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Building Hope 

Study Abroad Fair Wednesday, October 5.

During the internship, Marisa Douglas, (holding the globe) had the opportunity to teach English to children at the Vedike school, the rural campus in Karnataka.  

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 5, 2016) – After studying abroad in India this summer, what surprised UAlbany senior Marisa Douglas was that it was so hard to leave.

“I had mixed feelings about returning to the U.S. Living in the rural area of Karnataka is a different way of life with which I was extremely content and happy,” said Douglas, a globalization and political science major from Kingston, N.Y. She also made many friends.

Douglas was among a half dozen UAlbany students who took a six-credit study abroad experiential learning program called We Build. UAlbany partners with Global Citizens for Sustainable Development (GCSD) to offer the five-week program through the Office of Education Abroad, part of the Center for International Education and Global Strategy.

“I have always wanted to go to India,” Douglas said. “I love hands-on experiences and the concentration was on the political and religious studies of India, which I am very much interested in.”

UAlbany’s partnership with GCSD has continued for seven years. Since 2010, 38 University at Albany students have participated in building six houses, 10 bathrooms and two dormitories for underprivileged women, children and families in the rural area outside of Bangalore.

“Global Citizens is passionate about continuing this partnership with UAlbany and is looking forward to building more homes and bathrooms for disadvantaged families and additional facilities on campus at Vedike Eco Residential School, GCSD’s rural sister organization,” said Director John Anugraha.

In India with UAlbany senior Marisa Douglas.

At left, UAlbany senior Marisa Douglas in India. 

During an extra three-week internship, Douglas taught English and environmental practices to children at Vedike.

Professor of Geography and Planning Ray Bromley, who is in India on a Fulbright, visited the UAlbany students in July. He spent a morning at the building site and gave a class. He said the project “has great implications for social change, women’s rights and public health. Despite its rapid economic growth, India has more poor people, and people without toilets, than any other country on earth.”

Study abroad confirmed for Douglas that her future includes finding a job in which she travels around the world. “Traveling is one of the greatest life changing experiences,” she said. “It allows you to see how people in different cultures live and how other people understand the world we live in.”

The Study Abroad Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, in the Lecture Center Concourse. Stop by the fair to meet students who have participated in the We Build program and learn about the hundreds of opportunities for study, research, internships and service learning abroad offered by UAlbany and the SUNY Consortium.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.