“EL” stands for Experiential Learning. As the first semester closes, students rush in applications in hopes of obtaining a position on one of the several EL rosters being offered for study this summer.
Experiential Learning, in this case means a three to four week intensive study abroad (domestic or international) in which students travel with professors to do research and merge themselves into a foreign culture or environment.
I went on the EL to Turkey two summers ago and the bonding with professors, the on-the-ground research, and the integration into a foreign culture created one of the greatest experiences throughout my Allegheny career.
The picture represents preparation for the EL to Turkey for this upcoming summer. Professor Eric Boynton of the Religious Studies/Philosophy Department and Professor Ron Cole of the Geology Department head the trip and give interested students the chance to learn more about the study, about the country and culture, and about what they’ll learn within the three week time period.
During an EL, students pick a topic to research previous to departure. Once on the ground, students interview citizens to further their research in a contemporary setting.
Almost no other type of study offers such a comprehensive and culturally integrative education.