A World Of Learning
November 13, 2015
At SJC Long Island’s inaugural Study Abroad Conference, the message was clear: learning may begin in the classroom, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Although the presenters each had their own stories to tell, the common thread that was woven throughout was that global studies can transform the way you think, the way you interact with people and the way you live your life.
The event, which took place in McGann Conference Center on November 6, featured student and alumni presentations in four areas — The Oxford Experience, Global Service Learning, Semester By the Sea and Independent Study Abroad. SJC alumnus Blaise Bennardo '10 was the keynote speaker. Bennardo, said assistant professor and conference curator Lisa Tafuro, Ph.D., “captured the hearts and minds of the audience by sharing the details of a 10-minute encounter with someone whom he is forever tied to despite their language differences. His talk, as well as all the students' presentations, confirmed how study abroad is, in fact, a transformative experience.”
Many of the students admitted that they were hesitant at first to travel so far from home. But, across the board, their trepidation turned to fascination as they met new people and experienced different cultures. Global learning, said alumna and presenter Lauren Zirimis '15, is a great way “to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. When you’re nervous, that’s when the learning happens.”
For presenters and attendees alike, the conference made it clear that global learning experiences make the world a smaller place and help create a better understanding among people. “I think,” explained Tarfuro, “we accomplished what we set out to do — to provide a platform for students to reflect and take part in dialogue that fostered their understanding of the travel experience.”
The winner of the Study Abroad Photo Contest, which was judged by SJC alumnus and freelance photographer Johnny Milano '11, was Samantha Corr. Corr, who is currently studying abroad in Scotland, will receive an iPad.
Interested in global learning at St. Joseph's College? Visit our Department of Global Studies and discover the opportunities awaiting you.