Research confirms that the trajectories of students like those who attend Guttman Community College can be dramatically and positively changed when they are offered what has now become known as “high impact practices” and learning opportunities outside the classroom. Global Guttman is a program for students to travel and engage in innovative ways with populations and institutions and expand their visions of themselves and the world.

In 2016 the College offered four outstanding short-term, faculty-led travel programs embedded within courses:

  • Alaska: Examining youth culture through the study of young adult literature in Anchorage. (April 2016)
  • Germany: Exploring urban issues critical to young people in both New York City and Berlin. (June 2016)
  • Ecuador: Researching the complexities of ecosystems in the Chocó biodiversity region. (July 2016)
  • Jamaica: Working in health clinics and participating in literacy activities. (July 2016)

Studying abroad is transformative. For many Guttman students, these trips mark their first travel opportunities. By experiencing new cultures and languages while grappling with complex global issues, students benefit personally, educationally, and professionally. They gain a better understanding of themselves and improve their ability to evaluate elements of their own cultures. In addition, multicultural interactions become more natural. When asked to reflect on how the trip changed them, the students strove to find the right words to describe new senses of wonder and purpose.

Testimonials

“The most important thing I learned during the Global Guttman experience was the value of teamwork. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and try new things such as hiking, new foods and studying a culture other than mine.”

 “I learned so many things about myself during this trip. I now feel more capable of being independent since I was in a different country without either one of my parents. I also learned that I am eager to know the world and the people living in it. I am eager to keep discovering parts of myself in different countries. In short, this trip made me realize that I am capable of anything and most importantly that I am willing to chase everything I set my mind to.”

 “The unforgettable moments when we arrived at the Choco Rainforest and the days we spent there will always be locked in my heart. When you get to experience life without buildings, roads and concrete streets you will never be the same. Those five days in the jungle really tested my patience, disconnected us from our daily routines, and what we were accustomed to. While at the same we were adapting to new ways of living and learning so much about ourselves. I had so much time to prioritize and reevaluate what actually maters.”

 “It made me think about the real difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want,’ and how much New Yorkers take for granted. The trip made me feel like I should really start taking into consideration what I believe in and what my mark and purpose in the world could be.”