Students say sayonara with AC

Machu Picchu

By Lauren Ebben Senior Reporter

As a new semester begins, some students at Amarillo College will be preparing for more than just a new round of classes. Several travel abroad opportunities have students and faculty alike excited for the coming year. 

Sheila Barton, a Spanish instructor, will lead a group of students on a trip to Costa Rica during fall break. While there, the group will stay overnight in eight different places and participate in activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and whitewater rafting

“To be more prepared for adulthood, you need to be more in touch with foreign places,” Barton said. “Students need to be more aware of what’s out there.”

For Daniela Macias, a business administration/accounting major, Costa Rica will be the farthest she has ever traveled from home. Macias said she’s both nervous and excited for a different environment. “I am hoping to get a break from all the stress that comes with being a college student, and most importantly learn a new culture,” she said.

Next spring break, Courtney Milleson, an assistant professor in speech communication, is sponsoring a trip to Germany where faculty and students will be visiting Berlin and Hamburg. 

This will be Milleson’s third study abroad trip with AC. SHe went to Paris in 2018 and Greece in spring 2019.

“When helping students study abroad, my main goal is learning. I know our students are curious and eager to learn, but sometimes a four-walled classroom just doesn’t cut through the noise of real-life,” Milleson said.

Additionally, the Presidential Scholars will be traveling to Poland during spring break with honors students from West Texas A&M University. 

This will mark the first collaborative trip between the AC Scholars and the WTAMU Honors program.

“It’s a unique networking opportunity for AC to share with WT,” Lesley Ingham, chair of the honors program at AC, said.

While in Poland, the students will spend their time in the medieval city of Kraków, and visit places such as Auschwitz and Birkenau. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing history come alive,” Ingham said. “To be in a space that has so much pain and history reminds you to be the best human being, and I hope the students learn that.”

Other travel opportunities include a trip to London, England and Edinburg, Scotland in summer 2020, led by Sue Grady, a professor of physical therapy. Also, during fall break 2020, professors Dr. Claudie Biggers and Dr. Asanga Ranasinghe are heading to Vietnam.. 

For most students who travel abroad, the experience is “unforgettable,” according to Madi Nation, a recent AC graduate who went to Paris last spring.

“The study abroad trip is a perfect chance for a student to practice some independence and learn things like how to get a passport, how to exchange currency, and how to get around a new city using resources like buses, the metro, or even walking,” Nation said.

Students who are interested in traveling abroad to Costa Rica this fall should visit for more information. Those interested in traveling to Germany in the spring can contact Courtney Milleson at, or the Honor’s Program at

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