Mercyhurst faculty-student groups ready for study-abroad trips

The Mercyhurst students and faculty who spent spring term in Dungarvan, Ireland, returned to America on May 13, but three other groups have headed abroad this summer on Faculty-Led Study Abroad (FSAT) trips.

Half a dozen students are exploring Chinese language and culture in Shanghai, led by Dr. Daliang Wang, assistant professor of Chinese. A native of Zibo, China, he earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in the teaching of Chinese language and literature from Shanghai Normal School.

The students, who have at least a year of Mandarin instruction, will complete three weeks of intensive on-site instruction during Mercyhurst’s pre-summer term.

Two other groups completed their academic work during the spring term in Erie, and will cap the experience with related trips.

Professors Marilyn Smith and Erin Magorien will lead more than 20 fashion merchandising majors in a 13-day tour of Italy, including the fashion hubs of Milan and Venice. The trip complements their study of international fashion marketing.

Another dozen students who studied Eastern European Theater during the spring will tour Europe this summer. Dr. Joanne McGurk taught the course, and Dr. Heidi Hosey will lead the 16-day trip to Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Switzerland. Both are faculty members in the English Department.

Hosey, who also serves as Mercyhurst’s director of international education, says the college’s unique FSAT program makes overseas travel affordable for most students. While the students pay travel costs, the college waives the credit fees for the related classes.

“Students increasingly expect foreign travel to be part of their college experience,” she noted,” but few colleges have committed to the concept the way Mercyhurst has. We’ve made it part of the college’s strategic mission to facilitate international experiences for our students.”

Plans are already under way for another spring term in Dungarvan in 2011, and at least one FSAT trip is on the schedule: a “European mosaic” that will take students to the major cities of Europe, including London, Paris, Berlin, Prague and Rome.
Students in an art appreciation class taught by Jodi Staniunas-Hopper, director of Mercyhurst’s graphic design program, will explore important sites in the Bauhaus Movement during the trip.

Hosey said additional trips may also be added, and encouraged interested students to call her at 824-2336 or e-mail her at hhosey@mercyhurst.edu.
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