UC Blue Ash study abroad takes flight once again
After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, the study abroad program at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College returned this summer to providing students with the life-changing experiences that come with being immersed in new cultures while taking courses that relate to their surroundings.
A total of 24 students participated in the British Summer Study Abroad program that included four weeks in Europe in May and June. It was led by UC Blue Ash faculty members Rob Gioielli, professor of history, and Jamie Albert, associate professor of communication design.
Students took courses in the History of Everyday Sustainability as well as Design Thinking and Problem-Solving. The program took them to Harlaxton College in the English countryside and then to London, England and Munich, Germany where they could see firsthand how the world-famous cities have adapted through the years to incorporate sustainable practices.
“Students were especially taken with public transportation. They were amazed to be in places where you could get almost anywhere in the city in about thirty minutes or less without a car,” said Gioielli. “We discussed different forms of mobility in class, and also visited the London Transport Museum. This helped the students understand all of the factors, big and small, that make public transit 'work' in a city like London.”
Troy Spitzmiller is an economics major who is focusing on urban planning and design as he transitions from UC Blue Ash to UC’s Lindner College of Business this fall. He says this was his first time traveling outside the U.S., and one of the things that really impressed him was the dedicated approach to a biking infrastructure he saw in Munich and other European cities.
“Now that I have experienced cities that make an effort to offer viable means of transportation other than cars, I have become even more eager and excited to take my urban planning classes at UC and try to initiate those changes here,” said Spitzmiller.
In the Design Thinking and Problem-Solving course, students noted how well-designed signs and receptacles could help reduce food waste. “There were a couple of places we went to where food waste was separate from other waste,” said Deja Pennington, a mathematics major. “I think we could expand on the separation and measuring of food waste to encourage our communities to waste less.”
Louis Rogers is a media communications major who also enjoyed his first opportunity to travel outside the U.S and learn about new cultures. “Going on the study abroad experience was one of the best decisions I've made for myself aside from choosing to go to UC Blue Ash in the first place. This trip was how I learned that I'm capable of being independent, and about how much these new experiences mean to me.”
UC Blue Ash Study Abroad will travel to England, Scotland and Spain in two separate programs in 2024. British Summer Study Abroad will feature a history course that studies the sordid secrets of the British Empire, and a design course that explores how visual culture helped shape the identity of the empire. The Granada, Spain program will focus on the Andalusia region in the southern portion of the country and study the indelible Arabic-Hispanic imprint on Spanish language and culture while students sharpen their Spanish language skills. The programs are only offered to current UC students. More information is available on the UC Blue Ash website.
About UC Blue Ash College
UC Blue Ash College is a regional college within the University of Cincinnati. It offers one of the best values in higher education with access to a nationally recognized UC education in more than 50 degree and certificate programs, as well as tuition that is about half of most colleges and universities. The college is located on a scenic 135-acre wooded campus in the heart of Blue Ash, Ohio. To learn more, call 513-558-9495, visit us online, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.