from all three West Virginia University campuses – Beckley, Keyser and
Morgantown, recently traveled to Quebec City, Canada for an international
experience in learning. Students taking
part in the trip included, front row
Dewitt, Jason Lehosit, Falon Snodgrass, Hope Marling, Kyla Thorn, and Katie
Shreve; middle row: Nima Shahab Shahmir, Christian Johnson, Jaxon Miller, and Victoria
Prisby; back row: Maggie Canoy, Olivia Lee, Virag Martin, Rebecca Cyr, Emma
Blair, and Bethany Roberts.
College is all about learning, but not all learning takes place in a classroom – nor should it. Education should also include experiential learning outside of the classroom, which is what students from all three West Virginia University campuses – Beckley (Institute of Technology), Keyser (Potomac State College) and Morgantown, recently experienced when they traveled to Quebec City, Canada for an international learning experience.
“The trip to Canada was specifically designed as a OneWVU initiative to include students from all three campuses. Traveling to our neighboring country to the north created a great opportunity for students to gain an appreciation of how interrelated our British, French and Aboriginal histories are,” said PSC Campus President Jennifer Orlikoff, who coordinated the trip. “It was evident that students from each of the campuses really enjoyed connecting with each other, truly exemplifying the concept of OneWVU,” Orlikoff added.
Students attended classroom presentations at the Université de Laval in Quebec City where they gained a deeper understanding of Quebec’s history, culture, and its central role in the history of North America. They then participated in guided excursions that reflected the themes and topics of the presentations.
“My favorite excursion was visiting the Plains of Abraham Battlefields where the French and British fought a crucial battle. This site truly exemplified Québec’s motto: Je me souviens, or I remember. Having an excellent historian as our guide certainly enhanced the experience as well,” said Jaxon Miller, an upcoming sophomore from the Morgantown campus who is double-majoring in history and Slavic and East European Studies.
As students experienced this unique and culturally rich international location where English is not the primary language, they also learned about key issues while gaining a deeper understanding of border relations and trade between the U.S. and Canada.
When asked about the food, most of the students agreed that poutine, a Canadian dish consisting of French fries and cheese curds with gravy on top, was by far one of their favorites.
Maggie Canoy, an upcoming junior criminal justice major from the Potomac State campus, was truly excited about her first trip out of the country. “The European architecture in Old Québec City was just beautiful! Everything about the trip was fascinating and the people were so nice. I’m looking forward to traveling again soon.”
Québec City is located on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada's French-speaking Québec province. Abundant with old world charm, the culturally rich Petit Champlain district boasts elegant stone buildings and narrow cobblestone streets lined with interesting bistros and boutiques.
“We never got tired of exploring the streets and alleys in Old Québec City, which were like endless mazes leading to multiple locations where artists display and sell their paintings on different types of medium in a variety of sizes. And seeing Niagara Falls in person was absolutely amazing, especially the light show on the falls at night,” said Nima Shahab Shahmir, an upcoming senior from the WVU Tech campus, who is majoring in information systems with a minor in business administration.
When asked about his biggest takeaway from the trip, Shahab Shahmir stated, “This trip has encouraged me to travel more and gain new experiences. It expanded my knowledge about Québec City’s culture and gave me a different perspective on the world’s history. I really hope this program will be offered each year for future students to experience.”