Apr 25th, 2017, 12:50 PM

Cultural Program Show and Tell

By Caroline Thee
Image credit: AUP/Alexis Dang
Which AUP Cultural Program would you go on?

AUP hosted the annual Cultural Program Show and Tell in Combes on Monday, April 24, 2017. The classrooms on Combes' first floor were opened up to accommodate tables with student representatives ready to share personal experiences from each cultural program. Oh, and there was free Moroccan food and French pastries! 

Alexis Dang and Kevin Fore briefly presented a short power point presentation and then gave students time to mingle and learn more about the programs AUP has to offer. Read on for the low-down from a few of the tables at the event, as well as further information if you're interested in the AUP cultural programs

Denmark, Sweden & Norway

Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway. Image credit: Stephanie Alexander

Stephanie Alexander, a graduate student at AUP, headed the Denmark, Sweden and Norway table. She shared a full rundown of the itinerary she experienced on the trip in Fall 2016. From The Nobel Peace Museum to learning about sustainable development, I can definitely convey the message that Alexander more than enjoyed this trip! Professor Susan Perry led the trip and even used AUP alumni connections to get special insider access into the International Criminal Court in Copenhagen. 

Alexander told me this cultural program resonated greatly with her, and "gave a lot of ideas to take back to my own community regarding human rights... Norway is serious with their human rights!" 


Aalyiah Heath (Left) and friends on the AUP study trip in Fes, Morocco. Image credit: Aalyiah Heath

Aalyiah Heath, also a graduate student at AUP, ran the Fes table with a huge smile on her face. She went on the Fes cultural trip in Fall 2016 and says, "thanks to the cultural programs, I realize Fes is my favorite place, not because of the people, but because the food is just amazing!" She shared fond memories of the host family she stayed with in Fes and found that the fact she stayed with a host family is encouraging her to go back because she knows there is a family there waiting for her. 

On Heath's trip, an AUP alumnus was also present on the trip. Hmm... I'm starting to see a pattern here... 

India Practicum

India Practicum. Image credit: AUP/Alexis Dang

I ventured over to the India table next, where I met Jon Daniel McKiever and Sarah Harper-Johnston. McKiever served in the Peace Corps in Morocco prior to coming to AUP. He told me, "the fact that AUP offered a long cultural program enticed me to choose AUP for my graduate studies."

If that's not enough, Harper-Johnston said the India Practicum was "so life changing... I'm applying to Peace Corps! My interview is tomorrow!" (Good luck Sarah!) 

Both students noted that the cultural program gave them space to not only do fieldwork but to also think critically while there. They also encouraged anyone who has already been to India to consider this cultural program, because the town the trip is hosted in, Auroville, is a town like no other.

Sin-ming Shaw Cultural Grant 

Opera Ballet with the Sin-ming Shaw Cultural Grant. Image credit: AUP/Alexis Dang

Here's the scoop that was presented about the Sin-ming Shaw Cultural Grant at the Show and Tell by Alexis Dang and Kevin Fore: It needs to be used! There's still currently thousands of Euros left in the fund that must be used. If there are any events or trips in Europe that you believe will add to your cultural experience while attending AUP... apply for the grant

AUP Freshman, Anna Amiotte, used the grant to see Moulin Rouge. She tells me, "I was shocked and amazed because there was dancing, acrobats, snakes and miniature horses! On top of it all, there was great champagne."  Amiotte says without the Sin-ming Shaw Cultural Grant she would not have been able to experience this historical part of French culture. 


Jura Practicum. Image credit: AUP/Alexis Dang

Chrystal Vavoulidis, a recent AUP graduate, was excited to be at the show and tell. She spoke highly of the AUP cultural programs, having participated in the Marseilles, Poland, Iceland, Jura, Normandy and India trips during her time as a graduate student at AUP. Vavoulidis noted that many people at AUP use the trips as a way to be a tourist, but she chose her AUP cultural programs because they were connected with her courses. Three of the trips, Marseilles, Poland, and Iceland were all for her Nation Branding courses.

Vavoulidis was excited to tell me all about the India program. She says India was her favorite trip she went on at AUP, saying it was a "long and different trip that was a completely new experience!" She loved the culture shock that came with the trip, but also said that she was able to easily adapt. 

Faculty & Staff

Northern Lights in Iceland. Image credit: AUP/Alexis Dang

Even AUP Faculty & Staff enjoy the Cultural Programs! AUP's very own Cultural Program Coordinator, Alexis Dang, happily shared that the Iceland trip over spring break this semester was "the best trip of my life!" 

Dang says, "When I participate in a trip it enables me to have a hands-on idea of my job - to realize how fulfilling a study trip can be for students. This time, not only was it very useful for my job, but it was also an incredible adventure for me personally." 

If you want more information, she's your woman! Email her at adang@aup.edu or go visit her office on the third floor of Combes in room C305.

So, where can you go?

New cultural programs are always in the works, but many often roll back around! Here's a list of trips AUP organized this past 2016-2017 academic year to give you a taste. Bon voyage mes amis!  

Study Trips offered in Fall 2016

  • Marseille
  • Oslo, Copenhagen, Malmo
  • London & Stratford
  • Bordeaux
  • London
  • Florence-Pisa
  • Frankfurt
  • Nimes, Arles, Pont-du-Gard
  • Fes
  • Abu Dabi
  • Washington DC
  • Venice
  • Geneva
  • Cairo
  • India Practicum 

Study Trips offered in Spring 2017

  • Rotterdam
  • Fes
  • Rome
  • Qatar
  • Stanza Festival & Edinburgh
  • Ravenna
  • Vienna
  • London
  • London & Stratford
  • Naples & Sorrento
  • Jura Practicum
  • Berlin & Hamburg
  • Iceland
  • Venice
  • Brussels
  • Rouen

Plus many more excursions and day trips, including Chanel Fashion Walks and cooking classes!