While many students imagine spending their Spring Break partying on a beach or buried in sleep hibernation, some university students have planned to spend their vacation time abroad bettering their leadership skills.
Leadership Scotland is a 2013 Spring Break trip that is being offered for the first time through the university's Leadership Center. Twenty students have already committed to spend six nights and seven days in Edinburgh, Scotland and surrounding areas, Assistant Director of the Leadership Center and trip coordinator Jason Eagar said.
From March 8 to 16 “participants will engage in a community development project, explore and experience Scottish culture, traditions and landmarks, dive into leadership dialogue and introspection and connect with each other and leaders through experiential opportunities,” according to the Leadership Center’s website.
Sophomore nursing major Emma Breyer said she saw a flyer on campus that advertised the trip. When she saw how perfect the timing was, she knew she had to go.
“From the castles to the simple colors of the countryside, I have always wanted to visit Scotland,” Breyer said. “I am most looking forward to exploring Edinburgh with my fellow classmates.”
There was a record number of students who applied for Leadership Scotland, Eagar said. The large number shows a growth of interest in leadership development on campus.
“We are hoping that the experience abroad will enlighten the participants to see how social change and leadership is relevant and happening in other cultures with limitless possibilities,” Eagar said.
He said Scotland was chosen because it has a sense of familiarity and comfort that you might not get from other countries.
“Scotland is an English speaking country which makes for an easy adjustment, especially if it’s a student’s first time abroad,” Eagar said. “But the culture is different enough to leave a lasting impression on students.”
The most important quality of a leader is the ability to listen, Breyer said. She thinks this tool will come in handy on the trip the more she hears about past leadership experiences from other students.
The trip costs $1,300 per student and includes everything except two meals and miscellaneous expenses, Eagar said. As of now, the Leadership Scotland trip is full, but the leadership team is doing their best to open up more spots for more opportunities, he said.
Eagar said he sees the Leadership Center staff offering more domestic and international trips to students in the future.
To view the spring break trip’s full agenda or for more information about it, visit the Leadership Center’s travel page.