Nine students from the University of Mount Olive recently traveled to the United Kingdom. The trip was a collaborative effort between the Tillman School of Business and the School of Arts & Sciences Division of Education led by Dr. Joey Long, assistant professor of business law and ethics and Dr. Stephen Edwards, assistant professor of agriculture education.
Long led a course entitled BUS 485 – Global Experiences in Business, which focused on the business side of sports in the United Kingdom, and Edwards led EDU 380 – Global Experiences in Agriculture, which focused on agricultural practices in the United Kingdom. Both courses immersed students into the global experience and gave them an opportunity to visit and study in London and the English countryside. The group spent thirteen days abroad.
While in London, the BUS 485 students brought their course to life and met with representatives of NFL Europe and the Jacksonville Jaguars, business professionals in soccer and rugby, and toured various sports facilities, including the Wimbledon Tennis and Racquet Club and the Chelsea Football Club.
“Students explored business practices of the sports in Europe, and were able to speak directly with the professionals while receiving tours of various facilities,” explained Long.
“My favorite part of the trip was seeing a Premier League football game and experiencing the feel of the crowd at the game,” said senior agribusiness major Samuel Carter from Snow Hill.
The EDU 380 students explored their love for agriculture and visited the Essex Young Farmers’ Show, the Foreign Agriculture Service office at the U.S. Embassy, the United Kingdom Department of Environment, Farming, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the National Farmers Union (NFU), the University of Reading’s research farms, Crowmarsh Battle Farms in Oxfordshire, and the Chelsea Flower Show.
“I enjoyed being able to share with my students my love of travel. It was great that we were able to travel with a purpose,” said Edwards. “This trip provided the students with an opportunity that I hope will benefit them in their future careers.”
“The farms across London and the countryside were all unique in their own way,” recalled Sarah Harkey, a junior agriculture education major from Mount Pleasant. “The Essex Young Farmers Show was almost like a state fair and farm show mix, which was great to see!”
Matthew Shaw, a senior from Wayne County, enjoyed experiencing both aspects of his agriculture business major and said, “I enjoyed going and experiencing the football (soccer) games to see what the atmosphere was like. I also appreciated talking with DEFRA and the NFU to see how they interacted with the agriculture sector in the United Kingdom.”
The students and professors also visited numerous iconic museums and picturesque monuments.
“Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, the London Bridge, the London Eye, and St. Paul’s Cathedral were so incredible to see and experience,” said Kelsey Fleming, a senior agriculture education major from Pikeville. “Also, attending a service at Westminster Abbey was unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced and it’s something that I’ll never forget.”
Having the opportunity to learn abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and will not be soon forgotten by any of the students. “Thank you to everyone who made this a trip possible,” said Julia Chandler, a senior agriculture education major from Newton. “It was an experience that I will never forget!”
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.