Guns Up Abroad - CMLL Study Abroad
Faynan, Jordan - Dr. Hannah Friedman, Program Director
This summer students from TTU, University of Reading, University of Waterloo, and Oxford Brooks University excavated in the Wadi Faynan region of Southern Jordan.
Our main goal this year was to conduct emergency archaeological assessment and excavation of a Chalcolithic site (4600-4000 BCE, before the Early Bronze Age) a period we know very little about in general but especially in the Faynan region. This period in the rest of the Levant is characterized by increased evidence of social stratification, wide-ranging trade relations, and craft specialization.
This site has been badly affected by erosion since its discovery in 1997, especially this spring when a 100-year flood occurred, necessitating immediate response. Excavation of three trenches revealed a habitation site hundreds of meters in length. Evidence of long distance trade sea shell bracelets and basalt grinding stones were found. Of greater significance to our research, pollution signatures which may indicate metallurgy were found; with further study this site could provide evidence for an important link between other major regional centers.
Students also visited the famous Nabataean and Roman sites of Petra, Amman, Jerash, and Madaba, as well as swim in both the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. They saw ancient mosaics, ruined cities, and learned about Bedouin and Jordanian culture. - Dr. Friedman
"I was honored to be part of the 2014 summer 1 study abroad in Jordan. Under the supervision of Dr. Friedman, I was able to experience this wonderful country and the inspiring people that call Jordan their home. There are a lot of luxuries in western society that I thought of as just ordinary aspects of life. I doubt that when anyone goes to the bathroom in America they stop to think about how fortunate they are in not having to bring a bucket of water to flush or a flashlight to see during the middle of the night. At least, I didn't know it. This study abroad trip not only made me appreciate my own culture, but also the culture of the people that live there. The strength of the locals as they walked miles upon miles with their herds across the Wadi or the way they scaled mountains wearing only sandals was amazing to witness. It made me realize that people are capable of amazing things, and that the only limits are the ones we make for ourselves. I thank study abroad for allowing me this chance to expand my view on the world, myself, and in people in general. This knowledge and the experiences I had will always be a priceless treasure." - Sam C. Lagrone, Senior, Classics BA
Excavation in Binchester, England - Dr. Christopher Whitmore, Program Director
"2014 marked the sixth season of the Binchester Archaeological Project. As part of an international team of archaeologists, professional excavators, and community volunteers, nine TTU students, both graduate and undergraduate, spent four weeks excavating a Roman fort and civilian settlement in County Durham, England. Their efforts further revealed the later phases of a larger cavalry barrack and one of the best preserved bath houses in all of Roman Britain. Since 2010, 73 TTU students have participated in the excavations at Binchester through CMLL study abroad." - Dr. Christopher Witmore
Kelsey Madden and Shannon Carr
"I was invited to give a lecture at Durham University and, afterward, my husband, Chuck Tepe and I joined up with the TTU group digging at the Binchester site, only a few miles from Durham. After driving down a beautiful, one-lane road we found ourselves with trowel in hand helping, in a small way, to explore the remains of one of the largest Roman forts/towns in this part of England. Dr. Whitmore and his local team gave us instructions on how to dig, bag our finds, and record what we discovered. It was a fascinating experience and each small piece of glass or boot nail we uncovered was a thrill. When we met up with some of the Tech students at a pub later in the evening, they told us how much they were enjoying and learning during the dig. I will be speaking at Newcastle next summer and we plan to make another detour to try our hand again as amateur archaeologists!" - Dr. Connie Scarborough, Professor-Spanish
Professor Connie Scarborough and Chuck Tepe
"The Roman archaeological site of Binchester outside of Durham, England is an extremely well managed site that encourages creativity and a sharing of ideas from all of its participants. Whether you are an undergraduate student, a graduate student, or even a volunteer, your ideas are valued there and any artificial hierarchy is heavily dissuaded by the management of the site. The excursions to Hadrian's Wall, Holy Island, and Bamburgh Castle are all unique and thrilling. As a graduate student I immediately was welcomed by the staff of the site and was given opportunities to share ideas and opinions. I was also there to work on my own research for my MA thesis and the staff happily obliged providing me with any research they had available as well as allowing me to take a weekend to travel down to Wales to conduct a study of the Roman gold mine, Dolaucothi. One of the directors of the dig even took me personally to the North Pennines to look for evidence of Roman lead mining. I would gladly go on this excavation again." - Brandon Baker, MA LACU-Classics 2018
Summer 1: Reims, France - Dr. Carole Edwards, Program Director
Twenty-five TTU students experienced French culture first-hand while studying abroad in Reims, France during the month of June. Along with the classes they took, students had an opportunity to participate in several workshops: song, sculpture, cheese-tasting and drama! They discovered many monuments and their history such as the cathedral, the St Remi basilica, the Pommery cellars and the Chateau de Ru-Jacquier. Thirteen students opted to visit Rome for the week-end to discover the sites. On June 21st, everyone enjoyed the music festival after a full day of hiking in the countryside of Champagne. The study abroad concluded with four days in Paris touring monuments and museums. It was a pleasure to lead such a lovely group of individuals whose lives have now been changed forever thanks to the magic of Study Abroad! - Dr. Carole Edwards
Students profited from one of the many perks of studying abroad in having the opportunity to listen to Suzanne Dracius' presentation entitled, "Français à part entière et entièrement à part". Dracius is an author and playwright who was born in Fort-de France, Martinque, grew up in Seaux, France, studied at the Sorbonne and taught in Paris. Afterwards, she taught at the University of Antilles-Guyana and then at the University of Georgia and the University of Ohio as a visiting professor. Later, she returned to Martinique as a professor classical literature. She has published novels, short stories, plays, and poetry. In 2010, Dracius won a Prix de la Société des Poètes Français (Prize of the Society of the French Poets) for her body of work. Dracius's work emphasizes Martinique's complex cultural history, and its shaping by Asian, European, and African cultures.
"I'm thankful because I understand that learning is meant to be enjoyable. In fact, learning is a process that has many phases that manifest at different stages in our lives, and the process is unique to the individual. It's important that I understand this as I will teach in the fall, and I am aware that students of foreign languages experience a measure of disorientation until they reach a certain level of mastery. I will advise my students to immerse themselves as much as possible. In the states, this means listening to music, watching movies, reading books that pique their interest, attending French club and writing their daily journal in French. Thanks to my opportunity to study in France, I was able to truly immerse myself in the language and culture. I take great pleasure in meeting new people. I realize that everyone has something to teach me and that we must know other cultures in order to realize that we are "more alike than we are different" (Maya Angelou). Eye contact and a sincere smile facilitate positive interactions with new people. While I have been reading, watching the news, listening to music and doing research, I am pleased to say that much of my homework has been to have conversations in French every day with the French people I meet. I am very grateful." - Kelly Wells, French MA Graduate Student & GPTI
"On the hottest day in Reims during our stay, everyone either wanted some ice cubes or a nice relaxing swim. Being the adventurous girl I am, I decided to buy a swim suit and find a pool. After talking with our hostel's staff, I discovered I was only a tram and a bus ride away from heaven. Thirty minutes later, I finally arrived at this concrete building with some friends. We ended up having to pay to get inside and discovered we weren't allowed to have any possessions with us in the pool area. Also we weren't allowed to wear cover ups, we could only sport bikinis. Upon finally seeing the pool, everyone was just swimming laps. We turn around looking for our guy friends and found them being told they couldn't wear board shorts. The pool staff hands them some speedos and they just gave us the look of death. Let's just say this was my funniest memory in France" - Megan Ansari, Senior, BA French
Summer 1: Munich, Germany - Dr. Anita McChesney, Program Director
On a sunny June afternoon in Munich, confident TTU students met with their faculty director, Anita McChesney, for the last time at the Inlingua language institute. Over German pastries and coffee the students presented PowerPoint presentations of their experiences from the previous five weeks in the Bavarian capital. Their pictures showcased important historical sites, including churches, museums, castles, and gardens. The accompanying narratives exhibited their deeper knowledge of aspects of German culture from transportation, food, and sports to social life. Most importantly, the students expressed personal journeys of growth. As one student put it, his eyes were opened to language, culture and life in a way he had never expected.
The second TTU German Summer Study-Abroad program in Munich took place from May 26 to June 25, 2014 under the guidance of Anita McChesney, Assistant Professor of German. The program provides students with intense language classes each morning at the Inlingua Language Institute followed by an afternoon culture class with a TTU professor. The culture class features on-site visits to stations in over 1000-years of Germany's rich culture and history as seen in Munich.
"During the five-week program, students live with local Bavarian families giving them additional opportunities to immerse themselves in German language and culture. Highlights from the 2014 program included visits to the Olympic Stadium, the Alte and Neue Pinakothek museums, Neuschwanstein Castle, and the Dachau concentration camp. McChesney and the students also took a weekend trip to Salzburg Austria, where they attended a Mozart concert in the "golden hall" of the 11th-century fortress Hohensalzburg. The Munich Summer Study-Abroad Program gives TTU students the unique opportunity to improve their language skills, deepen their understanding of German culture and form lifelong friendships. I anticipate even greater participation in the 2015 program." - Dr. Anita McChesney
"Studying abroad in Munich, Germany was amazing. I got to experience the culture through the food, language, several museums and castles, and just living with a host family and exploring the city. Munich has a charm about it that makes you feel like you're in a small town but in reality it is quite large. I enjoyed all the nature in and around the city. The Englische Garten is a fun place to lounge around and people watch or drink in the beer garden. However, most of my favorite experiences abroad were at the tops of mountains, whether at one of the many castles I visited or Hohensalzburg Festung, it was so rewarding to ascend a mountain and look down at the beautiful view which I had never experienced before. I also enjoyed visiting the museums. My favorite was the Neue Pinakothek because I already liked 18th and 19th century art more than other periods but I discovered a few new favorite painters, Gabriel von Max and Franz von Stuck, while there. Overall I had a blast and learned a lot." - Kristen Weasenforth, Senior, BA German
TTU Center, Seville, Spain
One of the most gratifying experiences I have had as a language instructor is to see my students applying all we have studied in class to everyday life. If you like history, good food, a beautiful city and learning in context you have to be in Seville! - Ruben Varona, GPTI
"Throughout these past six weeks, I have had some of the most incredible experiences. I have made incredible friends, along with unforgettable memories. Texas Tech has allowed me to not only broaden my education, but it has allowed me to become enthralled with the culture, and life of Seville. I am majoring in advertising, but I have a passion for history. Being able to see first-hand the mass amount of history and tradition that Spanish society has to offer is simply astounding. One of the most amazing moments was standing in the room where Christopher Columbus was granted permission to go to the Americas. Standing in that room, being surrounded by the history, is a moment that I will never forget." - Meredith McBroom, Junior, Advertising
"My trip to Seville, Spain has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to live as the natives do, try new foods, meet people from all over the world, and learn Spanish along the way. I came to Seville not knowing a single person and left with so many new friends who share my passion to travel the world. As a major in Nutrition, I loved getting to try all kinds of different fruits, fish, and other dishes that aren't available in the U.S. I also enjoyed watching my host mom prepare meals and learn how different the Spanish diet is from the American diet. My study abroad experience was an opportunity of a lifetime that not only helped my future career but allowed me to go outside my usual comfort level and realize the world is so much bigger than Lubbock, Texas." - Tara Rice, Senior, Nutrition
"I thought the Texas Tech study abroad program in Seville was fantastic. There is so much to see and do in Seville; there was never a dull moment. Being able to travel around Spain freely as well as visiting Portugal was awesome. I really liked that the Texas Tech staff and professors at the TTU center were all so helpful and kind with any questions that I needed answered and offered tons of great advice on what to see and do to make the most of my time in Seville. This entire experience is something I will always remember; I met a lot of interesting people, made a ton of memories and even made friends with Spaniards while I was here. The study abroad program gave me an awesome chance to travel and live in another country all while earning credits. I'm glad Texas Tech has opportunities like this for their students to take part in and enjoy. I can't say enough good things about the study abroad program in Seville it is an overall amazing thing to be a part of and I would recommend for anyone who can study abroad should do so, especially here." - Matthew Berti, Senior, Personal Financial Planning
"I am so sad that we are already leaving beautiful Seville. However, we made some great memories in class, as well as the viajes. I had a blast with all my students." - Janie Covarrubias, GPTI
"Sevilla has taught me many things. Of course I have learned Spanish, but I have also had the opportunity to learn many things about myself. I have learned to be a more confidant and assured person. I had to figure out how to communicate with a language barrier. Seville has shown me that there are different ways for people to live life. Seville's lifestyle is such that one can party all night with nothing but a small nap in the day. It is a lifestyle that allows people to take a moment out of the day to enjoy a drink with tapas as much as it is a lifestyle that promotes walking briskly down the street to work. Overall, I have enjoyed my time through all the stop and go lifestyle that is Seville." - Victoria C Young, Senior, BS Cell & Molecular Biology
"Hola! I can't believe my stay in Seville is coming to an end! These past 40 days have been something I never dreamed of. Growing up as an only child I never wanted to leave my parents, seeing as going 9 hours away to Texas Tech was hard enough. I assumed I would get homesick as soon as I got here. Little did I know that this study abroad program would be an eye opener and that I would actually learn so much about myself and being independent. I came to improve my Spanish and to receive Spanish credit towards my major, but I am leaving Seville with so much more than just that! The culture, the language, the food, everything was amazing!! Thank you Janie for making this class and this adventure so much fun and so worth going to class every morning even if it was so early!" - Brooke Paulsen, Senior, BS Exercise & Sport Sciences
"My experience as an instructor of Spanish classes at the TTU Seville center was incredibly rewarding due to the fact that I was able to see firsthand the positive reactions of the students. The Texas Tech students who choose to come to study in Seville have the opportunity to enrich so many different aspects of their lives. First, the academic part is extremely satisfying for me as an instructor of Spanish because it is not uncommon that a student will come up to me and say: "hey, Michael, I was out last night and I started talking to a Spaniard and I used that structure we were talking about in class the other day." The contact with the language is increased to such a degree that learning takes place in a much more natural---and dare I say fun---way. Second, living with a host family provides the student with an opportunity to view firsthand the values, customs, and mores of a society that is not their own; an absolutely invaluable experience in an already globalized world. Third, Seville is not the only city that the students experience! Monday mornings are always very interesting, as the conversation inevitably turns toward newly discovered cities both within Spain---Barcelona, Málaga, Cádiz---and outside the Iberian Peninsula---Rome, Paris, Venice, Berlin. Finally, I have to admit a feeling of jealousy when watching the students interact towards the end of the term: it is obvious that they have made lifelong friends, friends with whom they can reminisce about those fantastic months overseas for years to come." - Michael Martínez, Jr. Graduate Student - Spanish 2015
"I had waited my whole undergraduate career to study abroad my senior year. When the time finally came I was more than excited. I knew even before booking my flight that this trip to Spain would change me forever. Now, reflecting in Sevilla 8 weeks later, I realize just how much it has. While studying abroad in Spain, I have been exposed to new culture, new mindsets and new experiences. Not only have I learned a new language but I have learned a new lifestyle of living. I have learned how to become a more responsible adult with traveling and finances. Studying abroad has also made me excited about learning again. Before I was ready to just get college over with and start a degree. However, now I want to keep exploring thought and intellect. Studying abroad has helped me become a student of life." - Amanda Bustamante, Senior, BA Psychology
"Summer two in Seville was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Everything from my professor to my host family to all the places I was able to visit was great. Although the time here was short and the class was intensive I was able to learn a lot more than I expected. My professor was extremely helpful and was there every step of the course to help me as well as every other student and made sure we understood the language. My host family was very generous in every aspect and taught me a lot as well. Overall, I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who is considering it. It will definitely be one of your best memories." - Reagan Rasberry, Senior, BA Political Science/Legal Studies
Mexico Field Course to be Offered in Summer 2015!
Texas Tech University and the Spanish program of the CMLL Department are thrilled to announce the return of the Mexico Field Course (MFC) in summer 2015. Dr. Jorge Zamora, the director, and Dr. Steve Corbett, the co-director, traveled to San Luis Potosí, the location of the program, in August of 2013 to investigate the possibility of reinstating the MFC and found the situation very secure and a number of host families excited about receiving our students. After receiving approval from Ambassador Nagy, the Vice Provost of International Affairs at Texas Tech, to reinstate the program, Professors Zamora and Corbett returned to San Luis once again last month to recruit additional host families as well as Spanish language tutors.
This excellent program, which is in its 46th year, provides a fast-paced, well-balanced immersion experience in which students are able to get six hours of Spanish credit toward a minor or a major, live with amiable middle-class Mexican families, participate in a variety of cultural events in San Luis, and take excursions to historical sites in Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, and the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itzá. Students also have the chance to enjoy some time at the beautiful, Playa del Carmen on the Mayan Riviera.
A short presentation about the MFC was made to all Spanish classes during the first week of the Fall semester and many students have already indicated their interest in participating this next summer. A special orientation session will be held on October 1st and 2nd, and all those interested in learning more about this fantastic study abroad experience are invited to attend. For further information contact directors Dr. Jorge Zamora or Dr. Steve Corbett.