Huntingdon Travel Experiences Develop a World Vision
Montgomery, Ala.—More than 100 Huntingdon College students and faculty who are preparing for their last two weeks of classes and finals are also planning what they will pack for at least ten days of travel abroad in May. Three separate travel-study experiences to Costa Rica; Rome and Florence, Italy; and Greece and Turkey will depart soon after graduation. Travel-study is an important part of The Huntingdon Plan, which provides an opportunity for travel-study in other countries within regular educational costs to juniors and seniors. Earlier this year, another group explored Dublin, Ireland.
"When we say that a Huntingdon education opens a whole new world for our students, we mean it," says Huntingdon President J. Cameron West. "It is important that our students graduate with a world vision, rather than just the local perspective they have known most of their lives. To equip our students for service and success in a world community, they must see with new eyes, and that is what our travel-study program accomplishes."
Dr. Kyle Fedler, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, took a group to Puerto Rico for adventure travel in 2010, along with two faculty members. "So many of our students are from the Southeast region, and many are from Alabama," says Dr. Fedler. "For several students on each trip last year, the plane ride out of the country was their first flight ever. Traveling abroad helps students realize that there are many more similarities between cultures than there are differences, and developing an understanding of our common ground with others can help us to bridge the gaps that we might experience as we work and serve with people who are from various cultures. Travel-study is an important, memorable way for students to develop a new vision and insight about the world."
Each trip is preceded by a semester-long course during which students and faculty explore some aspect of the region to which they will travel. More than 40 students and faculty will participate in the "In the Footsteps of Paul: Greece and Turkey" experience, a joint venture between Huntingdon and First United Methodist Church, Montgomery. The trip, led by associate professor of religion Dr. Jason Borders, will retrace the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and will include a cruise around the Greek islands. The 46 students and faculty who are traveling to Rome and Florence will read and study some of the greatest thinkers, writers, and artists the world has ever known. Seventeen students and faculty will travel to Costa Rica, where they will study the ecosystems in two volcanoes, six national parks, and two beaches, and go rafting, hiking, and zip-lining. Students who traveled to Dublin focused on British, Scottish, and Irish writers.
Huntingdon junior English major Erin Ofe was part of the Dublin trip in January. "Going to Dublin and Belfast and actually seeing all of the things we learned come to life was incredible," said Ofe. "We visited the James Joyce Museum in Sandy Cove and the Dublin Writers' Museum, and a group of friends and I found James Joyce's house in Dublin and went to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, where we learned that Yeats' brother was an artist. Being able to actually see and touch things we had before only heard about was an indescribable feeling—we became completely immersed in Irish culture, and I cannot imagine a learning experience that could have had more impact than this trip to Ireland."
The 2011–12 travel-study experiences, announced last month, offer excursions to Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Russia.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. A coeducational liberal arts college, Huntingdon's motto is "Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service."
For more information, contact the Huntingdon College Office of Communications at (334) 833-4515.