Have you ever wanted to travel the world? College is the perfect time! You are old enough to really get the most out of your travels and aren’t weighed down yet by the demands of a career (or at least I hope you’re not). One of the best things about the Montana State University Honors College is its special spring seminars (don’t you love alliteration?) known as Great Expeditions. Each spring, Honors picks new places to go and develops new curriculums to support them. The main idea is that you take a class in the spring semester and learn some specifics about the country you will travel to. Some years the course is an overview, including history, language, art, etc, and sometimes it’s specialized, for example a focus on economics or architecture. Then, at the end of spring semester after finals are over, you, your classmates and your professor jet off on the best start to summer vacation ever conceived by man!
The trip is both an extension of what you learned over the semester as well as a time to explore a new place with your peers. The class is usually about 13-16 people and you get to know everyone so well that by the end of semester you are pretty much jetting around with umpteen of your closest pals!
Do I sound enough like a brochure for you yet?
But in all honesty Great Expeditions is one of the best presents you can give yourself. Last year I was lucky enough to go to Chiang Mai, Thailand with Professor Wade Hill of the MSU College of Nursing. We were hosted by the Faculty of Nursing at Chiang Mai University and given a lecture series and study visits to different clinics and hospitals around the city and surrounding countryside. But it wasn’t all academics! We had tons of time to trek through the jungle, visit temples, eat the local cuisine, shop at the night markets, explore the city, and sample the nightlife.
This year there are 3 trips being offered, Brazil, South Africa, and Ireland. I am crossing my fingers that I will be going to South Africa this year. Dr. Ilse-Mari Lee, the director of the Honors College and a native South African will be leading the class. Hang out with awesome students and distinguished faculty in coastal paradise? Hmmmmm, yea sign me up.