Faculty Highlight: Dr. Oliver Crocco
Dr. Oliver ("Ozzie") Crocco is an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Human Resource Development and the director of this year's Global Leadership in Thailand program. Dr. Crocco and Dr. Edward Gibbons have offered the Global Leadership in Thailand program since 2019.
Did you study abroad as a student?
Yes. I studied abroad in Turkey. I had written my final paper for the study abroad program on Islamic mosques. Since we were in Turkey, I was invited to present my paper to the class in the foyer of the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul. The beautiful and culturally significant mosque made the perfect backdrop for my presentation.
Why should students study abroad?
You should consider studying abroad if they you want a more experiential cross-cultural learning experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Studying abroad changes you. It changes how you see the world and how you see other people. I can just about guarantee it will be a key highlight of your educational experience.
What advice would you have for a faculty member interested in getting involved with study abroad?
Academic Programs Abroad at LSU makes it a seamless process. They're with you to support you in every step of the process and are rooting for you. It was incredibly easy to carry out our program.
What impact has teaching abroad had on you?
It's helped me to think about the importance of cultivating learning experiences for my students in all my classes, whether abroad, in Baton Rouge, or online.
"Studying abroad changes you. It changes how you see the world and how you see people." - Dr. Oliver Crocco
What’s one memorable experience you can share with us from leading a study abroad program?
One memorable experience was on New Year's Day, a bunch of us hiked up a mountain on the Pilgrim's Trail, which is an old path monks used to take. We hiked all the way to the Buddhist temple, Wat Doi Suthep, on top of the mountain and had an amazing lunch and visit up top.
How do you deal with culture shock and homesickness?
I try and call three family members and/or friends back home, eat something that is familiar to me (even if it's just a soda or candy bar), and talk with someone with me about what I miss back home. I used that trick when I lived in Thailand for four years, and it works every time!
What are the next three places on your “must travel to” list?
For me, I love Southeast Asia, so the next three "must travel to" places are Laos, Brunei, and East Timor, which are the only Southeast Asia countries I have yet to visit.
Favorite travel snacks?
In Thailand, there's nothing like Thai street food to snack on when you need a pick-me-up! And Thai people love snacking!