Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Study Abroad?



The Art Department at Georgetown College encourages students to study abroad for a short-term or longer stay. Studying abroad is a fantastic way to learn about another culture and experience art, museums, and so much more. Our faculty travel to and lead classes in Europe every year. For example, Boris taught drawing in Greece this past summer (see his post here) through KIIS. Darrell taught a course on photography in London and Dublin. I have taught study abroad courses in London and London/Dublin and I'll be returning this winter (December 26-January 8) with a course on the history of museums. See my earlier post here and the link to the course here. This is an opportunity to take a class with a GC faculty member and to earn academic credit in the Spring. This course is open to ANY GC student, regardless of major. Fantastic! (NOTE: photo above from a site visit in 2009-10 to the Natural History Museum in London)

The U.K. and Greece are not the only places where GC art students and faculty travel. Currently, we have two art majors who are studying in Florence, Italy. Elizabeth and Evelyn are studying at the Lorenzo de Medici School. They are joined by two other GC students. Elizabeth has a tumblr blog. To follow her and live vicariously through her posts, click on the tab to the right "FA 11 Elizabeth in Florence." Evelyn has a blogspot site where you can read about her experiences. To view, click on the tab to the right "FA 11 Evelyn in Florence." Art majors have enjoyed this program over the last several years, and I am certain that E&E will enjoy their stay as well. Beyond the undergraduate experience, I am pleased to announce that Cortney has undertaken her MA in Art History & Visual Culture at Richmond University's program in London. To follow her, click on the tab to the right "FA 11 and beyond: Cortney's MA in London."

Clearly, studying abroad has educational benefits in allowing you to learn on site in galleries and museums as well as historic locations. Students are also provided learning opportunities that differ from the GC offerings. Consider that the LdM program offers an entire course on Marble Sculpture, something that GC does not offer. And, what's fantastic is that students in that course travel to Carrara, a town nestled off the coast of the Ligurian Sea, to select their own marble to carve. Carrara is the town where Michelangelo selected some of his finest stones.

There are other, personal reasons to study abroad. As a student you have the opportunity to travel and learn in a way that may enable you to increase your self-understanding and confidence. I'll never forget the time that I used the Tube in London all by myself while researching abroad. I was so proud; it didn't matter that my destination was closer than I thought and that, truthfully, I could have walked to my destination quicker than the time it took to Tube it. But, I learned how to ride the Tube and to this day, I can still read a Tube Map and distinguish between open and closed circles on it. Studying abroad also broadens your world view while (potentially, depending on the program) increasing your foreign language skills. Finally, studying abroad can help you to appreciate both worlds: your home (family, friends, and all) as well as your new home-away-from-home.

If you have questions about studying abroad with art faculty, please contact any of us! If you have more general questions, contact the Office of International Programs. Also, feel free to check out their student blogs from previous semesters (but still enjoyable!)

UPDATE 9/29/11: check out Evelyn's post to the GCVA page here.

1 comment:

Cortney Ragene said...

I have to say that I love that photo! And I agree with everything that you just said, my study abroad experience was one of my best memories at Georgetown College, and even if it was only for two weeks I learned so much that has helped me not only in art history, but also very practically since arriving in London.

I hope that everyone seriously considers joining Dr. Decker in London this winter, as it is an amazing class, and you will learn so much! (while also having loads of fun and adventure)