April 18, 2018

VSU’s Department Of History Explores Poland With New Study Abroad Program

Gdansk, Poland

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Department of History is launching its first ever study abroad program with a trip to Poland July 8-28. 

The tour will be centered in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, and a major Baltic port, Gdansk (once called Danzig). Produced in partnership with the University of Gdansk, the study abroad program will allow VSU students to visit and explore many of Poland’s historical buildings, museums, cultural centers, battlefields, and monuments.

Five students are participating in the program, which is open to history and non-history majors. Upwards of six hours in 3000-level academic credits are available through the trip, allowing students to gain knowledge of Polish history from 900 A.D. to the present.

“Poland is a very interesting country with strong ties to the United States,” said Dr. John Dunn, VSU professor of history. He is leading the trip to Poland alongside Dr. Sebastian Bartos, VSU associate professor of history and native of Poland. Both are experts in Polish history.

“Those ties date back to our foundation, and even connect with the state of Georgia in the form of Casimir Pulaski, who fought with the patriots against King George III in the American Revolution and died trying to free Savannah from his soldiers,” Dunn said.

Dunn said that study abroad trips offer many benefits to students.

“You could read a thousand books, but when concluded, they can't replicate the knowledge you gain from walking the streets of London, Tokyo, or Warsaw,” he said. “Study abroad lets you learn by seeing, hearing, and even tasting another culture. It burns vivid memories into your brain.

“I can recall the taste of my ice cream, the face of a French girl, and our pleasant conversation, all near a spectacular fountain by Bernini at the Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy, July 1975. No amount of YouTube videos could replicate that memory.”

Contact Dr. John Dunn at jdunn@valdosta.edu or (229) 333-5947 to learn more.

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