Robin Melavalin, Director of the Center for Global Connections, is a staff contributor to www.mountida.edu. She is a cultural anthropologist and has a wealth of experience with the internationalization of college campuses.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
There are 196 countries in the world. How many have you studied? Visited? Where do you want to go?
Mount Ida is a world-traveling community. Two vet tech students, Kelly and Brittany, were in Australia last semester on a study abroad program. Brittany petted a kangaroo and tasted kangaroo meat in the same day. A group of students just returned from China, led by Professor Liang Tang, Ph.D., where they visited businesses, met with CAOs, explored the Great Wall and tasted jellyfish.
Faculty are planning curriculum development trips to India, Mexico and China this summer and will give presentations to the Mount Ida community. New faculty-led travel courses are being developed for vet tech students to study tropical wildlife in Belize and for students in other majors to travel with their class. We are on the move.
Travel involves the art of navigating different time zones, currencies and cultures and constantly adjusting to new surroundings. It is a whole body experience. Travelers notice the tastes, sounds, sights and smells of a place as they move about, noting similarities and differences from what they are used to. This changes a person, creating a deeper sense of self and worldly awareness about diversity, current events and ways of living in other places.
A book is a window into the author’s soul. Last semester, our “Visions from Afar” exhibit brought you into the worldly experience of creative people who have traveled far and wide. To learn more about our global perspective through art, check The Gallery at Mount Ida this fall in Carlson Hall.