Students broaden knowledge by traveling north of the border

Ben Lippert

Ben LippertSenior Reporter

Go about 400 miles due north of SDSU and you will run directly into Winnipeg, Canada. As the capital and largest city in Manitoba, Winnipeg is also home to many college universities. Cole Breuer is an SDSU global studies major who also calls Winnipeg home.

Breuer is in a year-long study abroad program at the University of Winnipeg. As a freshman, Breuer had a unique opportunity to travel to Winnipeg with his global studies class.

“We attended a conference on historical materialism at the University of Manitoba… and were given a tour of the University of Winnipeg,” Breuer said. “I fell in love with Winnipeg.”

Dr. Nels Ganholm, professor of global studies and coordinator of the global studies program, said Breuer is the first and only SDSU student to attend the University of Winnipeg through the study abroad program.

“I can’t think of a better representative for SDSU to send to Canada as an ambassador,” Granholm said.

Granholm said the University of Winnipeg is a “valuable resource” because of its proximity to Brookings, and the human rights programs they offer.

Breuer said he has learned a lot in his first semester and that he is enjoying the Canadian culture. He thinks that Americans could learn a lot from Canadians.

“The Canadian approach to politics and international relations could teach us how to act better as Americans,” Breuer said. “It is important to look at our role in the world very carefully, and a more Canadian approach to our policies could help us greatly in our current situation.”

Breuer is taking 12 credits this semester. He said that classes in Canada are much different than at SDSU.

“There is hardly any homework or tests, with usually just a midterm and or final exam,” Breuer said. “These exams consist of mostly essay questions. Sorry, no Scantron multiple choice tests here.”

Breuer said that he is only taking intro classes, but that he is surprised how difficult they are compared to other classes he has taken.

Of course spending the school year in Winnipeg isn’t all work.

“I seem to be spending a disproportionate amount of free time at the Kings Head Pub, a British-style pub with amazing live music every weekend,” Breuer said.

Breuer said the live music scene is one of his favorite social aspects of Canada. Winnipeg is famous for producing musicians such as the Guess Who and his personal favorite artist, Neil Young.

Breuer attributes much of his interest in the program, and his success as a student in Winnipeg to the things he has learned in Dr. Granholm’s classes.

“My whole experience here has reinforced many of the concepts that we have learned,” Breuer said.

Less than half-finished with the Canadian study abroad program, Breuer reflected on what he will take away from his experiences.

“I have learned so much in so little time,” Breuer said. “Besides the knowledge that I have formally gained from university classes, I have also been able to get a real sense of how Canadians view and interact with the world as a whole.”

Professor Granholm said all students, regardless of their major, should consider studying abroad.

“That travel experience can reap tremendous rewards and set the stage for vastly enriching one’s life,” Granholm said.

The next student and faculty trip to Winnipeg is Spring Break 2011.