SUSI Alumni from Cal State University Chico State Reunite in Madeira

Alumni group photo in Madeira

A group of 37 U.S. Government-sponsored Alumni from 30 different countries around the world who participated in the SUSI Secondary Educators Program at California State University, Chico gathered on the Island of Madeira, April 23-25 for a follow-up workshop.  The workshop reinforced skills the Alumni learned during their time studying abroad and application of those skills in their home countries.  Alumni attended their choice of alumni-led workshops exploring issues such as improving communication, differentiated instruction, and access and equity.

The Alumni Events Coordinator from the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Lori Floyd-Bruce, delivered opening remarks at the workshop.  She discussed the importance of U.S. Government sponsored exchange scholarships building mutual understanding and the significance of encouraging cross cultural engagement.  She encouraged the Alumni to contact the U.S. Embassies in their home countries in order to identify new opportunities for education, growth, and networking.

The Alumni in attendance were able rekindle relationships and network with colleagues from different program years.  The attendees represented 7 years of SUSI programming at Chico State, from 2011 through 2016.  The cultural aspect of the workshop allowed participants to learn about the Island of Madeira.  The Alumni visited the newly restored Museu A Cidade do Açúcar, had a dolphin and whale watching boat cruise, toured the Municipal Theater, and took a bus tour of the Island of Madeira.

Portugal’s own Rómulo Neves was instrumental in Madeira’s selection as the location for this international workshop.  His attention to detail, dynamic personality, and excellent skills as a tour guide made the workshop a tremendous success.  The workshop received positive attention from the media who asked Mr. Neves to speak about his SUSI experience in the United States and the workshop on a local news broadcast.