Honor students take trip to Italy


Image Courtesy of the HCC Honors College

HCC Honors College student visited Italy during Spring Break. The students visited cities such as Venice and Florence.

Ana Ramirez, Staff Writer

On March 9, the Houston Community College Honor College students started their travels to Venice and Florence in Italy.

Every year the sophomores of the honors college go on a trip during spring break to learn more about what they have been learning in class. The trip is funded by HCC and the HCC board of Trustees.

Student Jenny Baltazar said, “It was a new experience, it was really beautiful, there is no words to describe how we feel.” Director of the Honor College David Wilcox said, “It sounds like it is a vacation because you are going to a magical place but it is associated with the course, so they studied, they read books and they gave reports and throughout the trips they kept journals of their experience.”

The students visited 2 major cities in just 8 days. “We would leave the hotel at 8 am and wouldn’t come back until 9 or 10 pm,” student Thao Nguyen said.

Some of the places they visited where: Church of Santa Maria Novella, St. Mark’s Basilica, Arsenale and Naval Museum, San Zaccaria Church, Peggy Guggenheim Collection and many more.

Baltazar and Nguyen shared that Wilcox, the Director of the Honor College and the Instructor of HUMA 1301 split the class into 3 groups and gave them a research assignment to do. Baltazar’s group assignment was to compare and contrast the differences between the Museum’s Influence like the different sculptures and paintings. Nguyen’s research group went and researched more on famous people who actually were inspired in the renaissance. They had to write a paper about their topic and turn it in.

“I think that trips like these are always life changing, it was a fabulous trip, they got to experience part of the world they never been before and when that happens there is a lot of magic involved,” Wilcox shared.

Students were able to see the culture of Italy and experience the difference between Italy and the US. Nguyen said, “ It’s really inspiring for us to see and experience that culture.” Wilcox shared,” They saw things they never seen before, they eat things they never thought they’d eat, they see familiar things but they also experience things that are much older than what they are used to seeing here and because they have studied before they had gone, they’ve learned so much more.” Wilcox continued, “I think because of weeks of preparation they have undergone, they’ve experience it on a different level.”

During their trip, Wilcox noticed there were other students at the different sights they were at but one college caught his eye. UT Austin was there and he said “they would go into a place and they would say, what is this? What are we looking at? What are we seeing? They didn’t know but our students did and they explained it to them, they explained what is was and why it was important and that’s my goal.”

“When I take students to Europe, they know what they are going to see before they see it, and that way they appreciate it.” Wilcox says he sees the effect that  the experience has had on the students, “What I have witnessed is real personal growth in students, they’ve been able to see and touch history and I suspect that as time goes on they are going to appreciate it more and more.”

Wilcox knew that coming back home to Houston would make the students miss Italy because of the different things they saw. “I know they dream about this trip, and I know that because I dream about it too.”