For Glasgow students with personal or financial obligations outside of school, participating in a university sponsored trip may seem like an impossibly daunting endeavor. An upcoming Kentucky-based study away program aims to make this experience more accessible.
The “Kentucky Experience” program is embedded within the spring 2015 “Kentucky History” and “Geography of Kentucky” classes, taught by Jennifer Hanley and Amy Nemon, respectively.
Hanley said the trip is limited to sites in Kentucky to appeal to Glasgow students who are normally uninterested in study away trips.
“Students tend to be very rooted to home, which is a good thing, but it can also be limiting,” he said.
Hanley added that these place-bound students don’t have to refrain from trips altogether.
“We want to show students that it’s possible to leave their comfort zones, see interesting things that are different, exciting, and relevant to their lives, and still be home pretty quickly,” Hanley said.
Simon Funge, another professor affiliated with the program, said the trip will facilitate an immersive experience into the rich cultural and historic aspects of Kentucky.
“We’re going to places like Cumberland Falls, Lexington and Frankfort. We want to go to a mixture of geographically or ecologically significant places in Kentucky, but we also want to look at historical and economic issues,” Funge said.
As Funge explained, the program will likely “plug in” additional course content as it draws nearer, and will potentially include economics and cross-cultural communication classes in its final state.
“We want students to, regardless of discipline, encounter places, people, and things that they wouldn’t normally,” Funge said.
The program was developed for Glasgow students, but it isn’t exclusive to them.
“The trip is going to be open to students from other regional campuses, as well as students from Bowling Green and community members,” Funge said.
Hanley said most students underestimate the beauty and value of Kentucky.
“I would encourage people to go and not just dismiss it because it’s ‘just Kentucky.’ You should see Kentucky before you dismiss it,” Hanley said.