The study abroad program Harding University in England (HUE) collaborated with the Honors College to offer students the unique opportunity to spend their 2019 spring semester in Iceland, England, France and other European countries.
The program is open to all students, but honors students can earn up to 11 honors credit hours during the semester, according to Mike James, dean of the Honors College. Unlike most honors programs, freshmen are encouraged to enroll.
“We’re offering a special opportunity for … second-semester freshman to go, and we’re coupling that with some honors courses that ordinarily would not be offered,” James said.
Jeffrey Hopper, dean of International Programs, organized this collaborative semester in England as he had arranged the honors section of Harding University in Greece (HUG) years ago. Since Hopper was once both dean of International Programs and dean of the Honors College, he said this special semester of HUE might come from a bit of nostalgia.
“I hope the students seize the opportunity to integrate what they learn in the classroom with what they see in the natural world, the arts world, the world of work and the world of communication,” Hopper said.
Hopper said he plans to teach a class in which students will learn in museums, galleries and concert halls instead of a classroom alone. James will also teach an honors course on photography, and Dr. Ross Cochran, professor of Bible, will accompany the group as well.
Cochran has gone with three of Harding’s study abroad programs in Greece, Florence, and Zambia.
“One of the things I regularly tell prospective students is that Harding does many things well, and we do some things really, really well,” Cochran said.
He said International Programs falls into the latter category.
“Part of what makes the Harding experience is rich community, and … often these programs become experiences of rich community,” Cochran said.
Cochran said he volunteered to accompany HUE because he knew the program’s directors, Tyler and Lauren Knight. He roomed with Lauren Knight’s father in university, and he is still close with her family. Tyler Knight said he and Lauren Knight have worked with HUE since 2010.
“Lauren and I believe that the world is a classroom,” Knight said. “In fact, Lauren did her dissertation on that idea. So, we like to plan trips that use all the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the places we visit to help students experience what they have been learning about in class.”
Junior Olivia Brown plans to attend the HUE honors semester this spring, but she is already experienced with Harding international programs. She went to HUG and Harding University in Australia (HUA) with her father, Dr. Rich Brown, chair of the marketing department, and to London with the College of Business Administration. She said she is excited to return to London because she misses the city.
“London is so old, and there are so many layers to it literally dating back thousands of years, and that’s always been kind of interesting to me,” Brown said. “You can be walking down the street and look up and see this huge modern skyscraper and then look to your right and see a Roman wall.”
The dates are not set for the start and end of the HUE spring semester, but students can still sign up at the International Programs office.