Academics

Barcelona summers promise art, history and food

The Catalan capital is rich in culture

Since 2012, Oglethorpe has served as the academic partner of LeadAbroad, approving academic faculty, syllabi, course pedagogy and materials for its multifaceted study abroad programs.

LeadAbroad programs attract a growing number of students from universities across the U.S., most of whom earn transferable Oglethorpe credit for the program.

LeadAbroad now offers three types of study abroad programs: LEAD, GO, and DIRECT.

LEAD programs in Cape Town and Greece offer a holistic study abroad experience together with a focus on leadership, service and adventure. Students earn six credit hours in Leadership in Action and Global Citizenship and Civic Engagement from Oglethorpe.

GO programs in Rome, Barcelona and London are traditional study abroad programs with independent travel opportunities. Students take two classes for six credits from Oglethorpe in art, business, communications, humanities or language.

DIRECT programs in Cape Town and Greece offer curated travel experiences focusing on adventure, service opportunities and local culture, with no college credit.

We caught up with Dr. Mario Chandler, associate professor of communication and rhetoric studies, who will be teaching as part of the program, to hear why students should spend time in a classroom outside of Atlanta.

How long have you been an instructor in the GO program and what makes you want to teach abroad?

Dr. Chandler: This is my second year teaching the GO: Barcelona program.  Barcelona had a successful roll out last year, 2016, so I have been with the program since its inception. 

What programs have you taught in?

Dr. Chandler: Over the years, I have taught and/or lead many exchange programs either independently or with our study abroad partner, Lead Abroad to many destinations including Mexico, Spain, Cuba, and Ecuador.

What courses will you be teaching?

Dr. Chandler: For Go: Barcelona, my signature courses are a Spanish Culture and Civilization course as well as a Spanish Cuisine course. 

What makes Barcelona a destination?

Dr. Chandler: Barcelona is a wonderful destination for study abroad because it is a uniquely beautiful setting on the Mediterranean sea, a city with a rich and long-standing history that evidences the footprints of ancient communities (like the Romans) and iconic Spanish figures (like Picasso).

Name a couple of must-see sites or activities in or around Barcelona.

Dr. Chandler: The must-see sites to see in Barcelona are too many to name, but my favorites to visit and to share with my students are Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Church, Barceloneta Beach, and La Boqueria Market.

Why is study abroad important? What do you want students to take out of it?

Dr. Chandler: Study abroad is very important because it exposes students to different cultural lifestyles and perspectives, and has the potential to expand our minds, viewpoints, and tolerances.  As a foreign language professor, naturally, I want my students to complete a study abroad experience (to a Spanish-speaking country, at least) with stronger language skills and an appreciation for the value of multilingual communication. 

Where would you like to see the GO program expand?

Dr. Chandler: Certainly, I would like to see Oglethorpe GO programs expand across the globe.  However, my personal and academic projects on the African continent make me eager to see and contribute to a GO: Ghana program in the not-so-distant future.