Global Study Tours Provide Multicultural Experiences for Students

Posted: February 25, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Darshana Patel

About 100 George Mason students participated in the Center for Global Education’s winter study tours to Cuba, Costa Rica, Galapagos/Ecuador, Jordan/Israel/Palestine, Vietnam/Thailand, and Paris/Amsterdam/London this year. “These short-term programs give our students a first-hand experience in understanding different cultures,” says Yehuda Lukacs, director of the Center for Global Education. “Each program offers rich cultural opportunities, with excursions to historic and culturally significant sites. It is truly a meaningful cross-cultural experience.”

  • The tour to Cuba included a visit to the 400-year-old capital city of Havana and several smaller towns and rural areas in western and central Cuba. Participants gained insight into slavery and emancipation in Cuba, the island’s long struggle against imperialism, and the origins and characteristics of the 1959 revolution.

  • On the Middle East tour, students met government officials, military officers, academicians, and business leaders in each country, and explored a variety of perspectives on Arab-Israeli peace and the contemporary Middle East.

  • In Costa Rica, students took intensive Spanish language programs and lived with Costa Rican families; participated in lectures and folkloric dance classes; and visited Costa Rica’s beautiful sand beaches, rainforests, and sugar cane plantations.

  • On the trips to Paris, Amsterdam, and London, students were briefed by British, Dutch, European Union, NATO, and U.S. Embassy officials, as well as by leading academicians. Topics included the implementation of the single-market program, the new European currency, the new post-Cold War security architecture, NATO policies in Bosnia, NATO enlargement, and NATO-Russian relations.

  • In Vietnam, students explored the political, financial, ecological, and societal challenges facing the country in the new millennium, and in Thailand, they met with bankers, business leaders, and scholars to learn about the country’s dramatic economic rise and subsequent fall into the “Asian Economic Crisis.”

This spring break, three study tours are planned to Egypt, Paris, and Russia, with an optional four-day extension to Israel on the Egypt and Paris tours. Tours depart on March 10 and return on March 19.

Registration has begun for study abroad tours and language programs during the summer break. These tours are open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Summer study tours include trips to Italy, Hungary, China, Ireland, Kenya, Germany, Japan, and more. The deadline to register is April 7. For more information, call x32154 or visit the Center for Global Education website.

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