Study Abroad - Foreign Languages and Literature Department

SUNY Oneonta offers a variety of international programs through the SUNY International Office and through the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department.

The department offers three options for study abroad: the programs provided by the SUNY International Office, its own faculty-led off-campus courses, as well as the Academia Latinoamericana in Quito, Ecuador, where faculty member Carol Dean has established a partnership. Students are encouraged to spend a semester or a year abroad, for which appropriate course credit is granted. Summer study abroad may also receive course credit. Additionally, the department offers faculty-led off-campus courses in Spanish- and French-speaking countries, such as trips to San Andres, Colombia and Paris, France.

Students are encouraged to apply to the Gilman Scholarship Program for a scholarship designed for undergraduate study abroad. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

Trips Abroad

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers faculty-led off-campus courses in Spanish- and French-speaking countries, including San Andres, Colombia, Paris, France and Cartagena, Colombia.

Faculty: Dr. Maria Montoya

This faculty-led off-campus course in San Andres, Colombia, (South America), provided students with a cultural immersion experience and understanding of the living conditions of a Spanish-speaking population in an island north of Colombia. Students were able to practice oral skills and to understand the idiosyncrasy of people from San Andres by volunteering work with children and teenagers from the “Vicariato Apostolico de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina” and by visiting the elderly in the only nursing home located in the island “El ancianato San Pedro Clavel”. Students attended class meetings on campus during the entire semester to prepare for the trip and to study the community that they were going to visit. Upon returning, students met again to discuss the experience and to do presentations of their own perspectives about the service learning abroad. A written journal was developed throughout the semester. Students taking this course were able to practice their Spanish oral skills in authentic cultural settings; however, students who did not have oral command of Spanish were welcome to join the class, and the bilingual students and instructors served as translators throughout their experience.

San Andres Blog

This faculty-led off-campus course in Paris, France, with four days in Avignon, was designed for motivated students, eager to discover this great world capital and acquaint themselves with its rich cultural heritage. Avignon was for a while capital of Christendom in the Middle Ages, and has preserved an exceptional cultural inheritance from its History, and a large part of this is listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites: not only the Palais des Papes and the Pont d’Avignon but also the large square in front of the Palais with the baroque facade of the Exchange, the Museum of the Petit Palais and the Avignon Cathedral, Notre-Dame des Doms, as well as the stretch of ramparts that run from the Garden of Les Doms to the bridge.

Dr. Loli Tsan taught the course in Spring 2013 and traveled with Dr. Carol Dean and students in Paris and Provence. The program focused on Paris as a site of exchange, as an intersection through which pass influential ideas, forms, and actions in the various fields in which research projects can be designed, drawing upon the city’s rich store of cultural and historical resources and involving students directly in its intellectual, linguistic and social life. Students benefited immensely from this opportunity to discover France beyond the confines of the classroom and had the opportunity to complement their academic curriculum with international experience and cultural awareness and skills. The course was in English, therefore, no prior knowledge of French was required. Students prepared for this trip by working on a research project, which included topics in literature, philosophy, ballet, history, art, music, fashion, cuisine and more. The varied curriculum of this city-focused program emphasized participatory, practical and experiential learning best suited to prepare students to get out of the classroom and into the city’s museums, galleries, and monuments for direct on-site instruction and experience-based learning.

Students had an opportunity to see the major landmarks of Paris, Versailles and Avignon, such as the Musee du Louvre, Chateau de Versailles, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame,Sainte-Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe, Institut du Monde Arabe, Musee Rodin, Palais Garnier, as well as to visit the summit of the Eiffel Tower and to travel on a cruise on the Seine River, etc. but had also the opportunity to do many off-the beaten track activities, such as a Modern Dance show at the Theatre du Chatelet, a Vivaldi concert at the Sainte Chapelle, a private visit of Assemblee Nationale (Lower House of French Parliament), followed by an exclusive attendance to the debates with the French government, various shows such as the very popular “How to become Parisian in one hour?”, a cooking class at Atelier des Chefs, a tour of Provence with a private visit of Avignon Palais des Papes at night and a private secret visit of unrestored Palais des Papes.

Students taking this course were able to practice their French oral skills in authentic cultural settings. However, students who did not have a prior knowledge of French were welcome to join the class, as French-speaking students and instructors served as translators throughout the experience.

Led by Professor Gustavo Arango, this course provided students with an experience of cultural immersion into the Caribbean region that inspired the works of the 1982 Nobel Prize of Literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Students connected literature with reality, by visiting the actual settings of the Garcia Marquez’s novels and short stories. The course also had a service-learning component with local communities. In addition to an extended visit to Cartagena, the main commercial port in South America during colonial times, the group visited Aracataca (Marquez’s birthplace and the inspiration for his fictional town of Macondo), Santa Marta, Barranquilla and Islas del Rosario (a beautiful natural reserve). Course activities included literary readings, essays writing, a written journal of the trip and oral presentation after the trip.

Back to top