Taking the learning experience outside the classroom and across the world, Castleton students are given the opportunity to begin their summer traveling across the globe as part of spring and fall class curriculums.
This past summer students traveled to various sites in the Mojave desert, explored the music culture of Cuba and learned of ancient history in Greece.
“I think that performing with Vocal Leo in the Museum of the Revolution was one of the most, if not the most amazing moment of my life thus far,” said student Sarah Coker, who went to Cuba on a combined class trip with the Castleton Choir and Cuba Immersion: History, Culture and Music class.
The trip was well deserved after a semester of hard work in the classroom and hours of rehearsal. Along with anthropology professor Phil Lamy and music professor Sherrill Blodget, who teamed up to create the Cuban Study Program, students took the opportunity to fully immerse in the culture and lifestyle of Cuba, while showcasing their musical talents.
“The experience was tremendous for the students as well as for myself, and I hope we can arrange more such collaborations in the future,” said Blodget.
Another group of students that had the chance to become worldlier were those enrolled in the Natural History of Mojave Desert course. Students, accompanied by science professors Brad Coupe, Christine Palmer and Tim Grover, took a hands-on learning approach as they recently explored the Mojave desert in California.
The 10-day expedition led the group through Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve where they saw a variety of animals, plants, rocks and other amenities the natural environment contains.
Coupe described the trip as a truly remarkable and unlike any experience that can be offered in a classroom setting.
“I can sit in the classroom and tell you about whatever topic and get you to think about those things but if you can’t experience them or immerse yourself, than you’re missing out on a big part of the picture,” Coupe said.
Castleton student, Emma Blaiklock can also attest to that statement, after she, along with 15 of her fellow classmates in Art History of Greece and Drawing 1, spent part of their summer roaming Greece.
Students on the trip spent a significant amount of time in Athens and the island of Samoas, where they were able to see major archeological sites while immersing in the culture of Greece, its language, authentic food and traditional music.
Blaiklock explained that the best part of the trip was learning in an environment where students could see everything first hand instead of just in pictures.
“Going to a different country to study allows you to see things in a different way,” she said, “It opens you up to interpreting and understanding things you never knew you could.”