Travel and study? Learn about Arcadia's Study Abroad programs
Focusing on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, Arcadia University is transforming international experiences for students, improving social mobility.
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Arcadia University is a top-ranked private University in Greater Philadelphia that provides an educational experience that is values-based in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI); and places students at the center, as stated on its website.
The U.S. News & World Report cites Arcadia as a Top Performer in Study Abroad, ranking the higher education institution #9 nationally and #48 in Social Mobility (regionally). Also, for the past eight years The Princeton Review has ranked Arcadia among the Best Northeastern Regional Colleges.
Last year, Arcadia University and Augsburg University formed a collaboration to “expand access for students to study abroad on social justice-focused programs.”
In an interview with AL DÍA, Dr. Marta Cabrera, resident director of Arcadia’s Spain Programs in Granada, shared how “Granada encapsulates the many layers of Spanish history, from ancient civilizations to modern times. Walking through its crooked, labyrinth-like streets means stepping into its rich, complex history and discovering the legacy of many different cultures at your fingertips.”
Dr. Cabrera was raised in Granada and earned two undergraduate degrees in English and then in Spanish studies from the University of Granada; after she moved to the United States to earn a Master’s Degree in Foreign Language Teaching from the University of Delaware. Later, obtaining a Ph.D. in Spanish and Cultural Studies from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
As a graduate student and professor in Delaware and New Jersey, she taught courses on the Spanish language, literature, history, and culture. She was also Assistant Director in study abroad programs all over Spain during several summer and winter terms.
“I am fortunate enough to continue working with U.S. undergraduates in their journey abroad, being able to share my own culture and my hometown,” reiterates Dr. Cabrera.
There are many excursions in Spain: A guided exploration of Alhambra castle and fortress; a four-day trip to Morocco to explore historic and cultural sites with local guides and translators, and a Treasure Hunt in Granada to uncover key locations for students, among other cultural activities.
Dr. Cabrera explained that all activities are included in the semester program fee and available to Arcadia students in Granada, and if budget allows, flamenco lessons, wine and olive oil tours, visits to local sites and museums, may be included.
“Arcadia students tend to follow national trends in higher education with the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain as our most popular destinations,” said Scott Terry, Director of Global Engagement at Arcadia University.
Dr. Cabrera explains that in the last few years, all disciplines of Arts and Sciences, Pre-Med, Law, or Engineering have found value in acquiring international educational experience.
“After a semester with Arcadia Granada, they are forever changed, and will carry this city in their heart, feeling forever changed,” said Dr. Cabrera.
Studying Abroad: London
“I learned [so] much about whom I was regarding the African diaspora, how so much of the world was affected by this industry, and how this industry built the ground we stand on,” said Harper Jones, an Acting major with a Musical Theater concentration at Arcadia University, in an interview with AL DÍA.
Scholarships and Arcadia financial assistance allowed Jones to attend London last year. She stayed in student housing in Highgate Village while Mikayla Kummer, a Theater Arts and Global Media double major at Arcadia, was housed on the University of Westminster’s Harrow campus.
Jones intends to pursue an MFA in Acting because “art is a tool that can change the world. It can open your eyes and show you endless possibilities and dreams. I can inspire you to have difficult conversations about challenging topics.”
However, speaking about her application process and experience studying abroad in London in 2020 and later in 2021-2022; Kummer credits the smooth application process to The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University for helping her apply and submit her portfolio to the University of Westminster—having a lot of creative freedom in course selection allowed her to become more independent and navigate the city by herself. She took advantage of her time abroad to travel to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, and other cities throughout England. She plans to continue producing videos and creating content and hopes to return to England soon. .
“I suggest that students be thoughtful in selecting where they study abroad based on your academic, career and personal goals. That discussion often leads to positive outcomes, including students opting to intern, conduct research or engage in service on top of their coursework,” explained Terry. “I also suggest approaching the opportunity to study abroad with an open mindset. Simply saying yes presents unique opportunities to gain additional perspective and build new connections across lines of difference.”
Jones and Kummer share a similar sentiment, saying that they advise students to keep an open-mind and research well-known slang—something Kummer struggled with while abroad.