This semester USC is launching a brand new University 101 class that gives students the opportunity to travel to Quebec City, Canada over fall break.
The idea was proposed by the Study Abroad office’s assistant director of undergraduate studies, Chrissie Faupel, who incorporated the First Year Experience into studying abroad while working on her master’s degree.
“It’s the very first time we’re doing it. It’s pretty exciting,” Faupel said.
While this particular U101 class does many of the same activities as the other versions, it includes a unique cultural twist to enhance students’ learning. This means that students spend more time learning about study abroad opportunities, cultural theory and embracing other cultures.
“In class we're talking about different aspects of culture … and using that as our guiding point to journey through this semester,” Faupel said.
This is the first program in Canada the study abroad office has coordinated. However, organizers say this was a good option seeing how fall break is only a long weekend and there is no time to spend an entire day traveling.
“We wanted someplace close and also sort of inexpensive,” Faupel said.
Students in the class are eager to be immersed in a new culture during their short break and have been preparing since the semester began.
“I mainly took this one just because it was going abroad … I got my first passport when I was one or two, so traveling has always been part of my life,” first-year mechanical engineering student Kevin Durrick said.
During the Pre-Departure Orientation class sessions, students brushed up on their Canadian history, learned survival French, reviewed safety procedures and discussed what the cultural adjustment would entail. The class is an example of a close-knit group of students who are thrilled to learn more about the world around them.
“I’ve gotten to know everyone pretty well … it’s such a unique class,” Durrick said.