The Coordinator of Study Abroad Programs, Martha Sambe, has noted that the opportunity for students to participate in the program has grown over the years.
Ms. Sambe was speaking to the entering students, during the Discovery of Student Life seminar, one of the freshmen orientation programs held on August 20.
The AUN alum, who matriculated 10 years ago, was among the students who participated in AUN’s study abroad program in 2010. At that time, the American University in Washington, DC, was the only foreign option.
“However, a few semesters before I left AUN, two students went to Oxford University in the UK, and other opportunities opened up within the United States and around the world.”
Among the new exciting opportunities are the schools in the Association of American International Colleges & Universities (AAICU) and the 27-member Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA), both of which give students the opportunity to pay AUN tuition and study in any of the member-institutions. AUN is the only member from sub-Saharan Africa.
Ms. Sambe, who graduated from the Economics Department, displayed a picture of Ben Bernanke, which she took in Washington, DC, the year she studied abroad. Bernanke is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the United States, one of the most important financial positions in the US, from 2006 to 2014.
Ms. Sambe’s AU professor had given his students passes to attend a public hearing where Bernanke was making a presentation to the US Congress. “The picture was taken in Washington when he was answering questions on the economic meltdown that took place two years earlier. I was sitting that close to him.”
Ms. Sambe knew of the Federal Reserve Chairman even before she left Nigeria. “The exciting thing about the picture is that he wrote the Economics textbook that I had used two semesters before going to Washington as an exchange student…I show you these pictures to sort of give you a feel of what it means to study abroad.”
Ms. Sambe also shared other pictures that showed her cultural experiences abroad. She said the Study Abroad program enables one to enjoy interesting social experiences in a new learning environment. “It’s a cultural experience. You are exposed to a wider set of experiences than you would have if you only stayed in Nigeria to study.”
By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa