Beyond the classroom: Lycoming College provides students with enriching travel experiences

Beyond the classroom: Lycoming College provides students with enriching travel experiences

Lycoming College students enjoy the sites of Barcelona, Spain

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This spring provided excitement and adventure for many Lycoming College students as they broadened their horizons and traveled to various parts of the world for a variety of learning opportunities. Four May Term courses provided 55 students travel experiences to England, France, Spain, the Dominican Republic, and the Adirondacks.

“Travel courses expand the boundaries of the classroom and allow students to experience the course material out of the textbook and in reality, connecting students to the content in a more profound way,” said Allison Holladay, coordinator of study abroad and travel courses for the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences at Lycoming. “The learning experience expands well beyond the course content, broadening the students’ cultural understanding and expanding their world perspectives on an international level.”

Lycoming offered the following 2018 May Term courses.

Barcelona as an Artistic Center

Students ventured to Barcelona, Spain, where they were accompanied by Lycoming art faculty Andreas Rentch, Howard Tran, and Seth Goodman, department chair. As part of the course curriculum, students compiled artistic portfolios encompassing photography, painting, and sculpture, and wrote an extensive research paper on a single artist whose works were viewed during the trip, such as Antoni Gaudí, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Antonia Tàpies. Artwork from these portfolios will be exhibited this fall in the Lycoming campus gallery in the art building.

The group visited several museums, including the Museo Europeo de Arte Moderno, Picasso Museum, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Fundación Joan Miró, National Art Museum of Catalonia, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Highlights included tours of the Gothic Quarter, La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Palau de le Música Catalana, the Dalí Theatre and Museum, and several Gaudí houses. In their free time, participants scavenged street markets, strolled along the beach, watched a flamenco show, and enjoyed the local cuisine.

“As much as I'd like to think of myself as a true explorer, this trip enabled me to experience so many things that I would not have been able to afford when traveling solo,” said Nam Do ’18, a commercial design major from Viet Nam. “Apart from visits to all the major museums, cool galleries, and architectural wonders, we also wandered the quiet and beautiful city of Girona, explored the street art scene of Barcelona, hiked the rocky range of Montserrat, and savored internationally recognized Cava (the Spanish equivalent of champagne) at a family-owned winery. Barcelona has made it to the top five of the 60+ cities I have traveled to, and here's my impression in a nutshell: The people may take siesta, but their culture never sleeps.”

Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

During this travel course, students explored the beautiful scenery of the Adirondack Park by canoe while learning about the economics surrounding our public lands. Michael Kurtz, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics, co-led the group with the College’s Outdoor Leadership & Education program on the 14-day canoe excursion that traveled from Old Forge, N.Y., to Saranac Lake, N.Y.

Participants engaged with a wide range of environmental economic concepts such as non-market valuation, environmental cost-benefit analysis, property rights, and public/private land ownership. They explored many base economic concepts such as resource scarcity and the division of labor in production, as well as the functions and historical development of money. Being removed from modern luxuries allowed students to experience these base concepts first-hand in ways not possible in the traditional classroom.

Participants had the opportunity to gain activity-specific skills required to explore wide lands in an expeditionary canoe environment. Learning in the out-of-doors enabled the students to be free from modern distractions while also facing new challenges to allow for greater insight and personal development. Students paddled 8-9 miles daily, carried equipment and boats over portages to access new lakes, and endured variable weather conditions throughout the trip.

“The ability for the students to experience economic concepts first hand really helped them understand many of the complex issues surrounding public land use,” said Kurtz.

The Norman Conquest

Students studied the Norman Invasion of England and traveled to historical sites of the Norman Conquest in England and France. The course was led by Cullen Chandler, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of history, and Todd Preston, Ph.D., associate professor of English, both of whom co-coordinate the Medieval Studies program at Lycoming.

Arriving in France, students visited sites important to William the Conqueror, including travel to the medieval centers of Rouen and Caen in Normandy. Side trips included a visit to Bayeux to view the famous Bayeux Tapestry. A ferry ride to England allowed participants to follow William’s route to the Battle of Hastings in southern England. London was used as a base to visit the important political, religious, and academic centers of Westminster Abbey and Cambridge University. Finally, a trip north to York provided exploration of the medieval city and the nearby battle site of Stamford Bridge.

“Our class’s journey was certainly one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life,” said Julia Nagle ’20, a Spanish and political science double major. “Learning about an event and its background in a classroom is one thing, but going directly to the sites to immerse oneself into the history and culture is a priceless holistic experience. Waking up in Europe every day for two weeks and knowing that an adventure was awaiting me — replete with delicious meals, amazing sights, and laughs with friends and faculty — is a feeling I know I won’t ever forget, and I feel so lucky to have been able to take part in the May Term.”

“The Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences helped Dr. Preston and me create an academically-oriented tour that proved to be a memory for life,” said Chandler. “This group of students, representing various backgrounds and areas of academic interest, was one of the best I have had the privilege to work with. Witnessing bright young people plugged in to what they were seeing, and reading their reflections and analysis of the interplay between the medieval past and the present — these were the highlights for me.”

The Politics of Energy

Students explored how solar power can provide access to reliable and affordable energy in the developing world when they accompanied Jonathan Williamson, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of political science and director of the Center for Energy and the Future, and Caroline Payne, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and director of the Interdisciplinary Program in the Dominican Republic and the Warrior Coffee Project, to the Dominican Republic. Continuing reading here about this and other initiatives that were carried out during the recent visit to the Dominican Republic.

  • Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

    Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

  • Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

    Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

  • Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

    Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

  • Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

    Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

  • Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

    Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

  • Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

    Economics of Public Lands and Backcountry Travel

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • Barcelona as an Artistic Center

    Barcelona as an Artistic Center

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Norman Conquest

    The Norman Conquest

  • The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

    The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

  • The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

    The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

  • The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

    The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

  • The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

    The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

  • The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)

    The Politics of Energy (photo by Jeremy Ramsey)