Learning Outside the Classroom by Frannie Cohen-Dumani

The class I took abroad was titled: The Future of Humanity in a Technological Tomorrow, where we explored many topics relating to how AI and bioengineering continue to drastically change our world. The unique thing about our class was that we were able to discuss how different countries are dealing with technological changes, and we were able to see how Paris has decided to adopt different strategies as our societies evolve. Additionally, many of our excursions surrounded topics of public health and climate change which facilitated many academic conversations during class and beyond. One aspect of the Maymester I really enjoyed was how connected our professors were with all of the students on the trip. Since we were able to build close relationships with each other, this facilitated conversation surrounding health outside of the classroom. One of our academic engagements involved traveling to Geneva for a couple of days to visit the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). First, we heard from a member of the WHO, where she discussed how the organization works, what their main focuses are, and how interdisciplinary their work is. As with the nature of our class, interdisciplinary work is crucial to the future of humanity. Afterward, we attended a student briefing at the UN where we heard from several employees about their work and how they are continuing to address climate change in Switzerland specifically, and around the world. As it related to both of our classes abroad, climate change and sustainability are big topics in France and Switzerland, and it was so interesting to see firsthand how climate change is being addressed. Surrounding sustainability, we also had two guest lectures from different international companies that explained how their work attempts to battle climate change and the effects it has on our world currently and in the future. Overall, this experience has allowed me to learn about a topic from a global perspective, and continue to have these conversations even outside of the classroom.

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