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2017-Spring Break in London and Paris

Dr. Matthew E. Stanley, Program coordinator- France-Paris

March 2017-Spring Break Study Abroad Program in London and Paris as a component of History 1112 research class:

Dr. Matthew E. Stanley, Program coordinator- France-Paris with 7 students: Autumn Turner (Biology Major), Keari Jones (Biology-Major), Jatyra Moore (Forensic Science-Major), Jasmine Sparks (Early Childhood/Special Education-Major), Eshantee Rowe ( Music Education-Major) and Nitrara Marshea Horton ( Transient from Savanah State University)

Spring Break Study Abroad 2017 London-ParisThis study abroad experience and corresponding course is designed to offer students the opportunity to travel a foreign country and connect on-site learning and the public history experience to their coursework.  As such, students had time to engage in on-site learning and examine public history sites, as well as experience London and Paris as tourists. In leaving their comfort zones and partaking in education not only as representatives of Albany State, but as global citizens, students had an opportunity to broaden their personal and academic perspectives through new levels of cultural appreciation and to better prepare themselves to participate in an increasingly global society.

Travel improves student skills in processing information, spatial awareness, critical thinking, logical reasoning, clarifying, articulating, summarizing, synthesizing and listening. Travel with an emphasis on learning about the past also teaches students to articulate the interrelatedness of historical themes to other disciplines especially in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and fine arts. Most importantly, this study abroad experience is designed to broaden student horizons, integrate on-site, public history experience into the History course and engage students as intellects and as global citizens. I feel my 2017 study abroad participants mostly met and sometimes exceeded these objectives.

We began our first full day in London with a guided tour that focused on London during World War Two. This tour culminated with a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was not only one of the architectural wonders of Early Modern Europe, but also a victim of the German Blitz. One of my students, Jasmine Sparks, is writing her HIST 1002 research paper over this topic.

On Tuesday, March 7, we traveled via the Eurostar to Paris, France.  There we toured Notre Dame Cathedral, saw some sites associated with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, including the Conciergerie and the Louvre, and, finally, visited the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, March 8, we toured both the Tower of London and the British Museum. I asked my students to think about the origins of these priceless artifacts, whether the Crown Jewels or from objects from Antiquity, as part of the relationship between the British Empire and slavery and colonialism.

In addition to these sites, at various times throughout the week we visited and toured Windsor Castle, London’s Roman ruins, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. We also saw a musical in London’s famed West End.