Mon Jun 21 2010
Fourteen N.C. Teaching Fellows from Lenoir-Rhyne University recently returned from an eight-day study trip to Europe.
The students and four chaperones met with their counterparts at the University of Magdeburg-Stendal in what was formerly part of East Germany. They also visited elementary and secondary school classrooms in Germany.
The students who participated in the trip, and their hometowns, are as follows: Desirae Ball, Mooresville; Krysten Bolick, Conover; Tyler Bumgarner, Taylorsville; Aaron Campbell, Roxboro; Leia DeWald, Washignton; Sarah Grier, Moooresville; Kelley Hensley, Asheville; Brittany Keaton, Tobaccoville; Brian Mulligan, Claremont; Leah Staton, Cherryville; Chase Tutttle, Winston-Salem; Laura Waller, Sneads Ferry; Stephanie Watts, Statesville; Kimberly Wood, Elkin.
The trip is part of a recently formed partnership between Lenoir-Rhyne University and the German university that provides for student exchanges as well as short-term visits. Three students from the University of Magdeburg-Stendal were students at LRU last fall.
Dr. Joyce Davis, director of the Teaching Fellows at LRU, said research and global education are important parts of the university program. She plans to continue the partnership with the University of Magdeburg-Stendal by taking each class of L-R Teaching Fellows to Germany during their junior year.
This year’s group first flew to Amsterdam, where the students took a walking tour of the city, visited the Ann Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum.
From there, they traveled to Cologne, Germany, where they met 14 students from their partner university. They visited a cathedral and a chocolate factory before meeting with professors at the University of Cologne. Then they visited several types of public school classrooms.
Afterward, they traveled to the city of Stendal, where their partner university is located. There they visited a Family Center, an inter-generational program for children and senior citizens.
While in Stendal, the LRU students lived with the German university students. They also held a news conference, resulting in several newspaper articles about their visit.
The University of Magdeburg-Stendal is built on top of former Nazi bunkers, some of which have been left intact as a reminder of the past. One night, the German and American students met in one of these underground bunkers for an impromptu gospel fest. “It was powerful to see them joined together and to have that hopeful sound,” Davis said. “Most of us were moved to tears.”
After their visit in Standal, the LRU students stopped in Berlin for a tour of that city before returning home. Several of those participating in this cultural exchange will contribute chapters to a book called “Trans-Atlantic Bridges.” This book about the partnership between the two universities is expected to be published in 2011. Davis said she is excited about this continuing partnership. “Several of the students were transformed by the experience.”LRU News | 1 Comment