Olivia Edelman was certain that she wanted to study abroad. Her older sister had studied in Barcelona, Spain during her college career, and she was in love with the idea of going to school in the very same city.

Edelman visited Bloomsburg University’s Office of Global Education as the first step to make her dream happen. What she learned from director Luke Springman was that a semester in Barcelona was not compatible with the course requirements for her major in English secondary education. Instead, Springman suggested that she do her semester abroad in Denmark, a country that BU had not yet sent any of its students.

At first she was not sure. She knew nothing about Denmark and had never even considered it as an option. However, after a bit of research about Aarhus, the city she would be living in, she had made up her mind to become the first Bloomsburg University student to ever study abroad at Aarhus University.

“I was inspired to go to a country that, along with many other people, I do not know much about,” said Edelman. “It was the best experience of my lifetime.”

There are countless benefits of a study abroad experience in college. Students have the opportunity not just to learn about the culture and the people of the countries they visit, but also the cultures of other exchange students. During her semester in Denmark the spring of her junior year, Edelman studied alongside new friends from Australia, Canada and the many other nations that her classmates represented. She also took the opportunity to travel to other countries near Denmark during her free time, including her dream destination of Spain.

As an education major, gaining firsthand experience of how foreign classrooms operate was invaluable. After graduating from BU, Edelman is even contemplating returning to Denmark to teach.

“It was really nice, especially studying to be a teacher, to see how other classroom setups are,” said Edelman. She recalls how Danish classes are much more informal than those that she has taken in the United States. Students call teachers by their first names, and schedules are more relaxed, with classes not always meeting multiple times a week. Some courses even had a different instructor for each unit. “It was really interesting for me to observe.”

Above all, the life lessons that Edelman learned are unique to her study abroad experience. “I went by myself, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I really had to be independent.”

She offers encouragement to any BU student thinking about studying abroad. “Many people think they can’t do it or they can’t afford it… But it’s manageable and really just the best experience ever. Definitely go to another country, because you learn so much about yourself.”

BU has partnerships with over 17 universities around the world, and the Office of Global Education on campus can help students take advantage of these opportunities and more. Study abroad programs exist for full or multiple semesters or for short-term experiences of just a few weeks.

You can read about Edelman’s experiences at Aarhus University in Denmark in her travel blog!

- Nick Cellucci, junior mass communications major

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Bloomsburg University’s campus has many beautiful outdoor areas for students to take advantage of for relaxation and activities between their classes. This year, many students will get to enjoy the outdoors while they’re in class as well.

BU’s sustainable food systems Outdoor Classroom was built this year on the hill behind Monty’s on upper campus. The classroom features raised vegetable garden beds and will eventually grow to encompass a greenhouse, composting site, perennial garden and more.

“We had wanted to add a sustainable agriculture component to the department,” said John Hintz, professor of environmental, geographical and geological sciences (EGGS). The project was funded by one of the 2013 President’s Strategic Plan Grant awards.

Several students and faculty in the EGGS department are working hard to build the outdoor classroom up and get it off the ground. In the meantime, the gardens have already welcomed a few groups.

“We hosted QUEST campers for an educational lunch and radish-picking session over the summer,” said Hintz. “An introduction to environmental science class came up and I gave them an overview of urban and sustainable agriculture… eventually we’d like to have faculty from many different departments across different colleges use it for a wide variety of things. For example, art students taking sculpture are going to create structures for taller plants like tomatoes to grow on.”

Student workers Cydnee Bence and Claire Havice, both geography and planning majors in the EGGS department, have gotten a lot of hands-on experience in their prospective field from working at the outdoor classroom.

“Right now we’re switching the beds from our summer season to our fall season, which requires a lot of planning,” said Bence. The pair have to decide which vegetables will go where and create a schedule for the care of the plants. Some of the crops are sold at the farmers market held every Friday morning on lower campus.

“We have to get a feel for how to market this to other people and emphasize that it’s all local, all organically grown,” said Havice.

Hintz says knowledge gained from the outdoor classroom will benefit students across the entire BU community. “I think students have a shockingly low awareness of what actually goes into growing food and how agriculture is evolving into a mechanized, polluting activity… The sustainable agriculture movement is countering that… to make food healthy again.”

- Nick Cellucci, junior mass communications major

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Throughout its history, Bloomsburg University has been proud host to a rich and diverse body of faculty. This fall, as a part of the continuing celebration of BU’s 175th anniversary, a faculty lecture series is coming to campus.

The series features six faculty members representing each of BU’s four colleges and its historical archives, eager to share their knowledge and research with the community.

To kick off the series, assistant professor of education Beth Rogowsky will give a lecture entitled “Learning Styles Have Nothing to Do With Learning.”

Rogowsky is a BU graduate, having received her bachelor’s degree in education before teaching middle school students for 14 years. She also earned a master’s degree in instructional technology from BU, a second master’s degree from Marygrove College and a doctoral degree from Wilkes University.

Three years ago, Rogowsky was asked to do post-doctoral training at Rutgers University.

“That’s where I really got the research bug,” said Rogowsky of her time at Rutgers. She studied the science of learning, observing what happened on a biological level. “The idea was to link neuroscience, which is all about the brain, with teaching, which is also all about the brain.”

One question that Rogowsky began to ask herself was whether or not teaching to an individual’s learning style improves his or her comprehension.

What are learning styles? If you are an auditory learner, you would comprehend more listening to an audiobook. A visual learner… would want to read off a PowerPoint slide.” Learning style theory has been around for decades and is commonly accepted by professionals in the education field.

Rogowsky explained, however, that there is little to no research behind this theory. “The thing about learning styles is that it makes sense… But that’s not how learning really works.”

Rogowsky did her study with 121 college graduates in order to identify their preferred learning styles and whether or not teaching in these styles improved their comprehension. She will share the results of her research at her lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7 P.M. in Hartline 108.

The other lectures in the series are as follows:

  • Stephen Hales, professor of philosophy, will speak about “Moral Luck,” why it is puzzling, whether it is even real, and how fortune or misfortune effects one’s nature and ethical standing. His lecture is on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 7 P.M. in Carver Hall’s Gross Auditorium.
  • Robert Dunkelberger, associate professor and BU’s archivist, will give a lecture entitled “BU: An Institutional History,” covering a number of memorable events and people that have helped to shape the university into what it is today and sharing new research about BU’s earliest years. His lecture is on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7 P.M. in Carver Hall’s Gross Auditorium.
  • Michael Shepard, professor of environmental, geographical and geological sciences, will speak about “Scientific History” on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 7 P.M. in Hartline 108.
  • Barbara Wilson, associate professor of exceptionality programs, will give a lecture entitled “Pre-K Reading is More than Pictures” on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 P.M. in Hartline 108.
  • Victoria Geyfman, associate professor of finance, will speak about “The Benefits of Benner-Hudock Center for Financial Analysis” on Friday, Nov. 21 at 2:30 P.M. in the Benner-Center in Sutliff. Her lecture will be by invitation only.

Nick Cellucci, junior mass communications major

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From upcoming events to new opportunities for students to interesting profiles of who and what make Bloomsburg University a dynamic college environment, Husky Connections keeps you connected.

Husky Connections is a student produced show covering key and influential topics of what is impacting campus and fellow Huskies each given week.

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