From France to Peru, Hastings College first-year students select travel destinations for next year

Photo: In January, Hastings College took 60 students to France as a pilot for the study away initiative. Here, Hastings College President Travis Feezell discusses with students what they learned during a tour and meetings at Palais Garnier, one of the two performance venues operated by Paris Opera.

It’s not every day students get to sit down and select classes that will take them to places like Peru, Spain or France. Yet every Hastings College first-year student got to do just that when they registered for the inaugural study away experience that’s part of the new Hastings College curriculum launching in August.

The study away program is available for all second year students and is funded in part by donors so students can participate at no additional cost.

Group of students on steps in front of Paris Opera house.
In January, Hastings College took 60 students to France as a pilot for the study away initiative. Here, Hastings College President Travis Feezell (right) discusses with students what they learned during a tour and meetings at Palais Garnier, one of the two performance venues operated by Paris Opera.

“When we began asking last year about the kinds of experiences that develop and grow students, we came to the conclusion that it needed to be an intentional experience beyond campus,” said Dr. Travis Feezell, president of Hastings College. “To study away from campus, to go out and see the world, is the best way to gain an understanding of different cultures and different perspectives. Intentional travel experiences change people, and it’s one of the best ways to prepare future leaders for success and life after Hastings.”

With the College’s new block schedule, the sophomore study away experience allows students to select a travel class in either the August or March two-week blocks.

“It’s important for us to offer two different times so students involved in athletics, music and other activities can select the travel class and block that best works for them,” said Grant Hunter, director of international programs at the College.

For the August 2019 block, students can choose to take a class that will take them to:

  • Cuzco, Peru;
  • Cannes and Paris, France; or
  • Vancouver, Canada.

For the March 2020 block, students can choose classes that feature travel to:

  • Paris, France;
  • London and Scotland, U.K.;
  • Bundoran, Ireland;
  • Spain;
  • Mexico and Arizona; or
  • Washington, D.C.

“The study away experience is a required component of the curriculum going forward, and we know there needs to be options for everyone,” Hunter said. “We’re very excited about these destinations and opportunities to see the world, especially following the success of 60 students who were in Paris in January for our pilot program.”

The study away program is one of several new Hastings College initiatives launching in the fall. Other programs include a digital initiative that puts an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil in the hands of every student and a block schedule comprised of two- and seven-week blocks where students take no more than two classes at a time.

In addition, Hastings College has launched a new textbook program that allows the College to provide all required textbooks as part of regular tuition, which will save families $4,000 or more over the course of four years.

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.

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