Stories of Scottish history and culture jumped off the pages of textbooks and into the hearts of a group of UTC students when they participated in a three week multimedia study abroad adventure. Dr. Kittrell Rushing, former head of the Department of Communication and newly appointed interim head of the Department of History and his wife Dr. Frances Bender, Professor of English, took nearly 5,000 photographs to document this College Cooperative for Study Abroad (CCSA) trip. Students on the trip have posted their journals online. See both the photos and the journals here.
“The beauty of Scotland is something one must see rather than try to describe in words. Trying to describe the drama, the expanse, the colour of the Highlands, is an impossible task,” Rushing said. “The villages along the route from Edinburgh through St. Andrews, Pitlockry, Oban, Inverness are picturesque, and so Scottish. The people we met were uniformly hospitable, helpful, and tolerant of our group – both as a group and as individuals.”
A trip to the Glasgow School of Art impressed the students, Rushing said.
“The young second year painting student who served as this visit’s tour guide was knowledgeable, open to questions, and patient with our American ignorance of so many things related to art and to Scotland. We followed the tour of the art school with tea at the Willow Tea Room. The students appreciated so much more the Willow Tea Room experience after the tour of the art school,” Rushing said.
The side-trip to Glasgow from Edinburgh was so successful that some of the students returned, on their own, to spend another day in the city. One student searched for a “Gay Pride” group and another wanted to visit again the Willow Tea Room and to tour the Glasgow Botanic Garden.
“The exposure to the history and culture of the country had a profound impact on our students and on us,” Rushing said. “I strongly believe in the value of study-abroad experiences for college aged young people. If you have an opportunity to encourage students to take advantage of study-abroad programs, do so. The experience is life-changing!”
To investigate ways to study abroad for a short course or a semester, call the UTC Office of Cooperative Education & International/National Exchange Programs at (423) 425-4735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Kit Rushing and students outside Beatrix Potter’s farm house.