Tuesday, July 9, 2019

his May, Natalie Bennett ‘20 had the opportunity to travel to Europe with the Honors College to study World War II. She describes the experience as “unimaginably wonderful,” not only because of the beautiful cities and landscapes that they traveled to, but because of the history that was made tangible and the brilliant scholars they met. “Studying abroad allowed me to focus wholly on my studies and gave me the chance to experience numerous cultures that aided the curriculum. Traveling overseas this summer was extremely liberating and opened my eyes to thousands of new opportunities that previously seemed distant.” Bennett is majoring in U.S. History and Theatre at the University of North Texas and is a member of the Honors College.

During their trip, the group traveled to France, Germany, and Belgium. In each location, they had classes at major landmarks from World War II. In Paris, they studied the Resistance that challenged the Nazi occupation. In Normandy, the discussion focused on the D-Day invasion and exploring the beach fronts from that historic day. In Germany and Belgium, the class followed the development of the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Elsenborne Ridge.

Bennett particularly enjoyed her explorations in Germany and Belgium because of her group’s amazing guides/historians, as well as the breathtaking surroundings they studied in. She mentioned that one of the reasons she was always drawn to American history was because it felt so accessible, and learning about historical events concurrently with visiting where they occurred makes it all the more exciting. “Listening to historians descriptions about the Battle of the Bulge while standing in a foxhole or bunker in the Ardennes made what we learned incredibly vivid. As we learned about an event I was able to stand in the aftermath.”

Why did you choose to be a member of the UNT Honors College during your studies?

I wanted to be a part of a community that pushed me in my academics, but also fostered an environment where I would be successful in those endeavors. The resources as well as the research opportunities that the Honors College offers made it a perfect fit for me because of what I wanted to achieve whilst at UNT.

What do you enjoy about the Honors College?

I adore the different environments that the Honors College provides! I find that I flourish in smaller and more intimate classroom setting, and I love their philosophy on discussion and research based learning.

How you would describe UNT, the Honors College, and Denton?

UNT and Denton are both very eclectic! While you are here, you have access to numerous arts, cuisines, music, and much more! There are quite a few festivals throughout the year and even more events that take place downtown and on campus that occur weekly. The Honors College has many opportunities for engagement with other students as well as important members of our Denton and UNT communities. Similar to classes within the Honors College, they allow you to engage one-on-one with lots of interesting people.