In the fall of 2012, Ashland University implemented a new section of their core requirements, The Global Passport Strategies. This was done to encourage students to become more globally competent so that they would be prepared for their futures. There are three tracks that students can choose from, each offering different opportunities.
This past semester September Long, a junior, became the first student to complete her GPS requirement through the Study Abroad Track. She has been studying in Prague, Czech Republic at Anglo-American University since late August and has been expanding her knowledge of different cultures.
“Since being abroad, I have really come to appreciate different cultures but also to look at the world from a different perspective and that has been truly enlightening,” said September.
She chose this track because she felt it was a good opportunity to study in a place which held her interest while fulfilling her core requirements.
At the University, she is enrolled in four classes; political science classes and one art class: Global Security, Multiculturalism in Europe, EU Integration and Prague Art & Architecture.
“I chose to take these classes because they give me an opportunity to learn about the history of the Czech Republic, from the founding of Prague Castle to the fall of communism,” she said.
All of these courses transfer back to AU as either core credit or credit for her major.
But for September, the information she has gained from her classes has only scraped the surface of the knowledge she has gained. Some of the most valuable time she has spent has been outside of the classroom.
“I have been traveling as much as I can to other countries in the European Union, and I personally would equate these experiences to what is learned in the classroom here,” she explains. “Traveling has really taught me to be flexible and open-minded. When I travel, I am able to meet new people and hear things from their perspectives and that is not something I get in the classroom.”
Overall, September’s time spent abroad has been exceptionally valuable and she would recommend this option to anyone.
She claims, “This has been such a valuable experience and I will never forget it. It has really been awesome.”