Exotic locales enhance summer studies for ECU students

As part of a study abroad program, ECU students enjoyed snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia.

By Kathy Muse

Snorkeling in the waters of the largest coral formation in the world, experiencing the viability of tourism within a village community in the South Pacific, studying global health initiatives and the cultural implications of sport in European countries, were among the summer activities of students in the College of Health and Human Performance.

ECU students hiked to the base of Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland as part of study abroad programs this summer.

Students in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies visited Australia and Fiji.  The ecology and reef management policy at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia was a highlight.  While examining how zone management works to protect the reef and the marine life that it nurtures, students had the opportunity to snorkel in the warm waters.

ECU student Kaliah Lewis of Burke, Va., was among the 13 participants.  “The most memorable part of the trip was visiting the Namosi Fijian village and meeting the chief,” she said.  “The chief gave us permission to kayak down the Luva River.  We saw the most amazing scenery and waterfalls.”

“The trip was unforgettable,” Lewis said.

Lewis is pursuing an undergraduate degree in recreation and park management.

Assistant professors Dr. Cliff Watts and Dr. Paige Schneider led the students on the trip. “I could see that students gained an appreciation for the type of tourism that has minimal impact on the culture and natural resources of Fiji,” Watts said.

The Department of Health Education and Promotion offered a study abroad program focused on global health, with 30 participants traveling to Switzerland and Italy.

Michelle Royal of Raleigh, who is pursuing an M.A. in health education, enjoyed experiencing different cultures. “The best part about the trip was visiting the World Health Organization and The International Red Cross,” she said.

Teaching instructor Karen Vail-Smith said the program included visits to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and the University of Geneva Hospital Systems. “I think we’d all agree that hiking to the base of the Matterhorn was an unforgettable experience,” she said.

Plans are underway for a trip to Ireland next May (visit www.ecu.edu/hlth for more details).

The Department of Kinesiology’s study abroad program included visiting Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Nine ECU students looked at the organization of sport within the European society, sport operations in the global economy and the cultural implications of sports.

Assistant professor Dr. Stacey Warner lead the trip, which included visits to The International Olympic Museum, FIFA Headquarters, Red Bull Worldwide Headquarters, Ferrari Headquarters & Museum, Parma Panthers American Football Club, The Hague and German Sport Universities.

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