First-Day Jitters and Thrills for LIU Global Students
Alka Gupta,Assistant Director of Public Relations
Long Island University
Brooklyn, N.Y. – First-day jitters are common for many college students as they leave their home nests - and all that is familiar and comfortable - for the first time. But imagine the intensity of that feeling when the students not only leave home but study abroad in their freshman year.
Such is the case for incoming students at LIU Global, in downtown Brooklyn, a unique program that offers international studies, experiential learning and multiculturalism to its undergraduates. At an orientation this week, the new students expressed a mixture of anticipation and nerves as they prepared to leave for Costa Rica, where they will spend their first year of college.
"I am excited, nervous and a whole bunch of tired," declared Andrea Johnson, 18, noting that this will be her first time out of the country, except for a visit to Canada. "I wanted something different for my college experience and this is something really different."
LIU Global freshmen have an extra level of back-to-school stress than traditional students, according to Susi Rachouh, LIU Global's global director of student success.
"Our students prepare somewhat differently for college: They've been getting extra immunizations, applying for passports and visas, and getting ready to live with a host family who will be speaking a different language, Spanish," she said. "They will have to adjust to a new culture and language."
The leave-taking is tinged with worry for Andrea's parents, who hail from Chicago. For her mother Shellena Johnson, who had hoped her daughter would attend a college that was closer to home, "It's definitely an awesome opportunity, but I am very nervous about her being so far away and overseas. But I understand this is something she wants to do."
Added father Kevin Johnson, "This program fills Andrea's need for a change of pace. So I said to her to go elsewhere and explore – she's exhausted the Chicago area and this is the next step for her."
LIU Global is the only program in the world that integrates a series of yearlong cultural immersions into a progressive, four-year Bachelor of Arts degree, according to LIU Global Acting Dean Kathleen Modrowski. "The world is our campus."
Students enrolled in the degree program begin their studies with a foundation year at the Costa Rica Center, followed by study at overseas centers in China, India and Australia. The college also has program sites in Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ecuador and Peru. Over the course of the program, students build language skills, gain hands-on experience and acquire a cross-cultural education through fieldwork, service learning, internships and independent study.
For Alexandra High, who attended the LIU Global orientation with her parents and stepparents, the LIU Global experience is an incredible prospect. "Living with a host family, I will get a real sense of Costa Rica, while also learning Spanish – I know it's going to be great."
Neither of her two sets of parents had qualms about her sendoff. John High, an associate professor of English at LIU Brooklyn, said his daughter has travelled abroad previously to India and to China, when he taught creative writing at LIU Global's China Center in 2010. "My daughter came over and saw how fabulous the program was," said the Park Slope resident.
Her mother Katya Shannon, who lives in Southold, Ill., chimed in, "I have absolutely no concerns about her, although I will miss her."
For Miriam Newman-Marshall, 20, of Silver Spring, Md., who worked after high school at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., her only worry is that she hasn't done any academic work for two years. "I expect to enjoy this a lot – experiential learning is geared towards me," she said.
Miriam's mother, Sora Newman, added, "I think this will be a great thing for her. I have the ordinary worries of any parent whose child is leaving home. I don't want her to lose her debit card."
For more information about LIU Global, email email@example.com or call (718) 780-4312.
The Brooklyn Campus is distinguished by...
dynamic curricula reflecting the great urban community it serves. Distinctive programs encompass the arts and media, the natural sciences, business, social policy, urban education, the health professions and pharmacy, and include the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics, the D.P.T. in Physical Therapy and the Pharm.D. in Pharmacy. A vibrant urban oasis in downtown Brooklyn, this diverse and thriving campus offers academic excellence, personalized attention, small class size and flexible course schedules. In 2006, a $45-million Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center was opened to serve the Campus and the surrounding community. In 2007, the Cyber Café was launched, providing a high-tech hot spot for students and faculty members to meet and eat.
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