Lynn’s Center for Learning Abroad offers summer short-term study abroad programs

Students can choose an internship with the X Games, or courses in South Africa and China/Hong Kong
Lynn’s Center for Learning Abroad offers summer short-term study abroad programs Students in South Africa at the Zulu Educational Village

Published May. 01, 2013

The semester is winding down and commencement is on the horizon, but many Lynn University students will continue their learning throughout the summer. Lynn’s Center for Learning Abroad (CLA) is offering three short-term study abroad programs - two overseas and one in the U.S. - this summer. Students can choose from interacting with corporate CEOs in China, exploring the struggles of apartheid in South Africa or practicing sports media management at the X Games in Los Angeles, Calif.

“I believe when a country or location relates to a student’s field of study and the program is academically driven, the experience becomes more relevant and has the potential to be transformative,” says Brian Pirttima, director of the CLA.

The three programs available this summer have the potential to be once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the students participating, as described by the professors leading them.

X Games: Not for the faint of heart

In collaboration with ESPN, the X Games organizer, Lynn offers students an exclusive internship in which they gain hands-on experience in the preparation, activation, operation and management of a large multi-sport competition.

“Ultimately we want students to understand what it takes to produce such a large event, and realize their capacity to be a productive member of the ESPN Operations team,” says Chad Barr, sports management professor who will be accompanying the students.

And they work hard. During the 10-day internship, students will work anywhere from 7-15 hours a day The description of the course says, “True to the extreme nature of the sports featured at the X Games, the internship course requires an extreme commitment on the part of the student participants... Not for the faint of heart, the Summer X Games Experience tests the limits of Lynn students academically, physically and professionally while providing an unrivaled internship opportunity."

But beyond the actual work they do there, Barr says it gives the students something equally as valuable.

“We call this a ‘Swagger Class’ because upon completion we can see a physical change in our student’s demeanor. They walk, talk and interact with a newfound sense of confidence that is the direct result of a job well done.”

And though he didn’t end up actually seeing much of the games last year, Barr says, “witnessing our students embracing their roles as they work alongside ESPN is equally exciting for me.”

South Africa: Experiencing a diverse culture

South_AfricaThrough the summer course, Diverse Populations, Lynn students will explore the South African education system by visiting schools and institutions while learning how the people of this nation coexist and interact across cultural lines.

The course designed for education majors is led by Shaun Exsteen, associate dean of The Institute for Achievement and Learning and a native of South Africa.

“It is always great taking students back to where I was born and raised,” says Exsteen. “It makes me proud to be able to show off the beauty and diversity of South Africa.”

But even more important, students are exposed to a new part of the world and different cultures.

“The most glaring reality is when we visit informal settlements and schools in these areas and they become very appreciative of what they have,” says Exsteen. “They embrace the idea of giving back to the less fortunate.”

Exposing students to education systems and having students compare their experience to that of another country is invaluable, says Exsteen. They see how the South African school system is very formal and traditional in nature and learn the important component of teacher respect.

“Their enthusiasm for this area grows and in turn being exposed to the education system beyond the U.S. borders makes them connected in a way that cannot happen in a traditional classroom,” says Exsteen.

China and Hong Kong: Doing business in Asia

ChinaLynn students will have an unparalleled opportunity to learn what it takes to do business in Asia during the summer course, International Studies in Business.

“As an emerging world-class power in manufacturing, China has established itself as a key player in the global economy,” says Eldon Bernstein, professor of management in the College of Business and Management, who will lead the students through China and Hong Kong.

As a former CEO who later became a professor, Bernstein tries to give students the benefit of years of experience managing a business and interacting with many elements of the business community, including this important international component.

“Understanding Chinese business practices is crucial to any business student who will be making important decisions in the coming era,” says Bernstein." And Hong Kong's economic success has been studied extensively, particularly in light of its recent incorporation into the Peoples' Republic of China.”

Bernstein has run an importing business in addition to domestic distribution and he emphasizes the importance of being representative of the business world the student hopes to enter – which will be a global one.

To further enhance the experience, students will also explore many historic treasures of China including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'An.