Making sure undergraduate students get hands-on experience in their field is one area where Johnson State excels. This style of “high-impact learning” seems straight-forward enough when you’re an Health Sciences major doing research on exercise and asthmain the campus Exercise Physiology Lab or helping your psychology professor code videos of infants for an infant development study — but what if you’re focusing on international business and tourism? Vermont resorts certainly attract lots of visitors from abroad, but it’s not quite approximate to being on the ground in another country.
For students enrolled in HTM 3210, International Travel and Tourism, travel is built into the curriculum. In 2016, this “interim” semester course, lasting 11 days, brought JSC students to Lampang, Thailand to help build homes through the Fuller Center, an “international, Christian nonprofit that builds and renovates houses in partnership with families in need. Homeowners work hand-in-hand with volunteers to build or renovate their homes, which they then pay for on terms they can afford, with no interest charged or profit made.”
Aslin Trepanier ’16, a business major, made her second service trip through the Fuller Center to Thailand. (She had been on a previous trip to Nicaragua.) She describes these trips as “extraordinary” and “the most valuable kind of learning” that she acquired at JSC. Aslin reflected on her international travel in the following statement:
“Nicaragua was my first service trip and the experience was so wonderful it inspired me to go on another trip to Thailand this May. The experiences that I’ve had through the classes at JSC that bring students on trips to different countries are unforgettable, and the most valuable kind of learning that I acquired through my education at Johnson.
I was able to learn about new cultures and gain first-hand experience on building homes and connecting with people from different cultures. It is one of the most rewarding feelings to go somewhere and help a family that started from nothing and build them a new place they can call home.
It is all too often that we take for granted some of the most simple things that we have in life. The class provides an eye-opening experience on how people in different cultures live, and it allows us to make a difference and help others.
It is extraordinarily valuable to travel and gain a larger perspective on the world, and the diversities the world has to offer. I am extremely appreciative of the opportunities I have gained through my education at Johnson that have introduced me to travel, adventure, and new-found skills”
Travel, around the U.S. and around the world, gives JSC students the experiences and perspective to be empathetic, informed and engaged citizens and gives them an edge as they graduate and enter the workplace.