Every year, Southern Arkansas University students, faculty, and members of the community have an opportunity to set out on a grand adventure to learn first-hand meaningful world history. This past year was no exception.
A group of travelers, which included 14 SAU students, embarked on a journey to explore the history-rich sites from World War II. Previous trips have carried students to Russia and Italy. The spring 2013 trip will carry SAU students to Switzerland, Italy, and France from May 13 – 25.
Not only are these trips educational in purpose with great academic value, they are also interesting for those who participate, who learn about local traditions and culture of the European destinations along the journey. Students also earn up to six hours of history class credit for the trips.
“What is truly meaningful about these trips is the fact that they allow students to learn about the historical sites first-hand,” said tour director and Associate Professor of History, Dr. Svetlana Paulson. “Nothing compares to this experience. For example, on the World War II tour our group visited the Omaha and Utah beaches in France where the D-Day landings happened. Being able to walk out on the sand of these beaches was a truly overwhelming and humbling experience.”
Those on the trip also get to explore other historical sites and world-class museums. During the World War II trip, a visit to the Imperial War Museum in London taught SAU travelers about the experiences of the people of London during World Wars I and II.
According to Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Trey Berry, such opportunities also make SAU students more competitive in their fields.
Despite the fact students can earn history credit for attending one of these trips, the memories shared with others, and the personal learning that takes place is beyond anything that can be gathered in the classroom.
Because she knows the value of such trips, Mary Warnock Harsh established the Warnock Student Travel Endowment to provide funds each year for “out-of-the-classroom” travel that might not be available to students otherwise.
Harsh said she was inspired when reading one of the SAU travel brochures.
“I have had two granddaughters in college and I know how important these opportunities are in an education,” said Harsh. “I thought it would be a good idea to help young people to go.”
To learn more about the Warnock Endowment or other opportunities, visit the SAU Foundation website.
For more information on the academic travel program, contact Svetlana Paulson