Educating across the globe
The Center for Student Travel offers various opportunities to travel abroad
Earning class credit does not have to happen inside the four walls of a classroom. Students can also earn credits by traveling the world with their professors and classmates.
Liberty University offers students the chance to explore the world through short-term and long-term international academic tours through the Center for Student Travel.
Each tour is faculty-led by a Liberty residential professor and is available to anyone interested in attending within the Liberty community. Any residential or online student, faculty or staff member is welcome to participate in the trip, according to the Liberty student travel website.
Similar to taking a course online or residentially, students are able to receive three full credit hours for a class taken as a study tour. Trips can last anywhere from one week to one month.
Coordinator of Academic Operations Audrey Hammond said there are many opportunities for travel, whether for a specific course or for general study.
“It all depends on the course credit you want to take for it,” Hammond said. “We have several tours for general studies in Turkey, Greece and Ireland to receive credit for cultural studies.”
According to Hammond, the C.S. Lewis tour to London, Oxford and Paris offers credit for philosophy courses. For nursing students, trips to countries such as Rwanda give hands-on experience in dealing with patients in developing nations.
The Liberty student travel website says the cost of the tour includes accommodations, international travel and medical insurance, educational excursions and in-country travel. The majority of trips will have some, if not all, meals covered. Airfare cost may need to be provided by the student, since online students will be traveling from different parts of the world.
All payments are non-refundable and may be paid to Liberty through the online study abroad payment portal on the Liberty student travel website.
Financial aid will help pay for the credits received in the course. However, it cannot cover the trip fee.
Hammond said there is no limit to the number of short-term trips students can go on during their time at Liberty. For semester-long trips, students may only spend a maximum of two semesters abroad.
While on an academic tour for an entire semester, students are still considered full-time students at Liberty. They attend classes at overseas institutions which Liberty approves beforehand.
According to the Center for Student Travel’s website, in order to be accepted into a tour, a student must obtain at least a 3.0 GPA, have 24 credits completed, and be in good standing with Office of Student Affairs. In addition, a student must possess adequate financial resources, have no unpaid balances on his or her account, and have a valid passport copy.
Upon acceptance into a tour, a syllabus will be provided. Depending on the professor, the syllabus and coursework will be modified to fit around the experience of the tour.
According to Hammond, students who travel are given a leg up on competition in vying for work opportunities after their experience at Liberty is finished.
“Having national experience is vital in today’s world,” Hammond said. “If you look at other colleges, they are making study abroad one of their top priorities.”
All trips are first come, first serve. The preliminary deadlines for each semester are Sept. 30 for the spring, Feb. 1 for the summer and March 15 for the fall.
For more information and to view available trips, visit liberty.edu, select the “Academics” tab and then select “Student Travel,” or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLEMAN is a news reporter.