Amarillo College’s Global Competency Scholars will travel to Munich and Berlin, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic, during spring break.
“For the first time, Student Life and the Honors Program has joined together to make a trip possible,” said Judy Carter, Honors Program coordinator.
The students are divided into groups pertaining to their majors. Angie Ross, a nursing instructor, leads a health sciences group, while Mark Shadix, a physical science instructor, leads a physical science group. Mike
Haynes, a student media adviser and journalism instructor, leads a history and journalism group.
“Each instructor will be preparing special presentations while we’re on the trip,” Carter said.
Ross has two students in her medical group: a mortuary science major and a nursing major.
Carter said Ross will work with her students to compare the health care system in the United States with the health care system in Germany.
The health care students will tour a clinic or have someone from the medical area talk to them. When they return to the United States, they will attend a nursing conference and give a presentation about what they have learned.
Shadix and his group of students will tour scientific museums in all the cities.
“The most prominent is the science museum in Munich,” Shadix said. “It’s one of the world’s oldest science museums, and it is the world’s largest science museum. The enormity of history is mindboggling.”
Two of the museums in Prague are art-related.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that there’s a science in art, not just in the production, but within the art itself,” Shadix said. “We’re going to look and talk about that as well.”
Along with the museums, they will tour the Prague Castle.
“One of the most exciting things that’s going to happen is we’ll have live broadcasts from Munich,” Carter said.
The journalism and mass communication students, along with Haynes, will broadcast from Germany. Bailie Myers, a journalism major, and Amanda Castro-Crist, a mass communication major, will do video blogs for The Ranger online.
The group also will tour the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague.
“I’ve always wanted to go out of the country, especially to Europe,” Myers said. “I think that the fact that I’m going to get to go with so many people that I like so much and that are already my friends is what’s going to make it really exciting. We’re very blessed to have this opportunity.”
All the students traveling are enrolled in a new course called Global Certification. Students will earn a global certification that goes on their student life transcript when they complete their research papers and presentations. To enroll, there is an application process and a fee that all students must complete and pay.
“The experience students have when they have a global experience is just amazing,” Carter said. “When we say it is life-changing, those words just ring so hollow until you’ve done it. Suddenly there is an exclamation mark next to that phrase.”
In a world of constant connectivity, careers are linked globally. The instructors traveling all said that seeing those connections broadens a person’s world viewpoint.
“Having an opportunity to go and experience how we are different, more often similar, is amazing; and being able to know that it’s in reach, that it is possible, expands your vision of what else might be possible for you,” Carter said.
She said the fact that this program is offered to AC is remarkable because most such opportunities are reserved for universities and third- and fourth-year students.
“To go with a school is something I think everyone should have the chance to do,” Shadix said.