After months of planning, 22 Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) students and three faculty arrived March 6 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport for a trip of a lifetime to London and Paris. This study abroad experience, which was a year in the making, was organized by Professor Heidi Harbers and EF (Education First) tours.

Eleven graduate students, 11 undergraduate students, Harbers, Professor Jennifer Friberg, and Clinical Supervisor Julie Burns participated in this educational adventure. All students received Independent Study credit upon completion of a culture and dialect assignment.

The main focus of the trip was to learn about the education and scope of speech-language pathologists in London, who are referred to as speech therapists, and the culture and dialect of London and Paris. The group was lucky enough to have a guided tour that showcased the history of speech pathology and included a stop at the site where Lionel Logue, the speech therapist for King George VI, practiced.

In addition to the tour, an English speech therapist gave a presentation on speech therapy in London. The group learned about the differences in education, caseload, and referral processes between the U.S. and the U.K. A theatrical production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” a story about an adolescent with autism, was also included in the itinerary.

It wasn’t all work, though. Organized group activities helped everyone explore the culture of England and Paris. They tried various food specialties, including fish and chips, high tea, and authentic Indian food in London as well as crepes and roasted duck in Paris. The group was led by a fabulous tour director who, with the assistance of local guides, took them to sites such as the Windsor Castle, Big Ben, Tower of London, British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, Montmarte, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Louvre Museum, and Eiffel Tower. They were also able to engage in additional activities like bike and boat tours, trips to Bath and Stonehenge in England and Versailles in France. The itinerary also allowed for free time to explore locations of their own choosing. The trip ended March 14 and will be remembered as one of the best spring breaks ever!

Do you want to take part in a study abroad opportunity through the CSD department? More information about the upcoming trips to New Zealand and Australia in May 2016 is available at the CSD website and the EF tours website! Contact Professor Harbers if you have specific questions.