As a sophomore, I have had the privilege to partake in one of the faculty led study trips abroad during the May 2018 intersession. I signed up to take the three-credit humanities course, Western Civilization. With Dr. James Bibza and Dr. Paul Schaeffer as the professors teaching this course and leading us in our travels, the trip was guaranteed to be a success. These two professors had experience with the travel route that we would be taking, and had worked closely with a tour company to ensure we would have smooth travels. The objectives they had set for our class to accomplish seemed reasonable. It included some readings from a text book, and attending lectures while we were on our trip. However, they ultimately hoped that we would immerse ourselves in the new cultures that we would be experiencing.
Our studies began in London, England for four days. Following a day trip to Oxford, our group headed for Dover. At this point, we took a ferry across the English Channel to Calais, France. Once we were 0n the continent, our stops included Paris, Geneva, Zurich, Innsbruck, and Heidelberg. In total, our trip visited six European countries in a 14 day period.
Once we had safely returned to the United States, our final task was writing a paper that discussed any of the topics that we discussed in lectures. The paper may have been a requirement of the course, but I know that many of my fellow travelers felt that it helped them to thoughtfully compose the incredible experience that we shared.
The trip itself was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I will always cherish the memories that I made through it. However, I was also lucky enough to also make lasting bonds with people that I may not have had the chance to meet without this course. My experience with faculty led study trips was incredible, and in the future I will absolutely look to do more of them.