Spring Break Abroad

USF students travel to China, Turkey and the Cayman Islands to experience in person what they've learned in the classroom.


By Samira Obeid
Special to USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 2, 2012) – For some USF students, Spring Break meant studying abroad. Travelling on Education Abroad programs to Istanbul, Beijing and the Cayman Islands students spent their break making the most of intensive, hands-on learning experiences.


Students on the ‘China Sampler’ Education Abroad program had the opportunity to immerse themselves in Beijing’s contemporary visual art scene led by faculty advisor and Associate Professor of Painting & Drawing, Elisabeth Condon. Students visited museums, galleries in Cao Chang Di, artist studios, the Art Club at Tsinghua University’s Engineering department and the opera to fully understand the depth of Chinese visual art. Students also met with Wang Qinsong, an internationally recognized photographer. Breaking from schedule, student Mike Jones performed a dance routine for an awe-struck audience at a gallery visit and later at the Chinese embassy with fellow USF Bull Dazaun Soleyn.


On a landscape considerably different from Beijing, the ‘USF in Istanbul: Turkey in Transition’ program takes students through a tour of the elaborate history of the city in context of its political structure and cultural significance. Students visited Molla Zayrek Mosque, the Topaki Palace, the Grand Bazaar and other important sites relevant to Istanbul’s politics and history. Students were accompanied by Professor Sue Altenbernd, whose international experience lends greatly to the Istanbul program.


From land to an Education Abroad program at sea, students travelled to the Cayman Islands on the International Cruise Ship Management program for a week aboard the Carnival Paradise. Part of a month-long management course, students worked with the cruise’s leadership and management teams to understand the workings of the international hospitality environment. The program was led by Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at USF Sarasota-Manatee.


When they returned, students brought back tons of incredible photographs to share with the USF community.