Global Field Studies: Castles, Forests, Fairy Tales, and More
As a junior in college, I can say that I have already gone on an international trip of a lifetime, and it happened because I decided to take a Global Field Study course at Arcadia. During my sophomore year, I learned about Arcadia’s GFS program, which is a part of the study abroad choices that the school offers. Once I heard about it and looked at the options of where to travel, I was hooked. Within a few days, I signed up for one of the courses, Castles, Forests, and Fairy Tales: Mapping the German Landscape, and in the spring, I got to take the course and embark on the amazing trip that it offered. Arcadia’s GFS courses offer so many benefits to students: an array of unique class options, incredible international travel experiences, and travel durations that are easy to commit to.
Personally, I thought that doing a GFS was a great option because of the short travel period. I was hesitant to do a full semester abroad because of my commitments on campus, like softball, clubs, and my on-campus jobs. GFS offered the perfect solution – I can still stay at school for the semester, but I get the benefits of a study abroad program that will teach me about the world and have an immersive trip planned out. GFS classes only travel for 1 to 2 weeks. I also think it’s a benefit that you do not have to attend class during the trip; the professors will guide you and connect the experiences to the course material.
Castles, Forests, and Fairy Tales appealed to me for so many reasons. It had multiple destinations in the south of Germany and the subject material was focused around classic fairy tales and real castles that we would get to see up close. During the class, we learned about the architecture and purposes of castles throughout history, and we even had an in-depth tour of Grey Towers Castle on campus. We got to be creative, as we wrote our own Arcadia-inspired fairy tales, and we analyzed fairy tales from regions all over the world by looking at their settings, characters, moral questions, and other themes to learn about the history and values of the country that the story came from.
The 10-day trip with this class was unforgettable. We packed in so many experiences that I felt like I got to do almost everything I would have wanted to during my time there. We visited numerous castles, including the most famous, Neuschwanstein, and visited natural landscapes like the Black Forest and Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany (9,718 feet above sea level). We got to try local foods, like spaetzle, schnitzel, and bratwursts. We had a lot of class excursions, but also a fair amount of free time to explore the different towns.
Other GFS courses travel to Ireland, Indonesia, Italy, Fiji, and more, so there are remarkable options for any student. This type of class is immersive and not only does it give you travel experience at the end of the course, but you get to learn about the world throughout the semester. I know that I am just one of many students taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Global Field Studies and these courses are a part of what makes Arcadia’s study abroad program so renowned and expansive.