Taking their OU education thousands of miles from Norman, students from a variety of majors experienced a great fall 2016 semester, immersing themselves into new cultures, learning new languages and making memories at OU’s three study centers: Arezzo, Italy (OUA); Puebla, Mexico (OUP); and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (OUR).
Ciao! OU in Arezzo
This fall, OU in Arezzo students journeyed to the enchanting Italian destinations of Cinque Terre, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. In addition to making local friendships, the OU students gave back to the community by planning a benefit dinner for more than 150 attendees and raising over $3,000 for victims of the August earthquake in central Italy.
Arezzo students feel right at home in the Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center, which is a huge hit! There is ample space for studying, dining, hosting mixers with other American university students in Arezzo, watching TV and having game nights. It even includes a gallery for displaying student photography and artwork. “It’s a residence hall experience, but 10 times better,” said Lesha McAuley, a Health and Exercise Science Junior from Lawton, OK. “The rooms and common areas are so nice, and I personally like the window nooks in the library best for studying. OU in Arezzo provides you with several opportunities to get connected to the culture.”
OUA is gearing up for a busy spring when the LARGEST ever semester group arrives – nearly 60 students representing four different OU programs: Engineering, Chemistry, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Chemical Engineering.
Hola! OU in Puebla
OU in Puebla students spent fall 2016 observing the Puebla art scene and improving their Spanish language skills through non-tourist activities with locals, including musical theater productions and Mexican films at the local theater. To learn about the impacts of migration on communities, these students visited “La Preciosita,” a town of only about 650 inhabitants. Lastly, students even took an expedition to Cancun and the beautiful turquoise beaches of the Riviera Maya, a great place to relax and soak up some rays!
OUP doesn’t just offer academic opportunities during the fall and spring semesters – summers are also very popular. In summer 2017, OUP welcomes the new “Indigenous Media and Music” program as well as new programs from OU’s Colleges of Engineering, Education and Architecture. Last year’s popular “Conversation and Cuisine,” highly regarded for taste and fun, is back on the schedule, too!
Bom Dia! OU in Rio
Still abuzz from the 2016 summer Olympic excitement, fall OUR students have had the opportunity to experience many aspects of Rio’s culture. Excursions to beautiful colonial structures (dating back to the 1600s) highlighted how Rio continues to embrace the cultural and economic legacy of native populations in a period of renovation. Students also learned about the fashion industry – an important sector of the local economy – through participation in a workshop on head wraps hosted by a local government-sponsored fashion school. Additionally, OUR Faculty-in-Residence Dr. Sean O’Neill taught courses on language and music, revealing striking parallels between Oklahoma and Brazil regarding diversity of endangered languages and the emergence of distinctive musical traditions. It really is a small world!
Speaking of language, OUR continues building a relationship with Rio’s Fundação Getulio Vargas CPDOC - School of Social Sciences (Center for International Relations), to offer classroom space for courses in English. Stay posted for more details! Likewise, what better place to practice the beautiful Portuguese language than in Brazil? Several different levels of Portuguese language learning courses are offered at the language institute, Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos (IBEU).