Building Blocks of a 21st Century Education
“SUSQUEHANNA'S CROSS-CULTURAL EXPERIENCE is the first of its kind in many ways,” says Scott Manning, director of cross-cultural and off-campus programs and associate professor of French.
Three years ago Goucher College became the first college to require all students to study abroad. But unlike students at Goucher and colleges with similar programs, Susquehanna students may choose to study abroad or at a location within the United States. The program’s flexibility also allows a student’s experience to be very individualized.
Susquehanna students will submit a proposal making a case for how and why their chosen experience is cross-cultural for them. “Someone from a small town, for example, can have a very meaningful, two-week learning experience at an inner-city program, and vice versa. It helps students see themselves and their own culture more clearly while learning about someone else’s,” Manning says.
In another unique aspect of the program, students will receive credit only after completing a reflection seminar on their experience. “The faculty decided early on that we didn’t want to give credit just for going somewhere, but for critical reflection on the experience. That’s the academic component and something that other schools have praised us for,” says Manning.
“By making off-campus study a requirement, we’re committed to providing aid to students whether they choose a two-week seminar in Australia, a mission trip to New Orleans, Belize or Nicaragua, or a semester in London or Macau.” For semester-long study-abroad programs approved by the university, the cost of tuition will be the same as Susquehanna’s. All costs—including tuition, room, board and travel—are eligible for financial aid for those with demonstrated need.
Another unique component of the Cross-Cultural Requirement is that students will have to complete an on-campus Diversity-Intensive Course before their off-campus travel. The intent is to help students make the connections between America’s multicultural society and international cross-cultural experiences.