By: Carlie Pearson
Dr. Tom Kuzmic has put 17 years into Faculty-Led Study Abroad program through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. While the program began in Honduras, the past four years Dr. Kuzmic has taken students to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands for a two- week spring break. During the trip, students experience three unique ecosystems and begin their exploration in the rainy, humid Amazon, slowly transitioning to the dramatic high- rising Andes Mountains. For an unforgettable finish, students end with a visit to the magical Galapagos Islands. Though the landscape is vastly changing, students are never far from the equator.
Not only will students begin to understand and appreciate a set of diverse ecosystems, they will also examine the culture of their inhabitants. “We tend to think we have all the answers, that we live right,” Dr. Kuzmic explains. But through his experiences abroad, has come to realize that there are a lot of different perspectives in the world. He believes through study abroad we can all gain a lot- and not just by looking, but by experiencing.
“I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.” This quote is from the Chinese Philosopher Confucius, but Dr. Kuzmic uses it to explain his views about study abroad. “Side- by- side with folks, engaging in daily tasks,” he says can broaden your way of looking at the world. Learning by doing is the way to break stereotypes. Not every student has the time or ability for a semester abroad, but even two weeks is enough time to accomplish a deeper understanding of humanity.
There are many faculty- lead trips through the Colleges of OSU that are short-term opportunities to study abroad. Students do not have to be a member of the College to participate in one of their international courses. Check out the various opportunities on each colleges website.