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Study abroad by BW students surges in post-pandemic rebound

Europe, Africa and Central America are all destinations this May as faculty-led programs bounced back from the days of public health travel restrictions.


Baldwin Wallace University students have been fully immersed in multi-cultural learning in far-flung destinations this spring as the BW Center for Global Exploration notes a significant upswing in demand to study abroad.

"We are definitely seeing an increase in study abroad interest and overall participation," reports Kristen Catrina, associate director of the BW Center for Global Exploration. "Our full-semester independent student numbers for fall are also doubled year to year."

May-June Programs


In May and June alone, more than 100 Baldwin Wallace University students and faculty signed up to embark on faculty-led study abroad programs, crisscrossing various regions of the world and delving into a variety of academic disciplines and career paths.

  • Words in Action Zambia, led by Duane Battle (communication studies) and Keira McDonald (theatre and dance), partnered students with Zambian artists to devise community theatre performances.

  • Global Sports Mediterranean, led by Dr. Charles Campisi (sport management) and Dr. Julie Newcamp (sociology), aimed to develop students' appreciation for the relationship between sports and culture in Barcelona, Marseille, Florence and Rome while exploring stadiums, museums and sporting clubs.

  • London Theatre, led by theatre professors Jeff Herrmann and Tesia Benson, gave students a seat at world-class theatre in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Windsor and Bath. They also attended private acting classes, enjoyed backstage theatre tours and visited museums.

  • Music and Culture in Spain and Portugal, led by Dr. Danielle Kuntz (music history & literature) and Dr. Matthew Feinberg (Spanish), focused on arts management, urban planning and the musical traditions of the Fado and Flamenco. Students toured Lisbon and Madrid, attending performances and examining cultural exchanges from the past and the present.

  • Discovering Mission Guatemala, led by Dr. Rachelle Hippler (software engineering) and Ken Atchinson (cybersecurity analyst), is part of an ongoing BW partnership with the nonprofit Mission Guatemala. Students have been working since 2020 to build computer and software infrastructure for medical clinics in rural Guatemalan villages. This was the first on-site work since the pandemic.

Innovating experiences


Opportunities to study abroad are in continual development, including new programming like the recent spring break "Sophomore Year Experience in Ireland."

"We continue to plan innovative faculty-led programs for the coming academic year," Catrina says. "One example is a faculty-led program involving the baseball team. They will take a course in the fall with Dr. Andy Dohanos in communication arts and sciences and will travel to the Dominican Republic in December."

To see more photos and diary entries from BW's spring study abroad experience, head to the BW Global Exploration's Instagram account, where students have microblogged some of their favorite experiences this spring.

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