Not all study abroad confined to elective credits

Seton Hall offers international experiences to students interested in seeing the world, but in some instances, the problems in the world outweigh eager-to-travel students’ ability to do so.

One such instance is the Communication Program’s study abroad course, “Intercultural Communication in Nicaragua” (COST 2130), scheduled to take flight this May.

While the study abroad trip offers communication students a diverse experience of work and recreation, the Zika virus has become a deciding factor for students on whether to enroll in the program.

Jon Radwan, associate professor of communication and chair of the Communication Program, said that the Zika virus is taking a toll on enrollment for the South American excursion.

While between 100 and 150 students originally expressed interest in this trip, according to Radwan, two students have officially signed up so far. Applications are ongoing but the deposit is due on March 15.

He added, however, that according to his research done a few weeks back, Nicaragua was not on the Zika virus watch list and therefore should not warrant much concern for students.

The Office of International Programs offers a variety of unique student journeys, including exchange programs, faculty-led tours, internships abroad and major-specific opportunities.

The communication course in Nicaragua is the first study abroad course tailored to fit into the Communication Program’s curriculum.

“Each Seton Hall student will be paired up with an intercultural study buddy from the American University of Managua,” Radwan said.

Radwan clarified that the attending SHU students do not have to speak Spanish because the “study buddies” will be bilingual. The pairing system is designed to create a “direct connection with another student in Nicaragua to work on our skills,” according to Radwan.

Several educational excursions have been included in the plans, such as a Cathedral tour, a beach visit, an island boat tour and the Laguna de Tiscapa zipline experience.

The College of Communication and the Arts is joined by other schools which offer students major-specific study abroad programs.

According to Seton Hall’s website, catholic studies and nursing students have the chance to intern in Ecuador this spring break. The three-credit travel experience begins on Feb. 26.

The Stillman School of Business also offers faculty-led programs. Stillman students are offered the opportunity to do business with other countries such as India and China.
Amar Dev Amar, a professor in the department of Management, is leading the “Doing Business in India” study abroad trip, which departed on Feb. 24.

Stillman offers two classes that students on this business venture must take to set themselves up for their trip to India, according to Amar.

“In the first class, we have introduction to India – its economy, culture, society, history, geography, everything – to get them introduced to India,” Amar said. “The second class is to really make them ready for the trip with the requirement – how to behave in India, (and) how to move about.”

Amar added that there is an additional class for when students return to campus, during which the students who went abroad discuss their trip with each other. Students enrolled in the course also present the journey to other students and faculty members.

Stillman students like Joe Sehwani, junior business management major, said that the “Doing Business” abroad programs are worthwhile.

“As business managers, more specifically, it allows (us) to get a better idea of how we should act toward other individuals from other countries,” Sehwani said. “It’s really beneficially to kind of open our minds to other types of businesses in relation to China and India, and you can adapt their culture to the way you do business and carry out their customs.”

Brianna Bernath can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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