The Galapagos Islands are considered among the most beautiful and biologically diverse places in the world, making that area of Ecuador a perfect classroom for six University of Hartford students during Winterterm. For two weeks, the six are learning about the environment, natural history, and culture of Latin America with Associate Professor Marco Cupolo, chair of the modern languages and cultures department in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S).
The students stay with host families which allows immersion in the community and its customs. Their travel throughout the region allows them to study its unique ecology and its importance to the global environment and earn three credits in the process.
The A&S Winterterm trip has been a popular choice for several years. “In the Galapagos, we learned about invasive species and we witnessed how the islands have been affected,” Troy Hollihan ’13 wrote in a blog post about his trip to the Galapagos two years ago. “We also saw how humans and tourism were invasive, not only by threatening the ecology but also by impacting the culture.”
The Galapagos trip is just one example of UHart students using the winter break to see parts of the world while earning course credits. Professor Richard Freund, director of the University’s Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, is leading an archeological study in Rhodes, Greece where his students are joining a team of experts in excavation work at the site of the island’s 16th-century Kahal Shalom Synagogue.
“Our students will work with the architect, the cartographer, the geoscientist, and our archaeology team to participate in a very interdisciplinary project,” explains Freund. “Our goal is to teach students what each [member] of our team does and how they do it.”
Other students are traveling to India with Professor David Pines and Assistant Professor Sirry Bjarnadottir from the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture. The students are part of the University’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which has been helping the people of Abheypur, India maintain a clean water supply for several years.
And, in what has become an annual tradition, 20 honors students from Hillyer College are touring Hawaii with Dean David Goldenberg and studying Asian and Pacific cultures at the University of Hawaii.
Our campus may sit in three Connecticut towns, but it extends across the world.