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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Travel Study

  1. Photos: Travel Study in Paris

    March 31, 2016

    If you graduate from Southern Virginia University without taking advantage of Travel Study, you’ve really missed out. I know because that’s exactly what I did. When I graduated, I realized that between all of my classes and all the extracurricular activities I was involved in, I had never gotten around to signing up for a Travel Study trip.

    But, fortunately, education isn’t something that ends when you’re handed a diploma. Last year, I heard that Professor Doug Himes was taking a group of students on a Travel Study trip to Paris for spring break. I realized that this was my chance to finally make up for what I’d missed as a student and I jumped at the opportunity.

    It was incredible! Paris is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world. The cathedrals are beautiful. The museums are beautiful. The gardens are beautiful. The monuments are beautiful. The metro is — well, the metro is just as ugly and smelly as anywhere. But that was alright because I preferred to walk the beautiful Parisian streets anyway.

    There’s something irreplaceable about travel. It’s almost as if every city sang a song, made up of the millions of voices of its citizens and shaped by centuries of history, art and architecture. You can study a symphony until you know everything there is to know about it, but if you’ve never actually heard it, you really don’t know anything about it at all. Likewise, even if you know a lot about a destination, you can’t know the place until you’ve been there and really heard its song.

    For example, one evening in Paris a friend and I wandered into a small church (only in Paris does it make sense to describe a gothic cathedral as small). The nave was almost entirely empty. We sat quietly in that cathedral as the shadows cast through the stained glass slowly took over the space. Since getting back, I’ve looked up the Church of Saint-Séverin on Wikipedia and I’ve learned things about it that I didn’t find out when I was there. But the online account is missing something: the echoing sound of silence and the setting sun over an old church in Paris.

    The point is that while you’re at Southern Virginia, be sure to travel. The Travel Study program makes it easier than it will probably ever be again. It will enrich your education and your life. Visit for information on upcoming trips and instructions on how to sign up.

    (Post by Alec Johnson ’14. Photos by Bronwyn Himes ’17.)

  2. Photos: Thanksgiving in New York

    December 16, 2015

    If you are thinking about heading up to New York, I doubt there are better ways to do it than with Travel Study.

    After finishing the long drive out, my group started things off right with a family owned, hole-in-the-wall style pizzeria and window shopping on Fifth Avenue. Large segments of time like this were left to our own planning to figure out, and having never been before to New York, we really wanted to hit the major sites. Downtown New York was just the first on our list, and by the end of the trip we ended up everywhere from the Brooklyn Bridge, to Central Park, to the New York Highline.

    Of course, there were planned activities as well. The cost of the trip includes a seat at a Broadway musical (this time around we saw “An American in Paris”), a ticket on the Liberty Island ferry and the entrance fee for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to just name a few things. These planned events were just as fun as the things we planned ourselves, and we all thought it was time well spent.

    I highly recommend the trip to anyone who is considering it. Whether you’ve been before or just want to see more of it, New York is my suggestion for Thanksgiving or Spring Break.

    (Post and photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’15.)

  3. Photos: Monticello Course Excursion

    November 5, 2015

    Every semester, Southern Virginia University students enrolled in the university’s America and the Enlightenment course have the unique opportunity to visit Monticello, the iconic home of Thomas Jefferson. This semester, students traveled with their professors — Dr. David Cox, Dr. Lora Knight and Dr. Francis MacDonnell — and Delaney Taylor, travel study assistant, to Charlottesville, Va., to see the historic house on the back of the U.S. nickel.

    Jefferson spent a significant amount of his life designing and creating Monticello, which took 40 years to construct. Jefferson named his home Monticello because it means “little mountain” in Italian. At Monticello, students toured the house itself and also participated on an outdoor tour about the lives of the enslaved people at Monticello. I enjoyed tagging along on the tours to take some photos and to revisit a truly fascinating place.

    One of the purposes of the Monticello course excursion is for students to get a better glimpse into the life of Jefferson and particularly into how the Enlightenment influenced early American thought and culture. When I took the America and the Enlightenment course from Dr. Cox a few years ago, I enjoyed touring Monticello and seeing direct examples of the Enlightenment influence on one of America’s foundational leaders. And in true liberal arts fashion, in addition to learning about the many aspects of Monticello that exemplify the Enlightenment during the tour of the house, the second tour gave us an example of one of the aspects of early American life that contradicted the Enlightenment emphasis on equality and reason: slavery.

    After the course excursion, students took what they learned at Monticello to write papers relating back to what they have learned in the course.

    (Post and Photos by Hannah King ’13).

  4. Travel to London with the Sowells!

    January 15, 2015

    london-fProvost Madison Sowell and his wife, Professor Debra Sowell, specializing in Italian culture and performing arts, respectively, will direct a Travel Study trip to London, England, this May. Unlike the Travel Study trips that the university regularly offers to students, this trip is intended primarily for alumni and friends of the university.

    The trip includes nine nights in four-star accommodations, fine dining, and countless excursions in one of Europe’s oldest and most influential cities. The Sowells, with their shared love for and knowledge of European culture, will take travelers to all the essential London sights, from The British Museum to St. Paul’s Cathedral to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

    During their stay, participants will also travel to other parts of the country to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford. While there, they will have the opportunity to visit historic locations such as Anne Hathaway’s cottage and participate in a tour of Christ Church College at Oxford.

    The Sowells have traveled extensively and have led more than a dozen study abroad programs in Europe. Additionally, they lived in Italy for several years and served as study abroad directors in London during three separate semesters.

    The trip runs May 11-20, 2015. A small portion of the total cost will be used as a donation to Southern Virginia to fund Travel Study scholarships for students with financial need. To learn more about the trip and to register, visit the university website or view the brochure. Registration ends Feb. 1.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16.)

  5. Video: Travel Study in China!

    September 12, 2014


    I’m a senior at Southern Virginia University and have enjoyed the many opportunities that this enchanting university offers.  At Southern Virginia, every student can be a superstar; we are all recognized by our peers and professors for what we achieve. One aspect of this university that I did not recognize until this summer was the flavorful experience of going on a Travel Study trip. I had heard wonderful stories from students about their travels, but I didn’t think I would be able to go. Once I found the time and learned that I had earned a $400 voucher, I decided it was time to further enrich my Southern Virginia experience.

    I joined Dean Bouchelle and Professor Brotherson’s group and we traveled to China! Along with traveling to China, I received three business credits and three humanities credits — what a deal!

    I gained a broader prospective of the business world as we visited some of the leading cities in the world: Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. While we were in Shanghai, we met with top executives from Ford, Melaleuca, Nu Skin, and Abbott, and lawyers at the Martin Hu & Partners law firm. It was fascinating to interview the individuals about their experiences as they worked in China. I feel more enriched and aware of opportunities since traveling to China.

    On the trip, we were fed like kings and queens — the meals were unbelievable! My favorite experience was meeting some of the students that were English majors at our sister school. I made immediate connections with a few of the girls, and we continue to keep in touch today.

    I experienced a different culture – one unlike anything I had ever seen before. When I returned home, I was full of gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity I was given at Southern Virginia.

    I made a video in hopes of highlighting my experience. I encourage the knights at Southern Virginia to continue to complement their experience at Southern Virginia and take advantage of a Travel Study opportunity.

    (Post and Video by Kirsten Laurence ’15.)