Students gather together with Dr. Thurber for the 24th annual study tour in Europe.
By Autumn Johnson
A group of 13 students traveled with Professor of English Dr. Daniel Thurber to Europe from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. This year’s study tour included time in London, England and Prague, Czech Republic where students gained cultural, historical and literary knowledge.
Over the past 24 years, Dr. Thurber has taken over 500 students to London and other cities in Europe. He hopes students learn about themselves through travel, as well as the places they visit.
“They (the tours) are so deepening and so broadening in so many ways as we immerse ourselves in cultures, which initially seem very different from ours, but in the most important ways people are people all over the world,” Thurber said.
Along with knowledge and self-awareness, Thurber said students gain confidence and an appreciation for one another during the tours.
“I see this–the caring for one another in the group. I see a representation of themselves, of their school, of their country in beautiful ways. All of that is very joyful for me to see,” Thurber said.
This year the group started in London where they visited popular destinations like Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace. The itinerary also included Big Ben, the Thames Riverwalk, the Charles Dickens House and much more.
“We saw the Princess Diana exhibit at Kensington Palace. We saw crowns and tiaras, and we saw her most iconic outfits, and it was awesome,” senior Nichol Johnson said.
While in Prague, the group explored the Old Town area, Prague Castle, Prague’s Jewish Quarter and Wenceslas Square. The tour also included time spent in famous parks and neighborhoods as well as galleries, museums and theaters in both cities.
“My favorite place we visited was the recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Seeing that building allowed me to visualize what it might have been like to have seen Shakespeare’s plays when they first originated,” sophomore Michelle Porath said.
The educational trip is offered for credit or for the experience. Information regarding next year’s 25th London and Europe study tour will be available in March. Students interested in the opportunity should contact Dr. Thurber.
“I wish I could go again, honestly. Any English or history major would love the tour, simply for the incredible places we went, and especially for Dr. Thurber’s insights throughout the entire trip. I wouldn’t say that a single person wouldn’t enjoy the trip. It was incredible,” Porath said.