Honors announces ambassadors trip


Photo by: Courtesy of Emma Driggers

Each academic year, FMU Honors Ambassadors travel abroad during spring break. This year, the ambassadors will be visiting Ireland.

At the honors reception, FMU Honors administration announced Ireland as the next destination for the Honors Ambassadors spring break trip.

Four students are allowed to attend the trip, and only honors students and students participating in the foreign exchange program are eligible to apply. Freshman McNair scholars have reserved spots on the trip. The faculty advisors and chaperones will be Dr. Jon Tuttle, professor of English and director of FMU Honors, and Dr. Christopher Kennedy.

This will be the thirteenth year that FMU students have had the opportunity to travel abroad through this program. The trip also gives faculty members the opportunity to travel abroad and visit new countries. Tuttle said that he has attended the honors spring break trips several times.

“This will be my fourth trip,” Tuttle said. “I went to France, Spain, Germany and now Ireland.”

Tuttle said that the destination of the trip is ultimately FMU President Dr. Fred Carter’s choice.

“The president sends us somewhere different every year, and we discussed where we thought we ought to go,” Tuttle said. “Because we have exchange partners in Cork and Carlow, it works out.”

The program began when Carter noticed the need for students to experience culture in other countries, according to Tuttle.

“The president said we need to give our students more opportunities as well as reward those students who are in honors,” Tuttle said. “The president said to do this, and we said, ‘hot dog, we’ll do it!’”

According to Tuttle, competitive applicants participate frequently in FMU Honors, are in good standing at FMU and are active in campus activities. Tuttle also said the committee is looking for students who are taking part in several different areas at FMU.

“We want a well-rounded student,” Tuttle said. “Someone who will represent the university with his or her well-roundedness.”

According to Tuttle, the trip is mainly focused on representing the university and acting as positive ambassadors to other universities, but the trip is also meant to be enjoyable for those who attend. Tuttle said that a large portion of the trip is focused on students enjoying the people around them. The opportunity to experience culture is prevalent for the students who attend honors trips.

“What I enjoy most is sitting in a restaurant in some place like Madrid eating paella with four amazing students or being in Kan, France eating sushi,” Tuttle said. “It’s so fun to go eat different food in a strange locale with really great students.”

Emma Driggers, sophomore French and history major, went to Italy last year during spring break as a McNair scholar and said that the trip was an incredible opportunity that she would recommend to other students.

“In all honesty, the trip was probably life-changing, just because I had never become friends that quickly with a group of people,” Driggers said.

According to Tuttle, Honors Ambassadors trips offer a chance for honors students to broaden their worldviews and experience cultures from around the world.