Study abroad students learn through first-hand experience in east Europe

0
210
Print Article

If you’ve always wanted to visit eastern Europe, TCU has the perfect study abroad option for you.

The program, lead by TCU professors Dr. Manochehr Dorraj and Dr. Keith Whitworth, will make stops in Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Dubrovnik.

Dorraj, the program leader, has headed this program for 20 years. Whitworth has led other programs in Europe and Japan for 10 years.

“In this program, we study the collapse of communism in east-central Europe countries and the challenges/progress of building free enterprise, capitalism, and democracy in these same countries since 1989,” Dr. Dorraj said. “My colleague Dr. Whitworth is going to add an emphasis on social and environmental issues.”

Students will receive credit from upper-division classes in either the political science or sociology departments.

“This program has an interdisciplinary emphasis that no course on campus has,” Dorraj said. “Students [go] to museums, classical concerts and operas — something a normal course at TCU cannot offer.”

Dorraj calls this program a sight-enhanced course, meaning students will learn through first-hand experience by visiting sights instead of solely through textbooks.

“We go see things rather than sit in class every day,” Dorraj said. “We also go to the Hungarian Parliament to analyze Hungarian politics, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe) in Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the Hungarian Museum of Terror, Prague’s Museum of Communism, war museums in Dubrovnik, and more.”

Photographs of previous east Europe study abroad trips on Dr. Dorraj’s office wall. Photo by Dylan Guest.

But this trip isn’t all work and no play — students will spend time at scenic places such as mountains, lakes and beaches.

Dorraj, Whitworth and local professors will hold lectures at each site they visit. Students will also have the opportunity to attend classes at universities in each of the host countries.

“Students typically visit west Europe, like London and Paris, so east Europe is like a hidden gem under the radar,” Dorraj said.

Dorraj said students who participated in the program have always left positive comments.

“This trip has completely exceeded my expectations,” a former student told Dorraj. “I loved every minute I spent here and it was an experience that cannot be compared to anything else, it has changed my whole outlook on life.”

John King, a senior marketing and supply chain double major, recommended studying abroad during the summer.

“I studied abroad two summers ago and it was an amazing experience,” King said. “I got to visit new places, have new experiences and make so many new friends.”

Davis Castelli, a senior supply chain major, said he also enjoyed his study abroad experience.

“I visited so many countries and saw so many new things,” Castelli said. “If you’re on the fence about studying abroad, I say just do it, it’s worth it.”

The program is open to all majors and no prerequisites are required. It takes place from June 1 – 26.

The scholarship application is due Sept. 20. For more information, visit studyabroad.tcu.edu.