Tigers See the World: Distance Learning Day Promotes Growth, Adventure

August 31, 2023

Georgia Howard with a giraffe

Georgia Howard

Elizabeth Cuccio on a trail

Elizabeth Cuccio


Aug. 31 is World Distance Learning Day, which was started to promote learning that happens outside of a traditional classroom.

Whether LSU Tigers are learning in a lab or out in the field, an experience and an education are being gained. LSU's summer study abroad programs and summer internships give students a variety of opportunities to learn away from campus.

Georgia Howard, a junior from North Carolina, is studying psychology. This summer, she studied in Cape Town, South Africa.

Elizabeth Cuccio, a fifth-year student from Baton Rouge, is majoring in natural resource ecology and management, with a concentration in conservation biology and a minor in wildlife ecology. Cuccio traveled to Alaska for an internship with the Student Conservation Association through the U.S. Forest Service.

"We were working on the Tongass Wide Young Growth Study based out of Juneau with study areas on Prince of Wales island," Cuccio said.

Keep reading for more about their experiences. 

Why did you want to study abroad?

Howard: I chose to study abroad because I wanted to immerse and educate myself in an unfamiliar culture while also making great friends and exploring the astounding city of Cape Town!

Cuccio: I took this internship because I wanted to experience the different work opportunities in my field. I wanted to get to know different environments and ecosystems that I had never encountered before.

Georgia Howard in Cape Town, South Africa

Georgia Howard with school children
Elephants in the distance
Georgia Howard with elephant
Row of colorful buildings with mountains in the distance
Georgia Howard riding a camel
Georgia Howard with ATVs
Georgia Howard on zipline
Georgia Howard getting face painted by woman


What did you study and learn during that time?

Howard: Throughout my month abroad, I studied Global Theory and Practice as well as Global Citizenship and Civic Engagement. These courses allowed for my classmates and me to interpret and immerse ourselves in the city where we lived. 

Cuccio: I learned what it was like to participate in data collection for a decades-old study. I was exposed to different methods of data collection, as well as an entirely new environment full of plants and animals that I had never seen before. I also got a lot of life experience. We spent up to eight days at a time camping, where I learned valuable survival and communication skills that would keep my team running smoothly.

How does it help your studies at LSU?

Howard: In addition to the six credit hours I received, I also gained the priceless knowledge of the history and culture of South Africa.

Cuccio: My experience in Alaska was very unique. I got to watch all that I've learned in a classroom play out in real-time. Forest regeneration, glaciation, and many other ecological events that I don't have access to watch down here in Louisiana were available to me. I was able to better understand these concepts as they unfolded in front of me.

Elizabeth Cuccio in Alaska

Elizabeth Cuccio in plane flying over mountains
Elizabeth Cuccio with safety gear in bushes
Elizabeth Cuccio near mountain overlook
Elizabeth Cuccio with safety gear in bushes


What was your favorite part of your experience?

Howard: Studying abroad was an amazing way to push myself to try new things, participate in once in a lifetime experiences, and further my education both within the classroom and through spending time with locals. Some of my favorite moments were skydiving over the vineyards, driving through the safari, and going to our service days with the Amy Foundation. The non-profit helps children and young learners in the Cape Town area with enrichment opportunities.

Cuccio: My favorite part of my internship was that I got to explore remote parts of Alaska that most people will never have the opportunity to see. I also got to work with an incredible crew of people who I got to learn from and grow with every day. 

Why should other students consider studying abroad?

Howard: I would strongly encourage any LSU student to look into studying abroad. It is a great way to create new memories, new friendships, new experiences, but most of all, it is the perfect way to learn new things about yourself and others!

Cuccio: Other students should consider studying abroad/interning abroad because it is a wonderful experience where you can grow professionally and personally.