The first international educational trip offered by the University’s Marauder Music Productions (MMP) took place during winter break to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Students who are involved in Music Business Technology, Music Education and Latino/a studies were invited to participate. Six faculty and 46 students visited Punta Cana Jan. 11 through Jan. 16.
While there, students were taught Caribbean music and dances from native Dominicans. They had the opportunity to teach music at the Bavaro Bilingul School to pupils ranging in age from 4 through 18. They also participated in a cultural excursion, which included visiting a coffee plantation, a sugar cane plantation and rural schools while learning about the history of the Dominican people. And the students participated in an aquatic excursion to explore indigenous plants and animals of the Dominican.
Some students attended the trip as a compliment to their winter course. The Latino studies students observed gender interactions in the tourist industry. Adriana Ongay, a sophomore, said, “I would highly recommend studying abroad because it is the best way to immerse yourself in your studies.”
Similar trips are offered every year over breaks, but this was the first international educational trip. Dr. Barry Atticks, assistant professor and director of the music business technology program, organized this trip and hopes to organize other similar trips in the future. “My life was changed during my first international experience to Norway as a Fulbright Scholar, as my eyes were opened to people of different cultures outside of the United States. I wanted to provide an affordable way for students to go on an international trip and have the opportunity to learn about different cultures,” said Atticks.