During the summer of 2018, Callie Koeval took a chance and decided to study abroad in Europe. Through an interdisciplinary partnership between the Departments of History and Sociology, Drs. Cameron Lippard and Jason White led a three-week study abroad program to Central and Eastern Europe. This summer program focused on the consequences of World War II, the Cold War, and the Holocaust in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Twenty-two students were able to visit such iconic sites as the Berlin Wall, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp, cold war bomb shelters of Prague, and the post-Communist regime changes in Budapest.
For Callie, this trip represented her first time ever traveling outside of the United States. It was also the first time she would experience new languages and cultures. She also learned how history and sociology can help to make sense of the social, political, and economic chaos created by war and genocide, and whether societies can move forward by learning from its past. As stated by Callie,
The War in Europe trip in 2018 was my first time leaving the United States, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. War in Europe was one of the most valuable courses I’ve taken in college, and it was amazing to experience the cultural, social, and political histories of the cities and countries we visited. Our class sessions and excursions were always interesting and fun, and I took advantage of the free time we had to explore. I stepped out of my comfort zone by going somewhere unfamiliar with people I didn’t know at all, and ended up having an incredible experience in many ways. I learned a lot about myself along the way and made memories I will cherish forever. If I had the chance I would definitely go on this trip again!
After traveling abroad, Callie has a new appreciation for how sociology can assist in understanding social problems that impact not just Americans but the world. She also wants to travel more and suggests that every student at Appalachian State University consider studying abroad.