Talia McGowan Cobb spent several days this summer camping in a nature reserve outside Cape Town, South Africa, as part of a Case Western Reserve University graduate-level social work class that brought her together with classmates and South African social workers and child care workers.
They slept in tents, dug their own latrines—and created deeply personal connections.
"We had [two questions] posed to us: 'Who are you, and where did you come from?' " said Cobb. "And that [created] an opportunity for a lot of us to be vulnerable together. Many people cried."
Each year, students such as Cobb travel internationally—often having transformative experiences. This past academic year alone, more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students traveled abroad—a number that includes students in shorter faculty-led programs, full-semester experiences, internships, research trips and even service projects.