Study abroad: the opportunity of a lifetime

Evan Fox

Managing Editor

Every year, MUW sends a small group of students on trips that they will never forget through its study abroad program. Everyone who studies abroad agrees that it is an opportunity that should never be passed up.

This year, the W is sponsoring two study abroad trips. The first will go to Alicante, Spain, which will be available to all interested students.

The Alicante program will leave in May and last four weeks. Students will stay in host homes as they study language courses at the University of Alicante and a cultural course taught by Erinn Holloway, instructor of Spanish and the interim coordinator for the study abroad programs.

“We visit small towns up and down the coast. We go to museums. There’s a little island called Tabarca off the coast. There’s the oldest date palm forest in Europe called Elche, and there’s a chocolate museum we visit,” Holloway said, describing the busy itinerary.

The second trip will head to Edinburgh, Scotland, and is only open to honors’ students. Students will also take two classes and will experience the rich history that Scotland has to offer.

Besides the sponsored programs that the W offers, there are also several programs that the W is affiliated with. The programs are partnerships that allow students several different options including programs in France, China, Japan, New Zealand and Italy, among many more.

Dr. Amber Handy, assistant professor of history, encourages everyone to experience a study abroad program. She led a trip, along with Dr. Nora Corrigan, associate professor of English, to Ireland in May and June of this year.

“It adds such a dimension to a class that you just can’t replicate no matter how hard you try with images and replicas,” Handy said. “There’s nothing like learning about a culture inside that culture.”

She also noted that study abroad programs help give students context for their classes and also bestows self-confidence as students learn to handle themselves in a foreign culture. Students really get to see how the world differs from their point of view.

“I felt like the people were a lot more aware than what we are used to in the United States politically,” said Braxton Maclean, a junior communication major who went to Scotland with the honors’ program.

Anyone who has the opportunity to attend a study abroad program should take it.

“It is a life-changing experience,” Handy said. “It’s an even deeper intellectual experience.”