STU launches study abroad program in Croatia

Students can gain six credit hours while studying in Split, the city pictured here. (Submitted)

A partnership with a university in Croatia is providing an opportunity for students to travel the Mediterranean and gain six credit hours this summer.

Alexandra Bain, an associate professor in religious studies at St. Thomas University, can take up to 20 students to Croatia from July 16 to 27.

“I think it’s important for every university to offer students the opportunity to travel and study abroad. I think it changes people,” Bain said.

The students will visit archeological digs, Illyrian tombs and historic farms, towns and temples.

The program is the first of its kind to be designed specifically for STU students, Bain said. Each STU student on the trip will have a counterpart in Croatia who they’ll be working with while in the country.

The two-week trip will be intensive and students will keep diaries of their travels and spend time organizing a virtual museum display. Before they leave, they’ll have been assigned readings and attended a series of lectures designed to help them prepare for their time in Croatia.

The course was created when the university administration asked for suggestions for study abroad courses.

Senator Noel Kinsella, speaker of the Senate in Ottawa and the person the Kinsella Auditorium is named after, helped facilitate STU’s connection with the University of Split in Croatia.

The course is catalogued as a general humanities course, but it’s of interest to anyone who likes history, religious studies, archeology, philosophy or art history.

“It was a very interesting place in terms of a medieval period. There are medieval and renaissance churches…it’s like going back in time.

“It was and is an important centre of Catholicism. There are some spectacular churches.”

The course will cost $2,950 and includes tuition, room and board and transportation while in the country. Students will also have to pay for the flight to and from Croatia.

“It’s an opportunity to travel in a community environment and to spend your time getting the most of the place that you’re visiting, having experts there everyday at your elbow.

“[Books and videos] can’t compare to being there yourself with these people.”

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