Study abroad goes virtual
This fall, a group of students in the College are experiencing study abroad virtually with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, which began a partnership with Carolina in 2006. More than a dozen students are enrolled in the online classes with USFQ, and three of them are participating in virtual research projects with the school.
They’re taking classes in Ecuadorian Quichua, a language not offered at Carolina; learning about climate change, ecology and conservation; and developing artistic skills in drawing and watercolor.
Heather Ward, associate dean for study abroad and international exchanges, said that while the pandemic has so many activities feeling painfully limited, the affordability and prevalence of online technology combined with the strength of Carolina’s longtime partnerships with global universities can actually bring the outside world closer than ever before.
“We saw quickly that we needed to be creative and look for other ways to deliver a global education to our students,” said Ward. “A lot of the benefit you get from traditional study abroad is to learn from international faculty, scholars and students who you might not encounter on campus at Carolina. Through our strong global partnerships, we can still deliver that benefit through remote courses with faculty and students at those institutions.”
In addition to the USFQ program, 10 students are taking Vietnamese language courses through SOAS University of London this fall, a partnership formed by the Carolina Asia Center.