My children, Garrett and McKenna , both LoneOak High School students, now have a deeper
appreciation for biology. Garrett and McKenna both are now talking about pursuing
a career related to biology. Not only were they surrounded by everything Costa Rica
had to offer, but they had the advantage of having college professors with them on
the trip who shared their knowledge of the particular subject or area that they are
observing. My children learned while out on field trips throughout Costa Rica, but
also while riding on the bus on the way to different areas. The EF tour guide was
very informative and very helpful. I am so glad my children had the opportunity to
go on this study abroad trip to Costa Rica with WKCTC. The professors were amazing,
the tours were well organized, the food delicious, and the friends we made were great!
In Spring 2014, I was able to go on a trip to Europe through West Kentucky Community
& Technical College. The trips focus was World War II history, and our group visited
such sites as Winston Churchills war offices in London, the Normandy beaches and Paris
in France, foxholes from the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, and Adolf Hitlers Eagles
Nest in the Alps along the German and Austria border. At the time, I was an undergraduate
majoring in history. One of my history professors, Berry Craig, also went on the trip.
Following Professor Craig around on the tour gave me the opportunity to get additional
information about each historical site and museum we visited, and it allowed me to
observe how a professional historian analyzes the evidence of history provided at
such places. As a current graduate student studying history, I cannot put into words
how valuable this experience was for me to grow in my field. Overall, this trip was
beyond exemplary of how going abroad is a worthwhile opportunity for every student.
As a former student with a background in Wildlife Biology and Geography, I found the
chance to Study Abroad in Coast Rica, extremely enlightening. Part of my duties working
for a state wildlife agency is to map biodiversity and priority habitats in order
to preserve our natural resources. Costa Rica is known as one of the most biodiverse
countries in the world and has a reputation for being extremely eco-conscious. This
course provided the perfect occasion for me to observe the rich biodiversity and witness
what this small country is doing to preserve their natural resources. The field trips
provided excellent opportunities to see wildlife, examine the flora, and experience
This American realized in the study abroad class just how materialistic we are compared
to other countries . . . And not necessarily any more happier. Gas prices of 7.00
wasn't the big deal as it is in the USA since a lot didn't own cars and relied on
public transportation. The American was impressed on CR effort for recycling (nothing
was thrown out) and their efforts to control traffic in town by enforcing car pooling
on certain days depending upon license plate numbers. The study abroad class was much
more than a vacation.
The Ireland/England study abroad trip was very educational. I learned a great deal
about Irish history by visiting castles, Trinity College, and Bog Village as well
as modern-day culture through interaction with some of the most kind people I have
ever met. In England, my education continued by visiting historic sites such as Shakespeares
home, the colleges of Oxford, historic Bath, and Stonehenge. It was an amazing trip
that broaden my view of the world and reiterated to me the fact that people are not
so different, regardless of where they live.
I loved smelling the blooming flowers, seeing the trees as we rode around Killarney
National Park in the Jaunting Cars (horse-drawn buggies). We also had a picturesque
view of the ocean when navigating counterclockwise on the Ring of Kerry. Ireland is
known for its natural beauty, and it did not disappoint!
Ireland was full of interesting things to do. I especially enjoyed Dublin where we
were shown around, made aware of landmarks, and then given a free afternoon. We lunch
at Trinity College, Went to the archaeological museum, explored a bit of the city,
had dinner at Flannerys, and then found our way back to the hotel.
I wanted to give you a quick first report of the trip. I'm afraid it is now lengthy!It
truly was a memorable experience. The itinerary was not only well planned, but we
were accompanied at all times by Charles Goff, curator for archeological and historical
sites for the state of Morelos, Mexico. This made the trip one of a kind.
We intend to present in many formats regarding the trip. The best news is that we
broadened the perspective of all of our students. I'd like to share with you just
a summary: Kayla Guess, one of my current students, had never flown before, and is
the first in her family to travel a great distance out of Paducah area. She is a first
generation college student, and will take this experience into her classes as an elementary
Michael Richards, one of my current students, was hesitant about going. At the end
of the trip, his favorite part was staying with the family and learning about Mexican
way of life.
Peggy Richards, one of my previous language students, always wanted to travel, but
never thought she would be able to because she has limited mobility. Peggy brought
her scooter and made it to all archeological sites.
Courtney Scott, daughter of Eugenia Scott, Director of Diversity of Bowling Green
CTC. Courtney is a delightful and energetic young lady. She is currently an Automotive
Technology major, but she is now considering a major in Spanish. She's a whiz at speaking
the language, and spoke Spanish at every opportunity she had. She hopes to return
to Cemanahuac and volunteer at the VAMOS program for street children of Mexico.
Marissa Estes, part-time student at Maysville CTC, is a promising student that Pat
and I have vowed to help in some way. She is just out of high school, but works full-time
as a State Farm agent. Marissa has an ACT of 28 and salutatorian of her high school,
but she had no parental support to investigate scholarships. She hopes to enroll in
a full-time program, return to Mexico for an extended time and major in Spanish.
Seth Cooper is a senior at Shawnee University with a major in Social Sciences. After
this trip, he hopes to pursue archeology. He had conversations with Mr. Goff that
were specific to his interests.
Lawrissa Yeamon is a senior at Lone Oak High School. She hopes to return to Mexico
to study and will continue her studies at WKCTC next year.
Maria and Rory Flynn will share with you about their experiences, but I know it touched
them as well. I expected eyes to be opened, but I think our hearts and minds were
changed from the depth of teaching that we experienced. Pat and I will be meeting
very soon to plan our presentations to the college and to discuss plans for next year.
Thank you again for supporting this project. I had investigated several programs
and had a strong feeling that this program would be worthwhile and sound. The school
and its well organized staff and pleasant facilities even surpassed my expectations.
Wow, what a wonderful report!It's really rewarding to know that even a program as
short as one week, if well planned and well prepared for, can offer such a life changing
experience for your students.
When I took students to Mexico as a part of my work at The Ohio State University,
I felt the same way...as a professor at alarge state- assisted university, I had students
who had never flown, never been out of Ohio, never stayed in a hotel, and certainly
didn't see themselves as "international travelers."The test of success is how many
planned to return to Mexico, study Spanish, plan other trips to other countries, and,
in general, see themselves as citizens of a much larger world than they had ever thought
possible.It's really wonderful to open their eyes, regardless of the age of the participants,
and I am so convinced that in the United States we need this more than ever.I think
it helps us all understand the concerns of immigrants from Mexico and the rest of
Latin America to the United States, and we all need to be more aware of these.