History Department Travel Program
Each history major is given the opportunity to participate in an end-of-the-academic year trip to various locations in Europe and the United States. This trip will be partially subsidized by the university to ensure that all history majors have the opportunity to travel up to four times during their time at Wheeling Jesuit University.
The travel program is extremely beneficial for students on an academic level. History classes at Wheeling Jesuit University focus on a range of topics, from Immigration to the First and Second World Wars, from the Cold War to the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, among others. Complementing their coursework, students are able to explore where history was made. Students can visit Ellis Island, walk the battlefields of the D-Day beaches or Verdun, stroll down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris or the Ringstrasse in Vienna, visit the Vatican in Rome or the famous Cologne Cathedral and touch the remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall. The program is perhaps even more valuable for the personal development of students. Traveling throughout Europe and the United States fosters both intellectual growth and individual responsibility. From a more tangible perspective, coming into contact with different cultures is an unparalleled experience and provides history majors with a real advantage in today’s globalized economy.
Previous trips led by history professors include trips to Ireland, New York, Berlin and Metz/Trier/Paris with trips to Vienna, Munich, the Rhine River Valley, Normandy, London, Rome and Prague on the future schedule.
For further information, please contact Dr. Jeff Rutherford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-243-2276.
"This trip was the best experience of my life because it gave me the opportunity to see amazing sights such as the royal apartments, flak towers, and Schonbrünn Palace. This trip also served as first hand reminder of the sobering past of Europe, with the expedition to Mauthausen concentration camp reminding me of all those who lost their lives in World Wars I & II. In addition to giving me a better understanding of history, this excursion exposed me to a culture that was different from my own through the wonderful food and friendly people that I encountered. This was an extraordinary once in a lifetime trip that and I will cherish its memories for the remainder of my life."
"Before our journey to Vienna and Bratislava I had never left America and I did not know what to expect on the flight across the Atlantic. After an eventful day of traveling, the exploration of the city began. Tours of the Imperial Palaces and museums, as well as stops at historic monuments in both Austria and Slovakia, filled our days as we took in as much of these European cultures as we could in our short time there. As a history major, this trip provided me with a valuable experience that added both depth and understanding to this area of study. In a way, coming into contact with these relics of the past put everything in perspective. For example, while visiting the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum we had the opportunity to see the car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, as well as his uniform which had been stained with blood. While studying these items I could not help but think about the significance of this moment. Here I was standing in the same room as items that were linked to the spark that started the First World War. On our trip, we also toured the largest concentration camp in Austria, Mauthausen. Through my time at Jesuit I had read numerous books regarding the Second World War and the brutality that encompassed the Holocaust, but seeing the site of these atrocities offered me a new perspective on this event. Encounters with history, like the ones that occurred on this trip, do not happen every day and experiencing the past firsthand with other WJU students and professors allowed me to relate the story of Austria and Slovakia to the topics I have studied in class."
-- Patricia Paolini
"The trip was a marvelous adventure. Austria is a beautiful country, full of history, culture, and delicious food. It was incredible to see Vienna, a city that was home to one of the most influential families in European history. It was also amazing to be able to visit Bratislava. The mixture of medieval, baroque, and modern architectural styles spoke to the incredible evolution and longevity of the two cities. With the well-structured itinerary, we were able to see all the important sites. We also had sufficient free time to explore and experience large swathes of the city. The trip to Melk Abbey and subsequent river tour were both tremendous experiences. The excursion to Mauthausen concentration camp was an enlightening experience, serving as a sober reminder of history that should not soon be forgotten. Overall this trip was a splendid opportunity, with friendships forged, novel experiences, and a more personal relationship with history.
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