Students will witness the effects of war in Vietnam this summer

MARISSA WHISMAN , Channels Staff

A classroom does not always have to be a confined space where students sit in desks and listen to lectures.

City College students will experience a whole new kind of lecture this summer when the Study Abroad Program sends a group of students to Vietnam and Cambodia to learn about philosophy and the history of the region.

The Vietnam and Cambodia Program will take off July 6 and is led for the first time by Joe White, chair of the philosophy department. The trip was previously offered during the winter, but did not receive enough popularity among students and was canceled.

In this particular class, students will focus on war doctrines and the ethics and history behind wars in Vietnam. “Introduction to Ethics” and “The Vietnam Wars” are the official courses that will be taught.

“What I would want to see is young people learning about the complexity of what happens when collections of human beings go to war against collections of other human beings,” White said.

He has put together an array of documentaries, dramas and readings that are available online for students attending the trip so they don’t have to carry around books.

Alongside learning lessons from books and documents on the area, students will also be involved in helping communities that are still negatively affected by the Vietnam War, including building wheelchairs for war victims that have lost limbs.

According to the study abroad website, students will get the chance to visit famous sites like the ancient Khmer Temples in Cambodia and Saigon, Vietnam’s buzzing financial core. The city was a main base location for the U.S. in the Vietnam War.

“I hear Professor White talk about the trip all the time and I wish was financially able to go on it,” said Lauren Molina, one of White’s students. “It will be so interesting to learn about ethics and history by actually being there in person.”

Elithia Paradias, a part time professor at City College, will be accompanying White as an adviser on the trip. Paradias is the chair of Friendship Tours World Travels, the program City College uses to plan its study abroad trips.

“One thing I would hope students would get out of this trip would be tears,” White said. “You don’t cry in lectures very often.”

Study abroad also offers a summer program in Spain. Professor Roberto Robledo is leading the trip, where students will practice the Spanish language and culture on July 4. The trip to Italy to study fashion marketing was canceled due to lack of sign-ups.