On the Eve of Departure

[Originally posted May 24th]

Tomorrow is the day! Amazing to think back to the early weeks of Spring semester when we all received the unimaginable news that we would be getting the opportunity to be a part of this trip. Seems like just yesterday we were meeting as a group for the first time, introducing ourselves and exchanging random tid-bits about our fields of study and other interests.

There are so many unique aspects of this trip that I am looking forward to. First and foremost, the opportunity to explore/examine Universities with such rich and vibrant histories. The University of Basel, for instance, is the older University in Switzerland, established in 1460! Absolutely incredible to think about the stories of students and faculty past that exist within its walls.

As the excitement continues to build for new sites, smells, and tastes, I am reminded of how lucky we, the GPP 2019 cohort, are that Virginia Tech and Dean DePauw have found a way for us to experience this at almost no cost of our own. By removing the financial burden so commonly associated with international travel, we will all have the opportunity to focus solely on enriching our knowledge of European higher education systems. We will be able to enjoy every moment.

I hope to come away from this trip with a more informed and comprehensive understanding of the European educational system, from both the point of view of the faculty and of the student. I also look forward to more thoroughly contrasting their  system with ours in the United States, with the ultimate intention of developing a more conscientious viewpoint of what works well, what does not, and what can be improved.

Here we go!

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