Short-term study abroad programs bring Rider students to 5 countries this spring

More than 100 students visited Italy, Finland, Thailand, Ireland and Peru

Eye opening. Unforgettable. Life changing.

Ask students who have studied abroad and most will use the same language to describe their experiences.

This year, as the spring semester was wrapping up, Rider students embarked on short-term study abroad programs in five countries. These programs allowed students to explore Italy, Finland, Thailand, Ireland and Peru with the guidance of faculty and staff, generally in less than two weeks.

Read on to learn more about the programs and the impact they had on students.

Education Abroad in Italy

Twenty students traveled with Dr. Diane Casale-Giannola, professor of teacher education, and Dr. Mark Pearcy, assistant professor II of teacher education, to Rome and the Amalfi Coast to study special education and learn about Italy's culture.

“My experience in Italy was an eye-opening one. I learned about Italian culture, but even more so about my own American culture. This was a truly memorable experience.”

-June White, secondary education and history major, Class of 2021

Service learning in Thailand

Fourteen students traveling with Director of Service & Civic Engagement Joan Liptrot and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Leanna Fenneberg to Thailand to serve the less fortunate.

“Going to Thailand was an unforgettable experience for me. Not only did it help me truly understand the next step in my life and academic career, but being able to help a community while learning about their culture was an amazing experience. This service learning program was full of amazing memories and even better people. Not to mention, the food was pretty incredible as well.”

-Casey Reca, business communication master’s program, Class of 2019

The Business of Sports & Ireland: Documenting Cultures

Fifteen students traveled with Dr. Larry Newman, associate professor of marketing, sport management and legal studies, Dr. Barry Janes, professor of communication, and Dr. Marge O'Reilly-Allen, associate professor and chairperson of accounting, to Ireland to study sports and communication.

“An unforgettable experience involving a variety of different sports, their history and participation in them. This trip was the perfect program for me and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.”

-Taylor Docherty, accounting and international business major, Class of 2020

Education Abroad in Finland

Twenty students traveled with Dr. Tracey Garrett, professor of teacher education,  and Dr. Sharon McKool, associate professor and chair of teacher education, to Finland to study comparative education and learn why Finland was rated the No. 1 world in the world for its education system.

“My experience in Finland was an amazing and unforgettable experience! I learned so much about the Finnish (and European) culture, but it was their world-renowned education system that truly changed my perspective. We were given the opportunity to observe and converse with teachers and students in a kindergarten class (which is equivalent to American preschool), an elementary school, a middle school and a lecture at the University of Helsinki. In addition, we also met with Finland's ministry of education in Helsinki and Turku to discuss teacher education/qualifications and school curriculum. During our free time, we explored the cities by visiting historic Finnish monuments, architecture and their world-famous saunas. The experience truly opened my eyes and I wholeheartedly believe that it is something that all Rider students should discover before they graduate, as it was so worth the investment!”

-Jennifer Buccigrossi, elementary education and multidisciplinary studies, Class of 2021

Nature photography in Peru

Twelve students traveled with Dr. Todd Weber, professor of biology, behavioral neuroscience and health sciences, and Jessi Oliano, Department of Communication and Jounalism, to Peru to learn about culture, science and photography.

“This program was a life-changing experience where I saw myself and the people around me grow and learn in ways we never knew was possible.”

–Miranda Whittles Shelton, environmental studies major, Class of 2019

This year's upcoming programs include Thailand, Tanzania, China, Barcelona, Ireland, Munich and Prague, and Greece. Applications are now being accepted for those programs. Students can also learn more during the Study Abroad Fair on Sept. 5.