Small classes, big experience

QU301 abroad programs see increased enrollment

By on March 26, 2014

More students are taking the opportunity to travel through QU 301 abroad classes.

rsz_img_0729[3]Janet Baghat

In the 2012-2013 academic year, 137 students traveled with eight QU 301 classes, Director of Global Education Andrea Hogan said. During this academic year, 181 students have or will have travelled with 12 QU 301 courses. This semester alone, 180 students applied for five fall 2014 QU 301 classes.

Although more students are applying for the classes and trips, such as the service trip to the Dominican Republic or the European Perspective trip, they are forgetting about the numerous other QU 301 opportunities, Ewa Callahan, coordinator of the QU 301 seminar series said.

There are approximately 10 more courses a student could apply for, Callahan said . Many classes have had the minimum number of 10 enrolled students, and many classes have had to be cancelled because not enough students enrolled in courses with trips to Turkey, Romania and Brazil, Callahan said.

With more students taking  travel courses, some students say QU 301 classes are too small.

“I think going abroad is something that everyone should experience,” sophomore Lauren Kuhnel said. “But not everyone has time to spend a full semester abroad so these trips are very popular and should be bigger so more students have the opportunity to go.”

The class size for a QU 301 course is roughly 22 students to help provide a better experience, Callahan said.

“Whenever you are in a class there is an experience with your peers and with your professor which in a large group becomes dissolved,” Callahan said.

There may be traveling restrictions on transportation and costs in the foreign country if the class size is too big.

Another obstacle a QU 301 course must beat is having enough faculty members for each course.

“These are not classes we can tell faculty ‘You are teaching this’ as we would for a QU 101 or 201, because the faculty member must be willing to take and be responsible for 22 students traveling abroad,” Callahan said.

“Faculty members must apply a year in advance to be a professor of a QU 301 course”, Hogan said. “Once a faculty member is chosen it all depends on how many students apply for each trip to determine which trips go and which trips and classes have to be cancelled,” Callahan added.

The university has not confirmed what courses will be offered next spring; however, there have been new additions. A class that has a trip to Spain was new for the  2013 fall semester and the class with a trip to Costa Rica was offered again for students to apply for in 2014.

“The QU 301 courses are a great resource to go abroad that students aren’t fully aware is available to them and should take every opportunity to capitalize on,” Hogan said.

Comments

About Catherine Wehrle