Residents can study in London

Published 4:01 pm Friday, September 4, 2009

Area residents and Bainbridge College (BC) students who have wanted to see England or study abroad have a new opportunity through BC’s five-week U.S. History class in London next summer that Dr. Dave Nelson of Quincy, Fla. will teach.

Other classes being offered in England include theater, psychology, watercolor, literature and political science.

To learn more about BC’s study abroad, those interested may contact Nelson at david.nelson@bainbridge.edu or attend an information session on Main Campus on Sept. 20 at the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center.

The information session will be repeated Sept. 27 at the Early County Site in Blakely.

Both sessions will serve a typical British tea from 3 to 4:30 p.m. BC offers in-state tuition rates to residents of Gadsden County, Fla., and Henry and Houston Counties in Alabama.

While most people do not think of world travel when they think of Bainbridge College in rural Georgia, BC offers a wide range of study abroad opportunities.

It has Spring Semester courses set for Belize and the Galapagos Islands and more in 2011, said Nelson, co-coordinator with Library Director Susan Ralph of BC’s International Education Program.

The courses in England, which may be taken for college credit, are through the University System of Georgia’s European Council. Nelson’s class will be at the City College of the University of London. Two days each week will be in class, followed by a day of field trips he will lead. The schedule gives students time to study and sight-see.

“It will give students a completely unique view of U.S. history,” Nelson said. “Imagine learning about the American Revolution—around the 4th of July, no less—while staying in the country we rebelled against.”

He stressed the importance of study abroad in this global age.

“Possessing international experience often makes the difference in getting a job or acceptance into universities,” said the BC assistant professor of history whose book about Florida will be published in 2010 by Louisiana State University Press. He wrote about Florida’s transformation in the 1930s from a rural agricultural state to a tourism mecca. He completed much of his research for it as a graduate student at Florida State University. Although most of his research centers on Florida and the American South, Nelson is a life-long Anglophile.

“England is the core culture of the United States,” Nelson said. As he tells his students, “to learn about England is to learn about ourselves. Despite where your ancestors originated—for instance, mine were from Ireland, Scotland and East Europe—we all speak English, follow English laws, and enjoy a democratic government and civil rights based on English ideals and customs.”