LOCK HAVEN – In 1994, Phil Huber had four or five students interested in International Studies. And for a few years the interest remained steady. When he taught at Alvernia College in 1994 he wanted to do an International Studies Program, so he chose to write a Study Abroad course.
In 1997, Huber brought his love of travel to Lock Haven University where he is employed as a professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. He has since encouraged students to explore the world around them, and has expanded the program in the process.
Huber has taken students to London and Paris for 20 years and his passion shines brightly when discussing with him the program. “A large percentage of students (60 percent to be more precise) are not art majors who go on these trips, but students from all areas of academia. You watch them grow from students who have their fears of a foreign country to those embracing another culture. Some even decide to stay on their own for further exploration.”
The Study Abroad Program is open to all students at Lock Haven University. Traditional semester and year-long programs are offered at 21 different countries. Programs such as the London-Paris destination, led by Huber, are short-term summer programs with 10 days spent abroad.
Students participating in these programs do receive either undergraduate or graduate credits. Sixty percent of students taking the course in Paris and London participate in the GHP Seminar (Global Honors with Distinction). Preparation is done on campus where students choose pieces from a broad selection of master works found in the Louvre and the Orsay museums in Paris and the National Gallery and the Tate Galleries in London. They are then guided on how to lead discussions on the works utilizing their own areas of expertise. Students then present in front of their selected works in London and Paris. In addition students are introduced to the architecture and culture of Paris, London and Versailles.
Huber was chosen as a Fulbright Scholar in 2005 and spent a year in Uzbekistan. He now serves on the Fulbright Committee. He has also conducted exhibitions in Croatia, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Huber notes that the 2015 London Paris Study Abroad program is already full and names are being submitted for future dates. He also notes that one does not have to be a student of Lock Haven University to take the course. He has had students from both PASSHE and private schools participate. Students applying for the program, however, must have a minimum of 40 credit hours before applying.
Additional programs are under consideration for the Study Abroad program for Lock Haven University. For more information on Study Abroad programs, please visit the Institute for International Study’s Web site.