Eastern Europe and South Africa were on the itinerary for students in Bryant’s innovative Sophomore International Experience (SIE) this summer
After spending the spring semester studying economic and cultural transition in Central Europe, one group headed to Hungary and Czech Republic.
"The township of Khayelitsha was filled with an entrepreneurial spirit that made me want to do something amazing with my life."
The trip, which also included stops in Germany Austria, and Slovakia, “allowed me to further develop my independence,” said Alex Drezek ’20. “Learning about different cultures while being immersed within the communities allows you to have the same experience that locals do.”
The other group studied South Africa’s history, economics, and culture throughout the spring, then spent two weeks there, with an itinerary that included Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“I was constantly amazed by everyone I met,” said Allie Miernicki ’20. “No matter where I went, or who I spoke to, the people who lived in South Africa were the most humble people I had ever met. The township of Khayelitsha was filled with an entrepreneurial spirit that made me want to do something amazing with my life and not waste a single day.”
The three-credit SIE course begins the semester before departure with an introduction to the cultural norms, historical readings and analysis, language study, and art appreciation of the country or countries that will be visited.
Having this experience has inspired students to pursue additional study abroad and/or an international internships: 44 percent of Bryant students who choose to study abroad for a semester or a year have first been on an SIE trip.