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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 19, 1997)
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By Amy Keller
Fifteen people traveled down
under this summer to understand the
teaching strategies used in Australia,
and implement them in American
This group of University of
Nebraska-Lincoln professors and
Nebraska teachers spent July 7-27
living with Australian teachers who
teach the same subjects to the same
age groups as the American teachers.
Inger Bull, an assistant for the
study abroad program at UNL, said
the trip was “a chance to look at
Australia’s school system, and com
pare it to what we have in Nebraska.”
Bull has been involved with this
program for four years, but this sum
mer was her first chance to partici
pate. The program, which started in
1994, has continued almost every
year since then.
The trip cost each participant
$2,500, which included tuition, air
fare and housing for the three weeks.
The teachers each stayed in two dif
ferent homes for a week at a time,
then spent four nights in hotels while
traveling and sightseeing.
The first home-stay was in
Brisbane, a town in the north coast
region of Australia, a rural area. To
have a contrasting experience, the
second home-stay was in Sydney, a
large metropolitan city.
All of the teachers who went on
the trip were required to turn in a
paper about their experiences and the
differences in the Australian and
American school systems. They were
also required to do a unit on Australia
in each of their classrooms.
Bull said the experiences in
another country made each traveler
examine the advantages and disad
vantages of both school systems,
including how they are funded, how
administration works, how much the
community is involved in the school
system, and the relationships
between students and teachers.
Jim Emal, the computing coordi
nator for the Institute of Agriculture
and Natural Resources and a UNL
professor, said that he went on the trip
as a representative for university dis
tance education, so he stayed on five
different university campuses.
“You don’t go over as a tourist or
Christopher Columbus exploring
things. ... They match you to your
specific purpose,” he said.
Emal said that he learned a great
deal from staying with the newly
retired director general of the school
system, especially since public
schools are state-run in Australia,
which amounted to many differences
from American schools.
“I’d recommend it. ... I’d go back
in a minute,” Emal said.
Barb Skala, a teacher at Wausa
High School in Wausa said she had
some interesting experiences on the
trip. A former student of has lives in
Australia, and Skala had a chance to
stay with her during the trip.
In addition, Skala tried to contact
a former exchange student from
Indonesia who also went to Wausa
High School. Despite a change in
phone numbers, Skala eventually
contacted the student and visited her.
Skala said there was a definite
difference in the academics of
“I think that they aren’t pushed as
hard as kids are in Nebraska ... they
didn’t have to do homework,” she
But she also said the exam taken
for acceptance to Australian colleges
is harder than the qualifications for
college in America.
Emal said that the same
Australian teachers who opened their
homes to Americans this summer are
planning a similar trip to the United
States next fall to experience the
school system in the states.
■ On Saturday, the group that trav
eled to Australia got together for one
last meeting, and to turn in their
papers and compare pictures.
Similar trips are being planned
for next summer, and the study
abroad program members are debat
ing whether to have the trips every
summer or every other summer.
“More and more teachers should
do it because it was a fantastic experi
ence,” Skala said.
Hepatitis vaccine eludes students
By Josh Funk
Many college students are not
I aware of the vaccine for hepatitis B or
how it is spread* according to a
-University of South Florida study
released recently. '
College students have a high risk of
(contracting the virus hepatitis B, which
can be easily prevented with a vaccine.
The director of the University
Health Center, Dr. Linda Herrmann,
said they had no way of knowing how
informed Nebraska students are about
hepatitis B and its vaccination.
Hepatitis B is a virus transmitted
much like HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS. It can be contracted through
sexual contact, shared needles, con
tact with contaminated blood or body
fluids or birth by a contaminated
“Many people don’t realize that the
virus can be transmitted by things like
sharing a toothbrush or razor, tattooing
or ear piercing,” Herrmann said.
High risk groups include:
■ People who have had more than
one sexual partner in the last six
■ Intravenous drug users
■ People who require frequent or
large-volume blood transfusions
■ Travelers to high-risk areas like
■ Health-care professionals or
other workers who regularly come in
contact with bodily fluids
Once infected with the virus, there
is an incubation period lasting six
weeks to six months before symptoms
begin to appear, Herrmann said.
Then flu-like symptoms - including
nausea and vomiting - start to appear;
but the symptoms will persist for four to
six weeks until recovery begins.
Along with the flu jaundice, a yel
lowing of the skin and whites of eyes,
develops after three to 10 days,
according to the American Medical
With hepatitis B there is also a
chance of death due to liver failure,
and sufferers of the disease can
become carriers for life.
“Because it is a viral infection,
there is no treatment and no cure for
hepatitis B,” Herrmann said.
However, while most adults do
recover from hepatitis B, full recovery
may take six months.
While there is no cure for hepatitis
B, there is a vaccine available for
hepatitis A and B.
The vaccine is administered in
three injections over the course of six
months, and is available at the Health
Center. The adult student rate is $40
for each of the three injections. The
pediatric student rate, which may be
available to students under age 20, is
$ 17 for each injection.
If anyone things they may be
.infected they should contact a doctor.
“Anytime you have a flu that lasts
more than 48 hours you should seek
medical advice,” Herrmann said.
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