Dr. Ebby Luvaga
Dr. Ebby Luvaga, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Economics, has been leading programs to Argentina, Spain, Australia, Panama, Belize, United Arab Emirates, and US Virgin Islands since summer 1999.
Why do you lead programs?
- To help students learn about, and also appreciate other countries, cultures, and economies. I just want students to be part of some wonderful experiences during their academic career at ISU.
What would you say to faculty that are considering leading a program?
- Just do it! It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other faculty members across campus and learn more about their academic disciplines. It also helps you meet some wonderful college students.
How would you encourage faculty to lead a program?
- Tag along on an already established program, or simply come and talk to some of us who have been leading programs for over 20 years! It must not be that bad if we are still doing it.
What have you learned by leading programs?
- I have learned that the long term impact on students is immeasurable. I am still in touch with many of my former students that traveled abroad with me and all our talks still revolve around the places we visited and the things we saw. Some have even embarked on their own global travels and often blame me for having planted the travel bug in them. What a wonderful thing to be blamed for!
What has been your favorite program that you have led?
- This is like asking me to choose a favorite child from my many. I love them all because they are unique and offer different experiences. Every time I go back to a county that I have been to many times, I still learn about one more thing that I had not noticed the past 5-6 times that I visited that country.
What has been most memorable about leading a program?
- Watching students who have never been on an airplane choose Australia or one of those 8-9 hour flight countries as their first study abroad program. They quickly come to realize that the large planes are actually comfortable, have individual TVs, and have a lot of free food.
What do you like to do in your free time?
- Whenever I have free time I travel some more to visit family and friends since most of study abroad programs are during breaks (spring break, Thanksgiving break, and winter break). I therefore don’t have that much free time but don’t feel sorry for me.
Is there a place that you would like to lead a program, but haven’t?
- Yes, I would love to take students to New Zealand. Or maybe I should just tag along on one of the New Zealand trips.
Why should students study abroad?
- It changes their lives and perspective on everything. They learn to appreciate other countries and cultures, but most importantly, they also learn to appreciate ISU and their home communities. There is nothing like being in a country to see and experience things with your friends and faculty members who have led trips to those countries for many years.
How would you encourage students to study abroad?
- I would tell them to talk to other students who have participated in the program they are interested in or talk to the program directors. They should also visit the study abroad fairs as well as visit their respective study abroad office. Don’t be afraid, and don’t just focus on your home college or department. There are so many programs offered by ISU faculty and would hate for students to miss out of such wonderful experiences.