
Partner News | October 1, 2019 | New series issue #11
Around the Field:“Indigenous Cultures” Coursework Offers Unique Learning Opportunity in Quito and Cusco
Indigenous Cultures is one of many unique courses offered regularly at Athena’s programs in Quito, Ecuador, and Cusco, Peru hosted at the Academia Latinoamericana de Español. The course covers “Period, cultural, economic, and ethnic studies of the people of a specific country in Hispanic America,” but of course that is only the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Diego del Corral, Director of the Academia says that the course “allows students to know the origins of the presence of the first settlers in the American continent and subsequently an analysis of the indigenous communities in each country.”
IIE Study Tied Study Abroad to
Employment and Jobs Goals
By Dane S. Claussen, Ph.D., MBA Manager of University Relations Athena Study Abroad
Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills & Career Prospects in the United States, by Christine Farrugia and Jodi Sanger, was published by the Institute of International Education in October 2017. This study sought to “investigate the connection between study abroad programs and the development of skills that contribute to employment and career development in today’s workforce.” A mixed methods study, it included 4,565 valid completed surveys, plus 30 in-depth interviews, about 15 job-related skills. Subjects, who had studied abroad over the last 20 years, were located by working with six study abroad organizations and companies. The study found that “the largest portion of respondents reported developing a broad range of cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal skills to a significant degree through study abroad, namely: intercultural skills, curiosity, flexibility & adaptability, confidence, self-awareness,
interpersonal skills, communication, problem solving, language, tolerance for ambiguity, and course or major-related knowledge. Teamwork, leadership, and work ethic were also reportedly developed or improved, but less significantly.” Respondents also said that study abroad expanded their career possibilities, provided them with skills that are having a “long-term impact on career progression and promotion,” and longer term study abroad programs have a “high impact” on subsequent job offers and skill development.
In addition, the study found that STEM majors highly valued skills developed by study abroad, choosing a less common destinations was especially valued, and “student intentionality and highly structured programs contribute to skill development.” While there are a
good deal of useful research outcomes, the study does have some limitations despite the large sample size. The sample was neither a random sample nor a universe sample, although it was fairly representative. The study reports, “Data collection took place over a limited time period and participants were asked to reflect back on their past experiences, rather than a longitudinal study that tracked students before, during, and after their study abroad experiences and progression through the workforce. Secondly, participants self-selected to participate in the study and their perceptions were self-reported, leading to possible bias in the data. Lastly, this study was conducted based on a cross-section of study abroad alumni without a comparison control group of students who had not studied abroad.” Self-reported perceptions of a life event as significant (exciting, time-consuming, often unique, sometimes expensive, etc.) as study abroad (particularly long-term) are
highly likely to be favorably biased in multiple ways except for participants who had a negative study abroad experience. Editor’s Note: Dr. Dane S. Claussen will be presenting, “Study Abroad and Employment: A Proposed Research Agenda,” on October 26, at the Pennsylvania Council for International Education (PACIE) conference in State College, PA.
PROGRAM: The University of Aberdeen offers an incredible amount of courses in nearly every academic discipline you are looking for, including a uniquely robust STEM catalog, while maintaining a smaller community vibe. The administration at the school is very friendly, personable, and approachable, which is
exactly what you want while overseas.
TERMS: Spring, Fall
COURSES: STEM, Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, Business.