by SOPHIA SAKELLARIOU, Production Editor
Ricardo Dello Buono, Ph.D., has taken over as director of Study Abroad at Manhattan College, where he intends to use his passion for travel and knowledge of social problems to enhance students’ societal interactions abroad.
A professor of sociology, Dr. Dello Buono has researched extensively on social issues including war, poverty, gender-based oppression, and economic development and has lectured on said issues in Panama, Argentina, Mexico and several other Latin American countries. His passion for travel was evident as he spoke animatedly about the plans he has for this new role.
“I’ve always wanted to travel since I was young and I was unable to study abroad for economic reasons when I was in college,” said Dello Buono. “It’s really important to make it more accessible and my whole kind of drive in getting involved with study abroad, in part, was to make it more available to people.”
He explained that the college has a good system for getting financial aid for trips, particularly for a semester abroad. Additionally, other options have increasingly offered scholarship information for economic aid, including this summer’s trip to Bogota, Colombia.
Having had lived in Colombia for a brief time in the past, providing students with the opportunities to experience its culture as well as the cultures of other countries across the globe, is really important to Dello Buono.
“Connecting with another culture, learning how other people live, experiencing some of the other kinds of problems and wonderful experiences that people have,” Dello Buono said are just a few of the benefits to studying abroad.
“I’m a sociologist by trade so sort of everything social is interesting to me, but I realize that for business students it’s an important kind of comparative approach to how other economies work and what other kinds of challenges face businesses,” said Dello Buono.
In regards to planning the trips the office organizes, Dello Buono turns to faculty as the driving force behind the programs offered.
“The faculty play the key role. It all starts with a faculty [member] who has an idea and we try to build around their networks, their expertise, their knowledge of on-site,” he said. “We’re not buying into some package program. We really emphasize the sort of custom designed faculty led programs.”
Dr. Dello Buono shared his passion for travel with students last spring when they embarked on a semester abroad in Rome, Italy as part of a Lasallian University Collaborative Education Program (LUCE).
“My experience was phenomenal,” said Kaiyun Chen, a senior English and secondary education major and attendee on the trip. “Studying abroad not only allowed me to learn from the culture, art, and literature, but it also allowed me to learn more about myself as an individual, how I interact with other people and how I understand the world around me and beyond us.”
“Dr. Dello Buono provided his students with a safe and comfortable space to communicate. Although I was away in a foreign country, Dr. Dello Buono gave me a sense of home,” said Chen.
Antonio Paone, an international studies major and another attendee on the trip, explained his experience in Rome.
“Dr. Dello Buono hosted a series of lectures in addition to a series of site visits throughout Rome, and outside the city as well, to enhance and facilitate student understanding on the European migration crisis, and the politics, economics, and history behind this issue,” said Paone. “[He] connected me with an organization in Rome where I eventually interned at while studying abroad, it was an incredibly enriching experience to which I am grateful to Dr. Dello Buono for helping facilitate.”
Dello Buono enjoyed his trip to Rome, having had the opportunity to show students firsthand the value in experiencing a new culture.
“Even the most minor kind of cultural knowledge and cultural expertise becomes cultural capital in this business,” said Dello Buono. “You’re only competitive edge is to stand out from the rest and study abroad is one of the best ways to [do that]. Just having done it, it says a lot about you. It’s cultural capital and that’s how employers look at it.”
With a variety of trip options available, there’s an experience for every student to enjoy and Dr. Dello Buono hopes his plans as director come to fruition to ensure that every student has the opportunity to see the world through a new lens.