By Ashley A. Williams


By Ashley A. Williams
University of Miami students participated in various activities abroad this summer, ranging from academics to performance and of course, vacation.

For some students, summer is a time to relax and take a break from hitting the books. For others, the break was spent fostering international education and gaining multicultural understanding. The University of Miami offers more than 100 study abroad programs in 32 countries, some lasting a few weeks and others spanning a semester or school year.

Devika Milner, director of UM’s Study Abroad Office, said the goal is to get students from all majors to participate. She wants students to take advantage of the surprisingly affordable experience. 

“Many students are unaware that you can use your financial aid and scholarships to pay for the program,” she said. “No matter your major there is an opportunity for you.” 

While students are abroad, it is a requirement for them to enroll in at least one course. Students earn UM credit and grades for courses completed on any Study Abroad Office program. 

Outside of the classroom, students are able to customize their own experiences. Some cohorts choose to stick together while others explore the country as they please. 

“Since they all have different majors, we try to put as few restrictions on them as possible,” Milner said. 

London and Paris are among the most popular places of study. Another student favorite, the UPrague program, will celebrate its 10th anniversary soon. 

“UPrague is not only one of the least expensive programs, it is also popular because you can hop to so many other countries in Europe like Austria, Greece, Germany and Poland,” Milner said.  

To see photos of UM students exploring the world, view the hashtag #canesabroad on Instagram. Read about the experiences of some of our globetrotting ’Canes below. Not all were on study abroad, but it’s the experience that matters.

A Jazzy Summer—in Italy

Stamps Jazz QuintetAs incoming sophomores, members of the Frost School of Music’s Stamps Jazz Quintet already seem destined to out-do their first year together, when they recorded their first album and taught, competed and performed in Suriname and New Orleans. 

The fivesome—trombonist Jered Byford, percussionist Marcello Carelli, bassist Max Schwartz, trumpeter David Sneider, and guitarist Tim Watson—headed to Italy earlier this month, where they performed at Pescara Jazz, one of Europe’s most important and oldest jazz festivals.

While in Pescara, the young musicians also taught jazz improvisation and performance to even younger musicians at the Pescara Conservatory. Then it was on to Umbria, and Rome.Jazz Quintet at Colosseum 

Now in its third iteration, the current members of this jazz quintet are the first to snag an invite to the renowned two-week jazz festival on the Adriatic coast, according to Chuck Bergeron, the Frost School’s jazz pedagogy program director who accompanied the group overseas. But, as Bergeron noted, getting these kinds of incredible opportunities is exactly what being a Stamps scholar is all about.

“Stamps students get put in situations that students normally don’t get to be in, thanks to Roe and Penny,” Bergeron said.

That would be UM Trustee Roe Stamps and his wife, Penny, whose Stamps Family Charitable Foundation provides four-year, full scholarships to talented young musicians from around the country who audition to form and remain in one of the Frost School’s four chamber music ensembles throughout their undergraduate years. In addition to the jazz quintet, the inaugural Stamps ensemble, the foundation also funds the Stamps Brass Quintet, the Stamps Woodwind Quintet, and the Stamps String Quintet.

Stay tuned for their future adventures.

Reporting by Maya Bell / UM News

Spaces of Hope

Every summer since 2006, 10 University of Miami students have traveled to southern Africa for study abroad.

Led by Richard Grant, a professor of geography in UM’s College of Arts and Sciences, students study in Cape Town in South Africa and Namibia to participate in cultural activities including olive oil tasting, camelback riding in the desert and more.

“A major advantage of the program are the two urban locations,” Grant said. “Students get to experience two distinct African countries, the former British-Dutch colonial city of Cape Town and a city with German colonial background and origins, Swakopmund in Namibia.”

The southern Africa study abroad program, called Spaces of Hope, is one of the most unique locations and programs offered, said Devika Milner, director of the UM Study Abroad Office.

“It’s an interesting location,” she said. “The students are able to travel to two countries in Africa and really do things that immerse them in the culture.”

A typical day for the group is an excursion to a historical site or a museum. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is always a hit among the students. The Zeitz MOCAA is the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world.

“Grant is so familiar with Africa and the many things that affect the continent,” Milner said. “Students are able to really learn a lot from him.”

Spaces of Hope in South AfricaWhile in southern Africa, the students also participate in a weeklong community service project at the Amy Foundation, a non-profit that offers curricula to develop and empower youth who are living in underserved communities. UM students attend a one-day training with the organization and its staff before engaging with the children.  

“Our students service-learn and engage in literacy programs, environmental programs, and after school initiatives in sports, art, dance and youth mentorship,” Grant said. 

Grant has conducted research projects in the cities of Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Miami. His projects focus mostly on electronic waste, xenophobia, immigrant entrepreneurship, creative urban spaces, slum economics and sustainable urban development. 

Reporting by Ashley A. Williams / UM News

Different Playing Fields

A number of student-athletes have taken off for faraway places for the summer, some going home and others spending time with family on vacation.Deja Cason zipline

Junior Deja Cason, a forward on the Miami Hurricanes women’s soccer team, traveled with her family to the Dominican Republic for the first time and experienced various firsts, including zip lining, horseback riding and chocolate making.

I was nervous climbing up the stairs to get to the zip line. But once they pushed me across I wasn't nervous anymore. It was such a thrill and rush, and it was amazing to see everything below from being so high up.

According to childhood pictures, I rode a horse as a kid, but of course I was too young to remember. So technically this wasn't my first time horseback riding, but for my memories it was. Horseback riding was intense. My horse was well behaved, but the same could not be said about the other horses. The instructors gave us simple instructions on how to turn the horse from right to left at a moderate speed. I was too scared to go fast, as I didn't want to fall off.

It was cool to learn how to make chocolate from the coco bean. I would rate it as a seven [out of 10]. 

Even though I made the chocolate from scratch, from the tree, it was too rich in taste for me. My taste buds are definitely accustomed to the Americanized way of chocolate. As for making some for my teammates? That won't happen until we find a coco bean tree. 

I had a great experience in the Dominican Republic and would definitely like to go there again.

Freshman Mallory Olsson, also a forward for ’Canes women’s soccer, spent time in Colorado at the Ultimate Training Camp for college athletes.

UTC stands for the Ultimate Training Camp that takes place for a week in Colorado. I took part in the college camp and competed with other [NCAA] Division I athletes in a 20-hour competition.Mallory Olsson UTC

I learned how to work with other athletes through a long competition by applying the five principles UTC taught. The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. was a 20-hour workout that consisted of several games of basketball, push up relays, swimming, tug-of-war, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, kick ball, a five-mile obstacle course at 4 a.m., which included army crawls, mini circuits and a track run, a series of sprints and a mile mountain run at the end. The workout started at 5 p.m., and with three hours of sleep, finished the next day at 11 a.m.

I would definitely recommend UTC to a teammate or colleague because of the principles learned, the competition and the friends I've made.

Dalanda Ouendeno, a senior defender from Paris, spent some time back home in France.Ouendeno and Lynch at Notre Dame

I always enjoy these moments a lot. When you live in a different country than where you are from, sometimes you miss your roots a little, so when I'm back I just appreciate every second.

A week before I left for Paris I prepared a very precise schedule because I was only going to be home for 10 days and I wanted to make the most out of it. A lot of people had school or work so I had to make the schedule organized. I'm really close to my family and I spent most of my time with them. My older siblings don't live at home anymore, but they came back and stayed with us when I was there. Also, friends and neighbors came over and it turned into a little come back party.

Molly [Lynch, a teammate] told me she would be in Paris this summer, so when I was home and I saw her Snapchat of the Eiffel Tower I told her that we should meet up. So she sent me her schedule, it was really colorful, and I met her in front of Notre Dame [de Paris] which is a church she was about to go to a Mass at. We ended up just chatting and trying to speak in French with one another.

Reporting by Kevin Ivany / UM Athletics