New Summer Abroad Programs

This summer, approximately 750 students will embark on a valuable educational adventure abroad with UC Davis Summer Abroad, and some of them will get to be part of classes offered for the first time. These new program offerings cover a wide range of topics from Art and Social Science to Engineering in locations such as East Asia, the Middle East and the Emerald Isle.

Through the Israel program, students will have the opportunity to examine housing and land use topics in one of the most contested areas in the world with Dr. Rob Wiener, an expert in the field of housing and community development. According to Dr. Wiener, "The course will immerse students in housing and land use issues at the neighborhood and street levels. For students majoring in urban planning, community development, architecture, political science, sociology, Middle Eastern studies, and other related fields, this practicum will enable students to directly apply research and observational skills learned in the classroom in the field in a challenging environment."

Experiential learning is a big part of the Summer Abroad experience, and students who complete the "Documentary Filmmaking in Ireland" will return with a documentary piece that they created and can showcase and add to their portfolio.

Engineering majors, who are generally underserved by study abroad programs, now have another program option to earn Engineering credits in South Korea through the "Sustainable Energy Technologies" program. Not only will they learn about cutting edge technologies in renewable energy such as solar power, fuel cells and lithium batteries, students will also have the chance to make lifelong international friends and connections as part of the program's bridge building component.

In addition to these new programs, UC Davis Summer Abroad offers 37 other programs for students to have an international educational experience. The most difficult decision for students may not be whether they should study abroad, but to choose which study abroad experience they wish to incorporate into their education.

Study Abroad in Berlin

When a Summer Abroad program focuses on the history and culture of the site in which the course takes place, the effects on students can be profound. In its rich complexity, the city of Berlin embodies an especially vivid example of this phenomenon.

In summer 2012 Professor Gail Finney taught a Summer Abroad course in Berlin entitled "East Meets West in Berlin: Berlin Culture Before and After the Wall." The group consisted of 16 highly engaged students from several UC campuses. In class they studied literary texts, cultural and journalistic materials, and films bearing on the hybrid history of the city from the construction of the Wall in 1961 until the aftermath of its fall.

Yet the students’ experiences outside the classroom were at least as memorable. Visits to such sites as the Topography of Terror (which examines Hitler’s Gestapo and SS and is built around a large segment of the former Berlin Wall), the Jewish Museum, East German Museum, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, and Holocaust Memorial brought to life the unique and disturbing history of twentieth-century Germany as microcosmically visualized in its capital, a living classroom. Other memories of the program may fade, but the students will likely never forget the living classroom of Berlin.

Aggies Abroad Spotlight: Pharmaceutical Chemistry Program in Taiwan

The all too familiar phrase can be found seemingly anywhere—on clothing, electronics, and even on the underside of kid’s meal toys: "Made in Taiwan."

The phrase, and the country along with it, is all too often associated with mediocre quality products that don’t leave an impression. This blog is here to change that.

I am not made in Taiwan. My parents are and so are my grandparents—my heritage is made in Taiwan. As a child, I found myself frequently visiting the country where my parents grew up so that we could stay in touch with our relatives. I have to admit that during those visits, I never once found Taiwan beautiful. In fact, I found it quite the opposite. Taiwan was hot, dirty, hectic, noisy, and full of mosquitoes...everything changed when I visited Taiwan the summer after I graduated high school. Boy was my mind was an overwhelming experience that inspired me to spend a semester here.

-Eric Tu, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Follow Eric and other UC Davis students’ journeys through photos, videos and blogs on the Aggies Abroad Network!