For 10 years, I’ve had the great privilege of leading John V. Roach Honors College students through parts of Western Europe. One-hundred and forty-three students currently make up the Cultural Routes family, and we are preparing to welcome 16 more with CR11.
These 16 join an incredible group of humans. Alumni of CR have gone on to forge memorable careers at TCU, pursue advanced degrees at prestigious universities like Harvard Law, travel internationally as Fulbright Scholars, and secure impressive, fulfilling occupations as engineers, dentists, doctors, business leaders, lawyers, actors, and much, much more. More importantly, many of them have made a positive difference in lives and communities with increased cultural awareness, intelligence and sensitivity; they’ve learned to be more emotionally resilient and better communicators. As they’ve become difference makers, they’ve learned to understand, accept, identify, and empathize with difference. These students recognize and develop a deep, active appreciation for an array of human experiences and the potential of every human being.
This blog will document their story —the intense learning, thoughtful reflections, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences—of the new 16 through words, images, and video. The site will offer academic reflections, meaning making, and storytelling. To read the blog as a “piece of promotion” is to devalue the struggle, work, and questioning CR students engage 24 hours a day while being “all in.” We are always 24/7, ALL IN … we have been this way for a decade. It’s this philosophy that makes CR meaningful and challenges students to regard the experience as neither a vacation-trip nor a European drinking adventure. Those approaches are not the CR way or Honorific.
Below are pics from past Cultural Routes experiences, images of people I will certainly remember as CR10 tackles active and experiential learning in an extremely exhausting and incredibly fulfilling manner: walking quickly over cobblestones, climbing mountains, surveying memorials, sharing meals, discussing meaning and motivation late into the night, and exploring culture while directly and openly facing challenges. They are mi familia, and Cultural Routes is about them—their experiences, adventures, lessons, growth, and cultural connections.
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Welcome to the intellectual, emotional, material, and inquiry-based journey of CR11!