By Katelyn Billings
For some students, the upcoming spring term won’t be spent on Union’s grounds, but overseas in Europe.
The various spring study abroad programs feature some incredible locations, including Italy, Germany and England.
Students are currently preparing to take off on their trips, leaving as soon as our spring break comes to an end and returning during the third week of June.
Kim Ferguson ’15 will be traveling to Florence, Italy, to study art history, architecture and Italian.
She and 11 other students will be accompanied by Classics Professor Hans Mueller to explore Florence, Pisa, Rome and Pompeii to further their educations in Italian art history.
“I’ve been to Canada and Jamaica before, but I’ve never been overseas, so I’m really excited about this trip!” stated Ferguson.
“The first few days will be different because of the culture gaps, but I’m definitely more excited than nervous,” she continued.
Ferguson explained that the trip will be a focus on the most well-known Italian artworks and that the group will venture to Rome and Pompeii to see some of these renowned pieces.
“I really hope we get to see the Sistine Chapel; that would be amazing!” Ferguson said.
She enjoys learning about the historical context of famous artworks and feels that this particular trip to Florence offers the perfect balance of art history and culture.
“I hope to learn some Italian by the end of the trip. I just want to be completely immersed in the whole culture of the country and, of course, learn more about its art history,” said Ferguson.
Kathryn McKean ’16 will also be traveling to Europe for the spring term and will be in a group of four students venturing to Germany.
She explains that this term abroad will consist of staying in one city for a week or so and then a few weeks of traveling to other cities in the country, visiting and sightseeing around Germany.
“We start in Freiburg, then travel for a week to Munich,” she said. “Then maybe Prague, and then I believe we will end in Berlin.”
Going abroad as a sophomore does not bother McKean at all. In fact, she is more excited to go abroad sooner rather than wait to go during her junior year.
“I’ll be in a small group, and I’m going with my own advisor, so I’m really excited!” she said. “I’m mostly excited to experience a new culture. I’ve never been to Europe and being alone will be challenging, but I’m so excited to go to Germany and learn the culture and practice my knowledge of the language.”
McKean and her peers will be taking two classes while abroad: one German language class and one history class.
The third credit will be one that the students earn while traveling and exploring the country with their professor.
From this experience, McKean hopes to gain a sense of personal achievement and independence.“I hope to come away with a better self-reliance and independence and be able to take on more personal challenges like this,” she said.
Meanwhile, Meredith Moshier ’15 will be exploring the posh city of London, England, during her spring term.
When asked about why she decided on the program, she remarked, “I chose to go abroad to London because I really liked how this program was in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world! There will be so much to do, and it will be so different from Union and my hometown. Plus, I liked that I would have the opportunity to do an internship!”
The program offers a range of different courses, particularly involved in marketing, government and politics, and includes internship experience as well.
The internship portion of the trip opens the door to professional experience in the heart of London, where students can truly feel like real Londoners.
In its entirety, the program is an integration of academics and a professional lifestyle, while immersed in cultural and metropolitan experiences.
Moshier stated that she is so excited to go abroad. “I have never been abroad before and I am excited that I have had this opportunity provided to me through Union! I am excited to experience London and grow as a student and a person.”
The study abroad programs at Union offer so much more than just a trip to another country; they offer senses of achievement and self-discovery, with which Ferguson, McKean, Moshier and the other students traveling in the spring are sure to return.
The entire Union College campus will miss these and all the other students going abroad, but can’t wait to hear about their experiences. Happy travels, Dutchmen!