The University Core Overseas

Telecscope peering through roof opening at Arcetri Observatory South of Florence

February 02, 2018
Gonzaga’s studies abroad program is a major component of the university’s mission, which in part seeks to instill intercultural competence in students and faculty. Last year, 712 students studied abroad, with 310 of those enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences in 28 majors and studying in 28 different countries.

With the new University Core in its second year of implementation, the Center for Global Engagement has been generous in adapting and developing courses to meet the core’s learning outcomes. “We have been trying to build faculty-led, short-term programs around core courses,” says Richard Menard, Director of the Study Abroad program. “This has been a particular motivation at Gonzaga in Florence, which is supposed to be our University Core program that allows any major to study there.”

Outside of Florence, opportunities to fulfill core requirements abound. This summer, for example, Biology’s Bill Ettinger will take students to study and work for three weeks at the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage for the 9th time. This year, Chief Diversity Officer Raymond Reyes will join him, and classes will include field studies in biodiversity and a course on leadership and social change. During their time in Zambia, students will also have plenty of opportunities to gain familiarity with Zambian cultural practices, with activities such as learning Bemba; enjoying traditional Zambian food, song, dance, and sport; and interacting with and teaching Zambian students.

Also this summer, Professor of Psychology Anna Marie Medina and Nursing’s Julie Derzay are teaming up for the Gonzaga in Glasgow program. The six-week intensive will earn students six credits: three for Lifespan Development (which will carry a Global Studies designation and be cross-listed in the School of Nursing and Human Physiology) and three for a religion course.

Says Director of the University Core Curriculum Dr. Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks, “Richard [Menard] and I both agree that it is important for study abroad opportunities to allow students to fulfill core requirements, and we are working on creating consistent and predictable options.”
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