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Nov 16, 2015

Expand Your Horizons with David Parker's Study Abroad

By Matthew D'Angelo

Arch in BrusselsProfessor David Parker, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, has been practicing law for 26 years. His experience outside of the classroom in the military and legal field has provided him with a breadth of knowledge to draw upon while teaching here at the College of Business.

This past year, Parker created a study abroad program that provided each of his students with their own opportunity to expand their knowledge through experience outside the classroom.

The study abroad program, which included visiting European cities ranging from The Hague to Geneva, allowed students to complete a challenging business law course in an exciting, interactive way.

“The students were very interested in everything that we did because we studied those places [in class],” said Parker. “They were able to solidify concepts that were generally abstract legal principles.”

Students enjoyed a busy tour schedule that took them from places discussed in class, like the International Court of Justice and the Council of the European Union, to other education based sites like the Waterloo Battlefield and the Red Cross Museum.

Overall, the experiential learning opportunity provided students with a unique experience that broadened their perspective both inside and outside of the classroom. Jon Teconchuk, a senior finance major, found Parker’s hands on teaching methods extremely beneficial to his own learning process.

“You learn about all of these places in a classroom but when you actually go out and see them, it accelerates your learning tenfold,” said Teconchuk.

While Parker’s study abroad program provides students with interactive learning to further support ideas learned in the classroom, it also allows students to learn from their professor in a new way. This stems mainly from Parker’s presence during the trip.

“I do everything from meeting students at the airport to getting them into hotels,” said Parker. “I’m with them all of the time except for free time.”

This type of involvement with the trip grants students a new kind of access. Teconchuk was grateful for the opportunity that he had to travel with Parker and to hear about Parker’s experiences as a lawyer and teacher.

“It was great to hear about his experience not just on an educational level, but on a personal level as well,” said Teconchuk. “By having that relationship with him, we learned 20 times more.”

Parker’s study abroad program is one that is offered this year as well. With a slightly bigger group this time, Parker hopes to repeat his tradition of providing students with a ‘different’, worldly perspective while educating them about business law.