Nearly 60 percent of the Class of 2014 as well as about 70 transfer students are boarding buses Friday and Saturday, headed to Europe, New Zealand and Mexico on Arcadia University’s Preview program. Preview has been an Arcadia tradition since 1994.
First-year students, faculty and staff are headed to London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Puebla, Mexico; Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Los Angeles, Calif.; Paris, France; and Auckland, New Zealand. They will study the Toltec and Aztec ruins in Mexico, Catalonian culture in Spain, the Latino socio-cultural landscape in southern California, the French Revolution of 1789, and more.
All of the Preview experiences are 2-credit courses, except for the London experience called Explore London Through the Looking Glass. Paris proved to be a popular addition to the Preview menu this year.
“I have a friend who lives in France,” says James Ziller ’14, who is in the City of Light class. “Just from talking to him over Facebook, I noticed a lot of small differences between his culture and mine, and I thought it would be great to go there an experience it.”
Marissa Johnson ’14, has been to Paris before with her family but is excited to be making her first visit to Versailles. She is “really interested in French culture and French history,” and this course is part of her French Studies major. Since she’s in a Major Abroad Program (MAP), she plans to spend her junior year abroad in France.
“I want to see Paris,” said Brandon Miller ’14. His mother, Anne Marie, who stayed to see the bus leave, said,” I’m very happy he has this great opportunity at Arcadia.
For some of the Preview students, they will get to meet their professor for the first time when they get to Paris. Dr. Anton Koslov has been teaching the course via Skype—with a computer and a video camera. When the class gets to Paris, they will visit him at the American Graduate School in Paris, where he teaches in the International Relations and Diplomacy master’s program, which is affiliated with Arcadia.
“We probably know Paris better than we know him,” said Lynn Johnson ’14. “He’s seen us the webcam.”
“He notice when we were texting,” added Jordyn Austin ’14, smiling. “It will be really interesting to see his lectures in person.”
Preview also stops in a U.S. city for the first time ever. This course—Crossing Cultures and Creating Connections—travels to Los Angeles and includes several international students from Mexico and South Korea.
Hyunjung Sung said she chose the course because of Dr. Ana Maria Garcia, who she took a course with last semester. Garcia and Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe are team teaching the course, in which the city provides a fascinating setting for the interplay of multiple cultures, ethnicities, and languages that showcase the rich diversity within Latin American identity and culture. In addition to the work in Los Angeles, students also are interacting with and exploring local Latino communities in Philadelphia and the surrounding area
“I think my favorite thing to do on the trip will be Olvera Street. It’s a historical site where California all started,” says Joyce Quan ’14.
Spain continues to be a top Preview choice, especially for students like Brian Montgomery, who took Spanish in high school, as did Rachel Dolly. They were surprised to learn from Dr. Samer Abboud in their Preview class, “Spain and the Catalonian Nationalism,” that Catalonia is an autonomous region of Spain whose people speak a distinct language and celebrate Catalonian culture. “It’s it’s own separate entity with nothing to do with Spain,” she says, noting that her Spanish language skills won’t be as handy as she thought.
Gina Siciliano, a Health Administation major, notes that when they get to Spain, their syllabus has a language course. Catalonia has “its own history and language to learn.”