Heidelberg, Germany, home of Renaissance castles and Gothic churches, was the destination for 12 students taking part in a College of Liberal Studies travel/study program in August. The group spent six days studying German history, art, architecture and culture under the guidance of Allison Palmer, associate professor of art history at the University of Oklahoma, and Bruno Lerner, professor of history at Pepperdine University.
“The trip was a huge success,” said Frank Rodriquez, coordinator of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies program, as well as the travel program. “We look forward to taking a group back to Germany next year.”
This was the first travel-study program offered by the college in almost 20 years. For many years, the college offered a travel program for students wanting to study in Oxford, England. That program was discontinued in the late Eighties.
The group traveling to Germany included CLS students, as well as students from other degree programs at OU. They departed Will Rogers World Airport Saturday, Aug. 6, flying via Detroit to Frankfurt, Germany, arriving the next day at 7 a.m. A quick bus trip took the group to the Hotel Ibis in Heidelberg, where the group spent the next six nights.
This was the first travel-study program offered by the college in almost 20 years.
Their day began with a brief lecture by professors Lerner and Palmer regarding that day’s destination and, after a short break, the group visited sites on their itinerary. Lectures continued on-site as the professors explained the architectural, artistic and historical importance of each site, including the famous Heidelberg castle.
Students took advantage of Heidelberg’s south-central location, visiting Worms, Schwetzingen and Bruchsal.
In between lectures and learning, the group managed to work in a boat trip along the Neckar River, do some souvenir shopping in historic old town Heidelberg and enjoy a wonderful selection of German cuisine.
Students were free late afternoons and evenings to explore on their own. Many enjoyed the scenic beauty found along the famous Philosopher’s Walk, a path that runs along a hillside high over Heidelberg. Others ventured up to King’s Throne, the highest point in Heidelberg, overlooking the castle.
“Our program was successful thanks in large part to the staff of Advanced Programs,” said Rodriquez. “The European theater headquarters for Advanced Programs is in Heidelberg, and we were able to utilize their staff in making many of our travel arrangements. I would especially like to thank and commend Fabienne Serna for her efforts in making our trip successful.”
Advanced Programs is a division of OU Outreach that offers graduate degree programs on military bases around the world.
Students paid $2,500 for the trip, which included round trip airfare, hotel accommodations and all group activities. The college is currently planning a travel-study program for 2006.
“We hope this becomes an annual event,” Rodriquez said.