Despite the weaker Canadian dollar, Langara students are making plans to travel this summer, gaining life and cultural experiences that can be hard to replicate in the classroom.
Whether it is independently or through one of the college’s many study abroad programs, Langara staff and students agree that traveling presents learning benefits that can’t be found at home.
It’s all about context
Bruce Hanbury, program coordinator for Langara study abroad programs to Europe, Italy and London, said there are many benefits for students who partake in study abroad programs.
“The main word for me is context. The student gets the benefit of the physical layout.”
Hanbury has been involved with study abroad programs at Langara since 1974, and believes that through travel students are able to experience history and culture which a young city like Vancouver simply cannot offer.
“For example, (a student) studying theatre. We have a minimal amount of theatre here. But we have theatre in London. We have theatre in New York. To take a student and immerse them in that theatre environment is spectacular…It is much more impressive than it is to study it by a reduced image in a classroom space.”
Weak dollar not a deterrent
As for the weakened Canadian dollar, Hanbury believes it will have a small impact on the study abroad programs.
“Some subtle changes may be made, but that’s based on the administration of the program. I don’t think it’ll affect the students as much.
English instructor Debra Scott, a co-instructor for Langara’s gothic field studies trip to the U.K., believes traveling is beneficial to a student’s learning.
“I think travel is a great education… it’s a really great life experience and learning experience.”
Science student Lesley Miller has been thinking about visiting New York this summer. She recommends that students take advantage of their time off and experience a new place.
“It’s something everybody should do, especially if you’ve been in one place a while. You should just get up and go. I think it makes your education a full package.”
Student Esinu Gbolonyo is planning to spend two weeks studying African music and dance in Ghana.
“You get to learn about other people’s culture, it’s life experience,” she said.
Reported by Chris Slater
Correction: A previous version of this story stated Debra Scott is the coordinator for Langara’s gothic field studies trip. Scott is the co-instructor; the lead instructor for the field studies trip is Karen Budra.