Professor introduces students to new experiences
By: Ashley Biundo
St. Louis Community College—Meramec students will take a nine-day trip to Copenhagen, Denmark to help strengthen their creative writing skills in May.
English Professor Pamela Garvey will be one of professors accompanying students on this trip.
Garvey said traveling to different countries brings more variety to learning about the cultures all over the world, even the economy.
“Certainly I think in our cultural and political environment right now, we see a push back against that.
But if we are going to continue to have economic protest, as a country we are going to have to embrace it on some level, and that’s just the world we live in and the more students get that experience the better off they are,” Garvey said.
“Also its deepens your education to experience things. Not only to learn about them in the classroom and research projects but to actually do things and study abroad gives students the opportunity and it stays with them.”
With the trip nearing, Garvey’s students are preparing by looking at forms of creative writing and getting a gist of what Copenhagen will be like.
“[In the class,] we do poetry, creative fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama,” Garvey said. “And there will be a little bit of travel focus, since we are going to be traveling and [students expect] assignments connected to the experience in Denmark.”
There are 16 students going on the trip, Garvey said – most of them traditional age.
One of Garvey’s former classmates, an American literature scholar, contacted her back in June and invited her and her students to Copenhagen University, she said.
He is originally from the states and attended graduate school with Garvey.
“He’s been living there for 20 years… he was our keynote at our writing festival last year and was impressed with our students,” Garvey said.
Garvey said it is the same course students would take at Meramec, but it will have a global focus.
Students can expect to get more beyond writing skills because of this focus and diversion of another culture.
Students can also expect to get a deeper understanding of the Danish, European and Scandinavian cultures—including their literary history and art history.
“Copenhagen is a very cosmopolitan city,” Garvey said.
“It’s not huge but they have lots of immigrants.
They are just a diverse environment.” Garvey said the low crime rate contributed to the “cultural extent” of the city, and that students would get to see valuable diversity of culture.
“Scandinavians have welcomed a lot of people,” Garvey said.
“So I think there is something to learn from that cultural exchange as well. I think it [studying abroad] is great. I think for certain majors students should definitely do it,” Garvey said.
“I think students are going into a more globalized world and that’s the reality.”