Hello and welcome. This is the LCU podcast, a podcast that will bring stories, insights and people from Lubbock Christian University. I'm your host, Keegan Stewart, and I'm happy to be with you for another episode. On today's episode, we talk about studying abroad at LCU. Just last week, 24 LCU students and four faculty members traveled to Avila, Spain, where they are going to spend this entire semester.
I had a conversation with three people that are part of this year's group. I spoke with Dr. Shawn Hughes, associate professor of Communication. I spoke with sophomore Ty Drury, business major, with an emphasis on marketing, and Holly Flatt, junior DMA major, who was actually studying abroad in Spain for the second time. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Holly, Ty and Dr. Hughes.
Joined by Dr. Shawn Hughes, Ty Drury and Holly Flatt. Thank you all for being here today.
Shawn Hughes: Thank you.
Ty Drury: Yeah, thanks for having us.
Keegan Stewart: So we know the title of this episode is all about studying abroad. Yeah, we know you all are going to Spain. But, Shawn, why don't you tell us a little bit more of where you're going? What is this place, our Avila? Tell us a little bit about it.
Shawn Hughes: Avila Spain is about an hour, maybe an hour and a half out of Madrid, and it's really in the central part of Spain. And from what everybody tells me, the climate is very similar to Lubbock, Texas, as well. So we're expecting to more warm weather for the next few weeks, if not a month. But then after that, it'll get more and more mild, perhaps.
But Avila has one of the most famous and intact walls from the Middle Ages. And these are walls that were built by the moors, and they're they're like 12 to 15 feet tall. And so there's a whole section of Avila that's in the old town, of course, and there's the great Spanish walls that go all around the town.
And we are looking forward to that. And we teach classes at at the Catholic University there, and the students stay in the dorms and it's just going to be a wonderful semester.
Keegan Stewart: Ty Drury It's your second year at LCU and you have chosen to spend this fall semester studying abroad. Tell us a little bit about why you wanted to go your thought process and what led you that? What led you there?
Ty Drury: Yeah, for sure. So in high school, as I was looking up, you know, doing research on where I wanted to go to college, my academic advisor actually introduced me to that idea of studying abroad and I just like it really captured my attention. And I knew like wherever I went, I wanted to be sure that I would have the opportunity to study abroad.
And so obviously now that I'm here at LCU, I found out about the Spain program and I just knew instantly, like, I need to be a part of this as soon as I can. And so I started making plans last semester to come to Spain and, you know, working out classes and all that kind of stuff with my major to be able to go.
And yeah, I'm just so excited to spend the semester in Spain.
Keegan Stewart: So it's Shawn and Ty's first time, and I find this fascinating, Holly. This is your second time? Yes. To go with the LCU group studying abroad in Spain. So how did how did you decide? I'm going to go twice.
Outro: So I've always known that I wanted to go. So I went last fall in 2022, and it was just such an amazing experience. I got to go with my sister and with some older classmen. And then when we got back I said, What if I went again? And so I asked Heather Howell and she said, Well, that's never come up before.
Holly Flatt: We don't really have a rule for that. And I figured it out with my classes and financially and I thought, if I can, I absolutely want to. I might.
Keegan Stewart: And so I said, Yeah, I figured it out. And you're getting ready to go this Friday, going for the second time. And that's why I'm excited for you to be a part of this conversation. As as Ty and Shawn think about their first time all they can lean on a seasoned veteran like yourself Shawn what was the process like for you as a faculty member that's going to be teaching over there?
What was the process like for you to get to be a part of this trip?
Shawn Hughes: We apply and there's a there's an application process and then the committee decides on the right fit. It's not necessarily about the professors in their qualifications because all of all of our professors here are qualified, but it does deal with the right fit for that particular semester. If we have three Bible professors apply, well, we can't do a whole semester Bible.
So in this case we will. We always want to do a Bible class. We always want to do a foreign language class, a Spanish class. And then art has been pretty consistent. So Michelle Kraft on that. And then in this case, the complementary areas were communication and English. And so me and and Jana Anderson are going to be going along.
And so Dr. Anderson will be teaching the English classes and I'll be teaching the communication classes.
Keegan Stewart: Holly, help the listeners and maybe Ty, who's starting to think about it as he will be there next week. How do the classes work over there? What's the what's the routine like? We know what it's like on campus here at LCU, but what is how is it different over there? You know, less professors, obviously, but how does it work?
Holly Flatt: Yes. So we start the school year here. We have one week of like orientation week. We have syllabus class time for the teachers here before we leave. And then we head over there and we get our schedules with all of our teachers here. And then we have our Spanish teacher who actually lives in Spain, Juan Antonio. And so we have classes at New Cavs building with some of our professors and then with one of theirs.
Keegan Stewart: Great and so classes normal time for the just regular routine of the week.
Holly Flatt: Yes we have classes starting at 9 a.m. depending on your schedule, and then you'll get out Thursday at lunchtime right before lunch. So then we get to travel for the weekends.
Shawn Hughes: Okay. But you get to tell them when lunch as much.
Holly Flatt: Does that like 3 p.m. 2 p.m..
Shawn Hughes: In that bizarre lunch.
Keegan Stewart: Lunches is at 3.
Shawn Hughes: Will actually 2 I think 14 their in military time so 1400 is Lunch.
Keegan Stewart: And how is this in conjunction with the siesta that takes place.
Shawn Hughes: 16.
Holly Flatt: Yeah it just happens after lunch for a few hours. So you got to really wait until it's dinnertime for us here like six or so before anything will be opened up again.
Keegan Stewart: So explain. Explain what? That lunch the has to explain that to the listeners because every time I hear about this, I'll be honest with you all. I wish. I wish, though.
Shawn Hughes: Not.
Keegan Stewart: Than we had here.
Ty Drury: I mean, I don't know too much about it.
Keegan Stewart: Ty is getting ready to experience this.
Ty Drury: I know I'm so ready. But basically, just like culturally, like the way that they structure their day is so different. So obviously, you know, like their mealtimes are spaced out. You know, we were talking about today how they have breakfast, you know, pretty normal time, like around 830 and then they don't have obviously their lunch until like 2:00, 2:20, 3:00 and then they don't have dinner until like nine or 10:00 at night, which is insane.
But they kind of, they have different like snack times throughout the day. They get tapas, which are just kind of like small plates. Like that's a very traditional Spanish thing. But yeah, so like Holly mentioned, after lunch, they have a span of two or 3 hours where literally everything shuts down. Like businesses, like, I mean, I mean everything.
And people just get like a break in their day to just, I don't know, like, enjoy themselves, relax, rest, do whatever they need to do before coming back to work later on. So yeah, I'm really excited to experience that and just learn more about that culture since it's so different from the American idea of, you know, hustling and bustling and just, you know, like working from 9 to 5 with no stop.
Keegan Stewart: Holly, what would you all do during that siesta time?
Holly Flatt: It depended what to the time we did homework or nap at the dorms. Sometimes we accidentally went to the grocery store and then it was closed. So we walked back. It was a good time just to like walk around the city and adventure. Even though everything was closed, you could still see the beauty, see the nature and stuff.
Keegan Stewart: Shawn, what are you most excited for?
Shawn Hughes: Most excited for for regional travel and for travel across Europe because as already mentioned, we get out on Thursday afternoon and so you can book your start of your travel on Thursday, hopefully make it to Madrid and make it to the the plane station or in the flights are dirt cheap. It's a lot cheaper to fly from like Madrid to Paris than it is from here to DFW.
So flying around Europe and experiencing the major areas and the art and the history of Europe, that's what I'm really looking forward to, is it's that. And of course the I'm looking forward to the camaraderie and the bonding of the group.
Keegan Stewart: You all have a great group of students.
Shawn Hughes: We do. We really do.
Keegan Stewart: Just a fantastic group. So you mentioned the excursions you have. You have things in the plans already. You've got I've got three books.
Shawn Hughes: I've got three and I've got like three more that are kind of being planned. But my first three, I'm going to go to Gibraltar, then I'm going to go to not necessarily in chronological order, but Gibraltar, Barcelona and Paris.
Keegan Stewart: Fantastic. Yeah. So for you, Holly wohat excursions did do you go on last year or do you go in on any this year that are different, anything like that?
Holly Flatt: I don't have any solid plans for this year, but I am so down to go anywhere I want to go to every country possible on our free weekends. Last year I was a little limited because of COVID regulations, so I stayed in Spain, which I don't regret at all because it's a beautiful country no matter where you go.
But I'm excited this year to go to France and Italy and maybe Amsterdam or I don't know.
Keegan Stewart: How about that. Ty do you have any plans at this point?
Ty Drury: Yeah, I have a few trips planned so far right now I'm for sure going to Berlin, Germany, and then Paris and Greece. So I'm super excited for Greece. That's been like a bucket list destination for me. So I know that trip is going to be a blast.
Keegan Stewart: Absolutely. So, Holly, what advice do you have not only for these two guys in here, but for the whole group on how to maximize the study abroad experience with LCU.
Holly Flatt: I really think it's just important to be open to new experiences and not not to say no just say yes to as many things as you can, like hanging out with locals and trying new food and buying something that you might want to take home as a souvenir. Just all the things that you might regret afterwards to say yes.
And it'd be better to like, do it and not like it than to never have done it and have regrets.
Keegan Stewart: Very strong advice.
Shawn Hughes: That's great.
Keegan Stewart: So, Shawn, like, you're going to be gone for three months. You know, we'll see you next semester. What are you going to come back with? Like a huge beard or something like that? Are you going to do like a study abroad?
Shawn Hughes: Abroad to get it started still? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I have no idea. I hopefully will come back a lot thinner because we are walking everywhere and I am not looking forward to that. But I, you know, I got my good shoes and I've got a good attitude, but I don't have a good body. So that, you know, two out of three ain't bad as Meatloaf says.
But I am looking for, you know, the the one thing we haven't really mentioned is that as a group, we take a few trips. So we're going to Granada and we're going to, I think, Seville, maybe a day trip. And so anyway, we're taking some Segovia. That's it. So we're taking some day trips or taking some trips as a group, the final week, Thanksgiving week, we spend the entire week as a group in London.
Keegan Stewart: In London.
Shawn Hughes: So we get to wrap up with because you know, we haven't mentioned London, none of us have said we're I think that's because the entire group gets to go to London and it really experience that. And so I'm I'm I think that's a wonderful in my mind that's a wonderful way to wrap things up.
Keegan Stewart: No kidding.
Shawn Hughes: What do you think?
Holly Flatt: Oh, it's incredible. It's it really works out well that it's at the very end of the year because you're leaving Spain, which is so heartbreaking. But then you're still in Europe. So it's a good like little step down before you have to come all the way home. Nice. And it's just a great little wrap up. You get to spend it with everyone instead of like a little group on the weekend.
Everyone's all together and having one last adventure before we leave.
Keegan Stewart: It'll be a blast. So to all of you, any farewell thoughts to the LCU community as you all get ready to depart this week?
Ty Drury: I mean, I would just say, like to anyone who's considering studying abroad, like definitely look into it, do your research. And there's so many amazing people who have gone and obviously like who are about to go as well. But talk to Heather Howell, who's the director of All Study Abroad and All Things Global Campus. And she'll really sell you on it.
It's just such a once in a lifetime opportunity. So just to anyone who's thinking about it, like really, really consider it because it's going to be such a great experience.
Shawn Hughes: And I'll say from the academic standpoint, it, you know, I'm a very interested that Ty came specifically for a study abroad program because and Holly, you can help emphasize this or echo this, but I think it expands her worldview in such a way that classes can't. And I'm teaching intercultural communication, and it's one thing to talk about it in the classroom, but to actually go and experience you don't understand what it's like to be in a foreign country until you are immersed.
You think you know Spanish, but you don't know Spanish until you're immersed. You think you know about Japan or Peru or wherever. You don't know them until you get there. In the the little things are what will amaze you. So there's a lot to learn just by traveling.
Holly Flatt: Yeah, I would absolutely agree. I think it's such an amazing experience for yourself, for your relationships, like just in every single way socially. And it's really a personal growth trip. Like so much growth happens on it that I think nobody cut yourself short. Like at least go talk to Heather Howell or somebody about it because there's ways to go like financially there's scholarships and there's people who help you and academically like you can figure it out.
I figured it out twice and it was kind of hard, but you can make it work if you want to go badly enough. So at least do your research and look into it before saying that you can't go.
Shawn Hughes: And all echo that on the academic side. As an advisor, we work hard to make sure that whatever 12, 15 hours you get in Spain fits. Yeah, it may not be already in your schedule, but we are we are much more focused on you going and making that work for you than we are in just checkbox and the schedule.
I'll I'll substitute a lot of things for the experience of the Spain trip or even the Washington internship, but those are things that I think are valuable, very valuable.
Keegan Stewart: Ty just one last note. Tell tell them your schedule. What classes are you taking over? I think this is neat. Yeah.
Ty Drury: So I am taking communications for the professional with Dr. Hughes. I'm very excited.
Keegan Stewart: Ready for those speeches?
Ty Drury: Hey, come on. You already know I'm also taking Spanish, which is a required class and art history, which is also required over there. And then I am taking Christian Heritage with Rob Anderson and I am also taking grant slash technical writing with Dr. Jana Anderson. So and all of those classes are fitting within my degree plan. Like I'm not taking any unnecessary just like extra fluff classes.
So it's great. I'm taking 15 hours and it's all going to my degree and I'm going to be in Spain, so it's just perfect.
Keegan Stewart: You all three did an amazing job of painting the picture of what this looks like. Holly, Ty, Shawn, thank you all for this conversation today. And on behalf of all the LCU community, I wish you all great, safe and blessed trip.
Shawn Hughes: Thank you.
Ty Drury: Thank you.
Keegan Stewart: Thank you all for listening to the LCU podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, go ahead and send it to someone else who you also think will enjoy it. Be sure and give us a rating or review, follow and subscribe. Hope you all have a great day. God bless.
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