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GO Your Own Way Resources

What is a GO Your Own Way Program?
 
A GO Your Own Way Program (GYOW) is an immersion experience in a cultural setting different from one’s own for a minimum of 2 weeks. Beyond the basics, the requirement is extremely flexible.
 
GO Your Own Way programs typically can be divided into three categories.

Please read the descriptions below:
 
A self-designed experience, where students propose their own way of satisfying the Susquehanna Cross-Cultural Requirement independently, not on an existing study abroad/study away program.  This requires a significant investment of your time and energy to prepare.  Students must illustrate the activities they will be doing to fulfill the cross cultural learning goals and how they will demonstrate how those goals were completed during their experience.  The student will also need address the logistical aspects of their experience, e.g. housing, transportation, partners on-site, etc.  Lastly the student will need to examine the different risks and safety issues they may face, and how they plan on mitigating safety and security risks.
  
Participation in a pre-approved 'GYOW in' study away program, volunteer/service program, or internship. Students who are apprehensive about taking on the work required to develop a self-designed GYOW program can particpate an existing study abroad program, volunteer/service program, or internship that will offer an additional level of support and assistance while also providing cross-culturally immersive activities and experiences.  Most programs offer 24/7 support when participating on a program.  These types of programs may also offer academic credit that can be transferred back to Susquehanna. Examples of these programs are: GYOW in Cyprus, GYOW in Barcelona, GYOW in London, GYOW with Projects Abroad Provider.
 
Participation in an existing non-SU study away program, volunteer/service program, or internship. Students who would like expand their options to other providers or program host can identify an existing study abroad program, volunteer/service program, or internship that will offer an additional level of support and assistance while also providing cross-culturally immersive activities and experiences.  Most programs offer 24/7 support when participating on a program.  These types of programs may also offer academic credit that can be transferred back to Susquehanna. Participation in any program of two weeks or more during winter or summer break offered by a study abroad provider already on the SU approved GO Long list will be approved for GO Your Own Way.  To apply to this program options select 'Projects Abroad or Non-Approved Program Provider, University or Service Provider' proposal application online.
 
When can I do a GO Your Own Way?
Students who want to participate in a GO Your Own Way Program will travel during winter or summer break.  It is important to keep in mind that you will need to complete a required GO pre-departure class the semester prior to your travel experience. The class is a full second 7 weeks class so all approvals much be complete before that date.  Students are also required to complete the Global Citizenship reflection course after you return from your travels before graduation.  These required courses cannot be waived, nor taken retroactively.
 
When is my proposal due?
Your GO Your Own Way online application proposal will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  After the proposal submission deadline closes, you can expect to receive a decision about your proposal within two weeks. You may be asked to make modifications to your original proposal and asked to complete and submit additional paperwork.
 
The absolute latest date a GO Your Own Way proposal may be submitted:
Summer Programs – February 15                Winter Programs (Dec. – Jan.) – September 15

What is a cross-cultural experience?
The purpose of this requirement is for you to spend time immersed in a culture that is different from your own. For the purposes of this requirement, this generally means a culture whose values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors have been passed down from generation to generation.  The most obvious example would involve travel to another country.  But it is also possible to experience a significant cross-cultural immersion within your own country.   It is up to you to demonstrate that what you propose will immerse you in a new and different cultural setting.  Still unsure? Check out What’s Up With Culture? They say:
 
Culture has been defined in literally hundreds of ways for different reasons. For study away purposes, culture can be most broadly defined as the shared sets of values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors which are widely held by members of the host culture. A sojourner will not only need to be aware of these cultural patterns but will have to respond to them appropriately.
 
So when you propose your own GO experience, you’ll want to show us that you will be entering a cultural setting where you could learn to identify a “shared set of values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors which are widely held by members of the host culture.”  Just traveling to some other part of the country or the world is not enough.  You have to be immersed in another culture. It is also important to recognize that immersion is a 24/7 experience.  Proposals where students live at home and participate in an internship, job, or service project in the day only to return home in the evenings will not be approved.
 
Other requirements:
The experience does not have to be for credit and it does not have to be a formal pre-designed program.  Students must provide evidence in their proposal that they have planned a significant cross-cultural experience that will help them to meet the learning goals adopted by the Susquehanna faculty for this requirement.   Some possibilities include:
  • An independent research project, whether for credit or not
  • A service project or volunteer work where you work alongside people from different cultures – on your own or with another organization
  • International internships
  • A creative project
When developing a GYOW program proposal, it is important to recognize that the emphasis should be on a single culture where an identified grouping of people have shared and passed down traditions from generation to generation.  Beware when developing your proposal that geography, location, and distance are often mistaken with culture and will not satisfy the requirement if made the focus, e.g. I will go camping in the woods to learn about living off the grid or I will do a Sound of Music tour traveling to 9 countries in 18 days to learn about the Swiss. Another thing to consider is that you can learn a great deal about a culture in an unexpected location, e.g. I lived with a Cuban immigrant family and volunteered in a Cuban neighborhood in Miami to learn about Cuban-American culture. 
 
Proposed programs focusing on: group tours, animals (working at zoos or shelters), organizational culture (corporate culture, sports camps, army/ROTC training, etc.), population differences (going to the city when you are from the country), landscapes (from mountains to the beach), disabilities (wearing a blindfold to experience blindness) will not satisfy the requirement.