Summer Study Travel Experience
Pending sufficient funding, Montgomery Scholars will participate in a study travel experience as an integral part of the Montgomery Scholars Program. The study travel program is an extension of the first-year Montgomery Scholars curriculum and a bridge to the second-year curriculum. It emphasizes scholarship, independence, interdisciplinary links, cultural awareness, service learning and a dorm experience.
In the summer of 2014, the study travel program will take place in Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is a unique location, having both an urban and a rural feel. The city of Asheville has a thriving downtown social scene, yet is surrounded by national park lands and historic rural communities. It also has a rich literary tradition with connections to such notable figures as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carl Sandburg, O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, Thornton Wilder, Henry Miller, and Gail Godwin.
Scholars will stay in dormitories for the duration of the program at Warren Wilson College, a unique higher education institution renowned for its three-part approach to education; students gain a liberal arts education while participating in both a campus-wide work program and participating in a service-learning project. Scholars will also complete a service-learning project as part of their Asheville experience. For the first week of this two-week program, students will take part in the Swannanoa Gathering (a program of folk arts workshops) at Warren Wilson College. As participants in the Swannanoa Gathering, students will have the chance to study a variety of topics with international experts. Courses usually cover such topics as shape-note singing, American roots music, folklore of the Blue Ridge Mountains, transatlantic journeys, and the radio years.
For the second week of the program, Scholars will visit and participate in local cultural activities and service-learning projects in the surrounding communities. Outings will include a visit to the Biltmore Estate, a symbol of the Gilded Age in America. Students will also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and attend an evening production of the drama Unto These Hills, a Native American play covering the history of the Cherokee people. Scholars will have the chance to engage in a service-learning project – for example, in 2013 the students did extensive work on the Black Mountain Community Garden.