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Students spend summer studying in South Korea, Australia

UNCP students and faculty arrive in Melbourne after our 15-hour flight from Los Angeles

Academic studies over summer break extended far beyond the classroom for a dozen UNC Pembroke students and faculty.

Study abroad experiences led seven students to Melbourne, Australia, to examine the aboriginal culture, history and experiences of the Wurundjeri people. Another group traveled farther east to explore Seoul, the economic, political and cultural center of South Korea.

Several students in the Australia group described their experience as ‘life changing.’

“I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to participate in such an amazing trip,” said Brent Locklear, a junior biology major. “I met so many amazing people, each fit with their own unique story about what their indigenous heritage means to them. I could fill a whole book with the knowledge I obtained.”

The Australia study abroad trip was led by the American Indian Studies Department as part of an ongoing International Indigenous Exchange Consortium, which led UNCP students to Canada last summer. UNCP will be hosting students from Canada and Australia in summer 2020.

Locklear’s group attended seminars hosted by Swinburne Technical University and collaborated on projects with international students from Australia and Canada.  

“Our students learned much, made lasting friendships with other native, aboriginal, and non-native students, staff, and community members from Canada and Australia, and were collectively transformed by the experiential format of learning about history and culture directly from aboriginal community members on the land,” said Professor Jane Haladay.

Locklear and Haladay were joined by fellow students Taylor Strickland, Caylee Holden, Chandra Jacobs, Cindy Paul, Regan Scott, Calycee Taylor and Professor Mary Ann Jacobs.

Senior Ethan Gardner and seven of his fellow students earned college credit for completing economics and marketing courses at the University of Seoul. Their five-week experience was not all course work. They visited Jeju Island, Korea Traditional Culture Center, Chuncheon and Caribbean Bay–the world’s largest indoor/outdoor water park. The students also took part in several Korean traditions.

"This was my first time going to an Asian country so I definitely had culture shock but in a refreshing way,” said Gardner, a business major. “This trip gave me a broader outlook of the world and helped me learn new innovative global concepts. I believe all students who major in business administration should travel abroad to stay ahead of the game.”

Joining Gardner were Orlando Alvarez, Victoria Sanchez, Sterlyn Dominquez, Nadia Stroman, Vanessa Hearon, Brandon Keever, Rashid Saddler and business professors Gaye Acikdilli and Chris Ziemnowicz.