Megan and I both had the joy of attending Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. We loved the small student body, excellent interaction with dedicated faculty, great opportunities for fun times, beautiful limestone buildings, and . . . back to the relevant stuff . . . the study abroad opportunities.
During our time at Southwestern, we took a lot of trips that really transformed the way we travel. Instead of traveling passively (look at the pretty stuff), we began traveling more actively. Travel became an opportunity to learn about a culture, a political situation, an economic crisis, and a bit about ourselves in the process. By engaging in the surroundings, we found we would get much more out of the adventure and hopefully return more knowledgeable and aware of the world around us. Even just chatting with cab drivers has offered some of our best learning experiences abroad, such as our recent education on Muslim holidays by a cab driver in Dar es Salaam.
Back to Southwestern. While in college, Megan took advantage of study programs to Guanajuato, Mexico, and Granada, Spain. I took study trips to Honduras, Italy, England and Chiapas, Mexico. Recently, Southwestern started a study abroad photo competition, and the results of the competition are really remarkable.
Soon we will start adding stories of these study abroad experiences. The first set will be a multi-part series of my service-learning trip to Honduras, a trip that fundamentally reshaped the way I think about the world while simultaneously creating a passion for all foods that include avocado.