This past summer, Dr. Quentin Duroy of the economics department taught a course in Lugano, Switzerland. “Financing a Sustainable Economy” hosted a mix of international and Denison students to form a unique learning experience abroad. The course focused on different types of sustainable development, specifically looking at the effects of CO2 emissions, the cost/benefit analysis of sustainable development investments and emission trading policies.
Rising senior Alejandro Lopez-Black was able to take Dr. Duroy’s class this summer while studying abroad in Switzerland. Lopez-Black explained, “In trying to find a solution to sustainability, we focused on systems that didn’t work. We focused a good amount on the financial crisis of 2008 as a prime example of a system that is not sustainable. [We] then focused on ideas that could have helped avert the situation.”
For the students taking the course, this experience abroad was not only an educational one, but something much more meaningful. Liz Kane ‘17 was also able to take Dr. Duroy’s class.
“It was very difficult and yet rewarding to dedicate all of my thinking towards one topic instead of splitting my up time into four different subjects each semester like we normally do” said Kane. “I decided to go to Switzerland because I felt that I was going to miss out on a great opportunity before I graduated college,” she said.
Lopez-Black also spoke fondly of his time abroad.
“Abroad is an experience I’ll always cherish. The experience of being immersed in a culture completely different than yours is something you cannot gain by staying in Granville,” he said.
Dr. Duroy explained that a goal of his was to provide a learning environment of smaller class sizes in order to make it more relaxed. He hoped that the country’s location, central Europe, would create an environment that was outside of student’s’ comfort zone where they could “generate different thoughts and ideas.”
Like his students, Dr. Duroy also finds his course to be very rewarding.
“It fulfills a lot of different things for me,” said Dr. Duroy. When he began teaching the course in the mid 2000s, the US sustainability policy was ahead of European policy. However, through the years of teaching this course, he has been able to see European policy become ahead of the curve in sustainability.
“You have to think globally,” Duroy said. “It means taking yourself outside of where you live and outside of the cultural norms you are used to.”
From passing through trains on international borders to learning about complex economic theories in the classroom, the trip offered more than just a college credit.
Photo Courtesy of Liz Kane