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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Travel Study

  1. Liberal Arts in England

    August 22, 2014

    The last hurrah of my summer was a three-week Travel Study trip to England. After a month of studying English political writings and literature, twelve other students and myself set up camp in London. We couldn’t use our normal phones. None of us knew exactly how to navigate the public transportation. Nonetheless, we had a blast. To paraphrase a local advertisement, it was an “absolutely no nasties” experience.

    The trip included visits to Dover Castle, Stonehenge, Canterbury Cathedral, the Globe Theatre, the homes of Wordsworth and Milton, Christ Church College at Oxford, and dozens of other sites along the way. Smaller groups of us visited several of London’s West End theaters, and a few of us braved persecution and stood in line to see Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. I especially enjoyed the British Museum and the Lake District.

    The educational  anchor of the trip was a series of group discussions. Professors Jan-Erik Jones and Scott Dransfield instructed us on key bits of history and politics before several of our major excursions. Both professors came prepared with not only expertise and insight, but contagious levels of enthusiasm. In quieter moments, they shared their views on subjects such as fish and chips and bird lore, from which one member of the group learned to do a spanking-good impersonation of an English Moor Hen.

    It was fun to study the etymology of pub names such as Merlin’s Beard, Captain Hook’s Cookery and the Rubber Squirrel. I learned more about art, language, religion and even architecture than I bargained for, and I left England with an itch to keep learning. I thoroughly recommend trying Travel Study during your time at Southern Virginia. As one student in the group put it, it’s a true liberal arts experience.

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15. Photos by Delaney Taylor ’15 and Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  2. Travel Study in Italy

    July 28, 2014

    This summer, a group of students set off from Buena Vista and traveled to Italy to study the Renaissance in a ten-day academic adventure. The group, led by Professor Crawford, visited not only the bustling cities of Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan, but also small country towns such as Spello, giving students first hand exposure to both the vivacious life and architecture of ancient Italian cities and the quiet culture of the Italian countryside.

    Along with the range of cultural experiences that the Italian adventurers gained, they saw in person some of the most revered and iconic pieces of art in the world, ranging from sculptures by Bernini and Michelangelo to Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence.

    (Post by Tamsin Himes. Photos by Travel Study participants.)

  3. Travel Study Open House

    January 29, 2014

    Last week, after the Friday forum address, Southern Virginia Travel Study held a small open house in their new office. They shared hot chocolate, cider, and cookies and answered questions about Travel Study trips. They also gave out Travel Study swag, like pens and alarm clocks — useful for trips with a tight itinerary.

    Last Spring Break, my wife and I had the opportunity to join the Dublin, Ireland, Travel Study trip. It was the first time either of us travelled overseas, and the experience was unforgettable. It was a relatively brief trip, but we learned so much about the rich history of Ireland, and visited some real medieval castles and the breathtaking view over the Cliffs of Moher. Traveling abroad can definitely expand our perspective of the world, with the added benefit of fun new experiences. Students should definitely consider the opportunities Southern Virginia’s Travel Study program has to offer.

    (Post by Cody Ray Shafer ’14. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’16.)

  4. 2nd Annual Travel Study Photo Competition

    November 15, 2013

    For the second year in a row, Southern Virginia’s Travel Study program held a photo contest. Winners were selected from a pool of students who submitted photos from the different trips offered last school year. Travel Study, in conjunction with the art program, set up an exhibition in the Corridor Gallery, located in between Chandler Hall and the Ballroom, that will be up for the next few weeks. The grand opening was last night, Nov. 14.

    Dinah Rogers, a recent graduate, took first place with a collection of beautifully shot photographs set in Greece. The trip, which happened this summer, combined classes in classical philosophy and the artistry of travel journaling. All the travelers were required to physically make their own journals and then keep a record throughout their time there in Greece.

    Aside from the writing and drawing included in her journal, Dinah captured her journey with a camera lens. Her photographs capture the majestic beauty of the rugged landscape, the ancient power of the Greek ruins and the quiet rhythms of everyday life on the Cycladic Islands.

    “I wanted to improve my skills in the art of discerning, so that I could better define my own understand of ‘beauty,’” said Rogers. “These photos are taken from the perspective of a bystander who is merely taking notice of life as it naturally occurs and passes by.”

    Dinah’s complete collection of photographs can be viewed on the Travel Study Facebook page.

    The runners up included Megan Rastall and Laura Richins. Some of their work can also be viewed at the exhibition.

    (Post and Photos by Erin Seage ’16.)

  5. Photos: Monticello Magic

    October 30, 2013

    Resting in the hills above nearby Charlottesville, Va., stands a monument to one of the greatest American minds. When visiting Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s incredible eighteenth-century plantation, visitors are granted a peek into the colorful life of the third president and author of the Declaration of Independence.

    Last Friday, Southern Virginia’s Travel Study program hosted an excursion to Monticello. As a history nerd and government junkie, I leapt at the opportunity to travel and learn more about Jefferson and his way of life. I was also excited to see how many other students decided to join the trip; in fact, Professors Francis MacDonnell and Jeremiah John led many of their students through the tours and related much of the new information to previously learned content from their classes.

    Students had the opportunity to take a tour of the main house, meander through Mulberry Row —  Jefferson’s extensive garden —  and experience the “Slavery at Monticello” tour, which allows visitors to learn about the day-to-day lives of the plantation’s workforce.

    Once inside the house, students were captivated by the innovative genius of Jefferson. From the architecture to the artwork, the enlightenment thinker customized his home with the same sense of innovation and careful thought given to his drafting of the Declaration. Throughout the tour, the guide emphasized Jefferson’s consistent and careful blending of old and new: maps of Europe and America, relics of Native American Indians and ancient European literature, busts of new age thinkers and classical philosophers. Thomas Jefferson created a home where the physical aspects of the building mirrored his own beliefs and ideas.

    After the tours, students were given time to explore the extensive grounds; they could even walk back to the visitors’ center on a brick pathway that led through the forest and right by Jefferson’s gravesite.

    Climbing back on the bus, I dropped into my chair with a grateful sigh. While fascinating, my poor feet were exhausted from all my over-zealous exploring. So, I pulled out a paperback copy of a book and some animal crackers that I bought in the bookstore and let my mind continue the adventure.

    (Post and photos by Erin Seage ’16.)