How do you apply hands-on learning to general education? Travel study courses are an excellent way to experience culture and history first hand. In February, Vermont Tech students, in collaboration with Lyndon State and Johnson State college students, expanded their experiences and perspectives of the world by traveling to Italy and Greece. Students travelled abroad as part of the experiential component for the course: Global Studies with Fieldwork: Italy and Greece. This course required students to investigate culture, art, history and literature through reading classic texts and then completing hands-on research while traveling through the cities and countryside of both countries.
Students travelled through Rome experiencing great art, architecture and the history of the Roman Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon and many more ancient sites within the walls of the ancient city. Students were able to travel to Mount Casino monastery, the place of the Benedictine Monks and the site of a pivotal battle in World War II. They then travelled through the excavated town of Pompeii that was buried under ash and rock after nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted almost 2000 years ago. Students travelled on to Greece where they were able to visit ancient temples dedicated to the Greek Gods of Apollo and Athena. Students ended their experience in Athens, Greece where they visited the Acropolis and the site of the original Olympic Games.
Throughout their travels, students were required to collect information and data to support their required research project through careful observations, interviews and various data collection techniques. While engaging in animated discussions, students compared what they saw and experienced to what they read about in classic texts such as The Odyssey by Homer. This trip truly was a hands-on opportunity for students to gain a global perspective of culture, art, history and technology.