Message from the Advisor: Mark Tortora- A Program With Intentionality

Mark Tortora, Assistant Director for Education Abroad Programs at Quinnipiac University

It is a privilege to have been a member of Quinnipiac’s Office of Multicultural and Global Education (formerly known as the International Education Office) for the past 6 years.  I have the opportunity to work with students who participate in the many Education Abroad opportunities  which Quinnipiac offers.

A particular passion of mine which education abroad seeks to promote is student global awareness. One-way that Quinnipiac facilitates this awareness is by offering short-term programs to countries all over the world, including, this 301 course to South Africa.

I believe that short term program design (i.e., theoretical learning in the classroom and then experiential learning on-site overseas) offers the student unique perspective and has the possibility to foster deeper learning and stronger awareness of the Global Community.

Peter Gallay has structured this class in such a way so as to provide the opportunity for these nine students to transform into beings who are more globally wise; beings who can identify a deeper way of thinking about their own culture.  Consistent student reflection is a key component that shaped the success of this class. Peter’s intentionality gathered with the students as a group daily to process through their experiences while on the trip.  Additionally, individual written reflections occurred through regular blog postings.  Individual and group reflection directly contributed to the students’ processing of this global experience.

I agree as Thomas Merton stated, “The purpose of education is to show a person how to define himself authentically and spontaneously in relation to the world.” QU 301- South Africa: From A Tourist to Township Perspective is a great model for future short term program and I look forward to seeing the long term effect on programs run with great intentionality.

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