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Robert Kibler
English & Humanities

Using the World as a Classroom

Student travelers become alive in an entirely new way. They come to see learning as something that is not removed from life.

You see a painting in a book. You memorize some facts about it, how to recognize it, place it in an historical context. All of this is good. But seeing and experiencing what one reads about in books does more in one minute to impress the mind with a sense of the past and present than does a lifetime of knowing these things through books alone.

Sensitivity to other cultures comes from interacting with people on their own terms, in their own worlds. Students also get a better sense of our own culture through the natural comparisons and contrasts that emerge from travel.

Such trips can change studentsí entire lives. Overall, they gain a tremendous boost in confidence. They go to places they hardly could imagine, acquire some comfort, and come to realize that they can maneuver and thrive in foreign lands.