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Students Explore the World on Spring Break

From the hustle and bustle of Mumbai to the arts and culture in Ancient Rome, students at Saint Peter’s University did not just learn about these exotic places in the classroom, instead they explored them firsthand over spring break 2017.

The School of Business at Saint Peter’s offered two spring break travel courses titled, “Doing Business Overseas” and “Global Business Cultural Experience,” in which 24 graduate and undergraduate students and two alumni traveled to India. The tour was led by Professors Chanaz Gargouri, M.B.A. ’98 and Louis Ruvolo ’80, ’08 M.B.A., director of graduate business programs. The itinerary included visits to a Tata Motors plant in Pune, where they received briefings on Tata’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs and the Turner Construction office in Mumbai, where officials discussed the challenges of doing business in India.

In Delhi, students met with American Embassy officials who discussed opportunities for American business in India and U.S.-India relations, including student exchanges. The group also visited Amity University in Delhi, a private university founded in 1996 with eight campuses in India and centers around the world. Cultural events on the tour included visits to the Taj Mahal in Agra, Amber Fort in Jaipur, two Gandhi sites and celebration of the Holi Festival, one of India’s biggest holidays. The trip culminated with a tour of the Dhariva slum in Mumbai, a site of desperate poverty but also thriving micro-businesses.

Across the world in Europe, Rachel Wilfall, Ph.D., associate professor of English, lead a group of 24 through Shakespeare’s Italy. During the trip, students considered how the poetry and drama of William Shakespeare, who lived and worked during the English Renaissance, was influenced by the art and thought of Ancient Rome and the Italian Renaissance. They spent 10 days exploring Italy, from Venice to Florence, Assisi, ancient Pompeii, Sorrento, the island of Capri and Rome.

Meanwhile, 42 students traveled in Ireland, Wales and England on the “Comparative Criminal Justice Systems Travel Course.” In this class, students learned about criminal justice and policing in these countries where most officers do not even carry firearms. At a lecture in London, a local law enforcement professional demonstrated live-action scenarios that are used to interview aspiring policy academy recruits.

“Our quick-thinking students passed with flying colors!” said Scott Keller, director of the Center for Global Learning, adding, “Of course, the group also had time to take in some amazing castles, cathedrals and even Shakespeare’s birthplace.”

In total, 90 students visited four countries abroad, England, Ireland, Italy and India.

“My great hope is that these short but unforgettable travel course experiences inspire our students to travel more, to learn another language, to interact more frequently with people who do not look like themselves, and to venture regularly outside their comfort zones,” said Keller.

See pictures taken on the trips by students by searching #PeacocksAbroad on Instagram. Interested in learning more about studying abroad? Scott Keller can be reached via e-mail at skeller1@saintpeters.edu, by phone at (201) 761-6028 or visit saintpeters.edu/global-learning/students for more information.