For senior Andrew MacKinnon, one African history class at Tulane gave him a new perspective on the continent. So when he decided to study abroad his junior year, the program in Cape Town, South Africa, drew his eye. He wanted to visit a new continent and experience first-hand a country with such an interesting history.
The Tulane Office of Study Abroad coordinates more than100 different semester and year-long options in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia for eligible Newcomb-Tulane undergraduates.
MacKinnon's experience in South Africa was eye-opening, he says. As a political economy major, he enjoyed taking classes in his field outside of a western education system.
“The viewpoints are completely different from what you expect to hear, and it was interesting to meet students who have different perspectives and ideas.”
Now MacKinnon works as a peer counselor in the study abroad office, helping fellow students with practical advice on what to expect from choosing and applying for a program, and what it's like taking classes in a foreign environment.
Peter Alongia, director of study abroad, helps more than 450 students each year live a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Whether a student is placed in the Middle East because they've taken Arabic, or Austria for German, or one of the many English-speaking countries, they are all gaining a valuable educational experience that not only enhances and enriches their Tulane education, but stays with them throughout their lives,” Alongia says.
After spending a year in South Africa, MacKinnon says, “I still feel like there is more for me to see there. I want to go back, and I always encourage other students to go, too.”
Applications are due on Feb. 1 for the fall 2012 semester.