Harding’s International Programs announced extensive changes to the Harding University in England (HUE) study abroad program, and the fall 2020 group will be the first to experience them.
HUE, a long-standing program based in London, allowed students to experience the ins and outs of being a London local. In the past, this program ventured to six different countries, covering much of the United Kingdom as well as Iceland and France. After taking into consideration recent feedback and trends of students, Lauren Knight, the HUE program director, along with her husband, Tyler Knight, the associate director, came up with an itinerary that they believe will be the perfect balance of newness and exploration, while still getting a feel for life as a London resident.
“We thought the idea of combining the magical experience of living in London with also visiting most of the larger European countries would create something pretty special,” Knight said.
International Programs reassigned the acronym to stand for Harding University in Europe, and future groups will travel to 13 European countries together. Students will experience three weeks in Italy; 10 days in Ireland, Scotland and England; a week in Portugal and Spain; a week in France; and a two-week cruise that covers six other countries. All of this is in addition to a month in central London and up to two weeks of independent travel at the end of the program.
“We’re trying to provide students with an experience that adds value to their specific degree plan and goals in life, so hopefully we can do that,” Audra Pleasant, executive director of International Programs, said.
Pleasant said after sending out a promotional email to prospective study abroad students, enrollment doubled from what it was the previous semester by the first week of the spring 2020 semester.
“I think that they have really found a great combination of factors that will really appeal to students and provide a great experience,” Pleasant said.
Junior Vanessa Kirkland attended HUE in fall 2019 and said the changes they are making will provide students with an enriched experience that will make travelling beyond the United Kingdom and into Europe more accessible and navigable.
“I think it’ll be really good for people who want to have more of a culturally diverse experience,” Kirkland said.
Pleasant said the International Programs staff is excited to provide an opportunity that can add value to students’ collegiate experiences by adapting their programming to fit the evolving needs and desires of students.
“The 2020 HUE group isn’t just taking the trip of a lifetime — they are taking a different one each week,” Knight said.
For more information, contact the Harding International Programs office.