One of the unique opportunities offered at Piedmont is the chance to study abroad during Maymester.
“I think there is no better way to learn about another society and to get to know its people than to visit in person,” said Beth Lovern, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology , who traveled on the trip as a mentor.
Alyssa Gibson is a junior mass communications major at Piedmont College who attended a Maymester trip to France and Switzerland during the summer of 2018. Gibson, 19, knows exactly what she wants to do in her life and her trip helped her find that passion.
“In the future, I want to go into photojournalism and be a journalist that travels and goes on a bunch of adventures,” she said.
While on the Maymester she had to do some classwork and got six hours of credit for going on the trip. Gibson believes every student should go on a Maymester, or study-abroad trip, and encourages students to do that trip with Piedmont College.
“We definitely had an amazing time… and one of the beauties of taking a trip with Piedmont is you get to split up and go off with smaller groups while interacting and experiencing the culture,” she said.
One thing that stood out to her about France was the urban art surrounding the city. She saw ruins from previous wars that had been painted to resemble different things, and it really fueled the love of art inside of her.
“It was really cool to see the urban art surrounding the city and it helped me understand the struggles of each city,” she said.
Gibson noted that Piedmont College makes sure that student needs are accommodated for while the students are traveling. Mike Adams, a commuting Piedmont student, went on a Maymester and said he was initially worried about the language barriers and struggles, but was pleasantly surprised at the smooth transition and encourages students to dive into other cultures.
“When you swim in the culture for just a few days, it’s unbelievable how you acclimate to that,” he said.
Another unique thing that Piedmont students are offered is financial benefits and grants that students can apply for that can help cover the cost of the trip abroad. Dr. Julia Schmitz talked about the scholarship and what it grants the student. She emphasized the importance of this grant and how it has made the dreams of some students actual realities after the grant.
“I enthusiastically recommend Maymester trips. They’re a great way to make new discoveries about yourself and connect with people in other cultures in ways that you never could have before. The trips teach [valuable lessons] while completely immersing you into another culture outside of your comfort zone. For me, it was a defining moment in figuring out what I wanted to do in my field of study for a career and sparked a long-time love of travel,” Gibson said.