By Lizzie Harrington
In the summer of 2019, William Peace University hosted one of multiple study abroad trips to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Paris, France with 12 students and two teachers .
WPU does study abroad programs a little differently than other universities. For this study abroad program, students stayed in Europe for 10 days and spent two days traveling. During the trip, students earned three credit hours, and they also had the option to take an online course during the spring semester before the trip to earn an additional two credit hours.
The company Education First Tours managed the entire trip. The company found the best rates on flights, hotels, museums and attraction tickets at discounted prices for groups, and travelers insurance, giving students the best price to travel abroad. And the best reason being for credit hours.
During their time in Amsterdam, students saw the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, visited a local cheese farm/clog factory/farm, Clara Maria, and the Netherlands beach shore. Students had a tour guide for the Van Gogh Museum and complete demonstration at Clara Maria.
The man giving students the demonstration of the clogs, had a picture hanging of himself and Whoopi Goldberg after making her a custom pair of clogs.
In Paris, students visited the Opera House, The Louvre, Moulin Rouge, and Eiffel Tower. In both cities they took a boat tour shortly after arriving.
In between scheduled museums and tours, the students were given free time to explore the cities on their own, in groups of course. The university paid for dinner the first night arriving, serving us an authentic meal from the country they were in.
Matt Hodge, WPU music teacher, and his fellow college professor at Campbellsville in Kentucky and best friend, Susie Trejo-Williams were the chaperones.
“Experiencing another culture, even if it’s for a short time, will truly change your life,” one traveler, Tori Barker said.
The local tour guide, Armelle, was a kind, friendly, and knowledgeable Parisian local. While visiting Paris she was able to show the students where the “Amelie Cafe” was, in the same area she showed the group where her apartment was. Having a guide was crucial for getting around the city and to each attraction timely.
“It was really eye opening. I really enjoyed the experience with everyone who was there,” said WPU student, Haley Huffman.
The online class during the spring semester included film viewings of French films, Amelie, La Haine, and a fun movie that takes place in one of the countries to be visited, Midnight in Paris. After watching films students were to write a review on them. Students also had to attend and write reviews on WPU events, like, Julius Caesar, Hair, and the Annual Dance Concert.
A week before the trip, students were given an online assignment about the fundamentals of art and design to be able to discuss art to be seen on the trip. A week after the assignment was due and a few weeks before the trip, students met on-campus to watch the final film to review, have lunch at a French restaurant, and do a final assignment at the NC Art Museum.
Students got to experience the trip of a lifetime abroad in Amsterdam and Paris while earning credit hours.