What an awesome experience! It’s amazing what opportunities you get to be part of when you travel abroad! I’m sure they will remember this forever. **DB
“Study abroad trip to Normandy, Europe changes Georgia Highlands College students in unexpected ways”
“It was truly the trip of a lifetime.
At the beginning of June, seven Georgia Highlands College students and two faculty members went to London to begin a trip organized by EF College Tours. The tour followed the route of World War II soldiers and was part of a Western Civilization class at the college. The study abroad trip was open to students not taking the class as well as those who were.
After two days in London, they left by bus on June 5 to Portsmouth where they took a ferry across the English Channel and landed in Caen in Normandy, France.
It was along that coast on June 6, 1944, where the Allies’ D-Day invasion began during World War II.
Already excited about the planned tour, the group got an especially thrilling treat when the tour guides secured invitations for the group to attend the ceremonies at the American cemetery on Omaha Beach. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande were scheduled to speak and security was exceptionally tight.
“The highway was shut down and our bus had a police escort to get to Omaha Beach,” said Bronson Long, professor at Georgia Highlands. “We saw Marine One land and the Secret Service was there, the military was there. It was huge. It was standing room only.”
The group attended the ceremonies in Normandy on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Surrounded by veterans of the war and 51 heads of state, the group was a little overwhelmed.
“I think we all cried, it was so emotional,” said Megan Broome, one of the students. “It was just incredible that we got to be there and experience that.”
Broome, who was enjoying her first trip overseas was especially grateful for the experience.
“I’ve never even been out of the southeastern states, so it was really special for me,” she said. “I think it was really amazing that while listening to President Hollande, he spoke in French of course, and I don’t understand French, but it was still so affecting . . . .”