ELT 2020 - Seattle

Experiential Learning Trip (ELT) 2020 - Seattle

Written by: Marina Miller, Co-Chair, GSU

This year, for the first time, the GSU joined two other student unions, EVSCSU and BESU, in running the ELT. We had immense success, and with 21 attendees it was one of the best trips of the last decade. The main goal when planning this Experiential Learning trip was to foster a better sense of community and friendship between students while providing them with a beneficial educational experience. These trips not only keep a sense of community among students, but they also help us reach out to members who know little about their student union.

During 4 days we fit in many educational and cultural experiences to encompass the program areas of all attendees. On Day 1 we had free time after our charter bus ride. Students explored Pike Place Market, the Amazon Sphere, the first Starbucks, and some attended a pub night hosted by the Green Tortoise Hostel. On Day 2 we walked to Seattle centre to see the breathtaking Space Needle, enjoy the sun at lunch time, then explore the Museum of Pop Culture. We took the Seattle Monorail back, which was a highlight for our transit-loving geographers. On Day 3 we took the Seattle subway to the University of Washington. We arrived at the College of Built Environments on foot to meet members of their Geography Department. Chair Sarah Elwood welcomed us to a special series of research lectures from a few masters and PhD students. In the afternoon, we visited the Burke Museum of Natural History, a staple of the U of W campus. This showed us a lot of Indigenous cultural expressions and history. On our last day before leaving, one of our U of W lecturers took us on a walking tour of Pioneer Square, the “first neighbourhood” of Seattle. Julian Barr’s talk was on the Queer geographies and histories of the neighbourhood, helping us better understand how Seattle became a LGBTQ+ friendly city. This was an extremely successful and memorable trip. We are honoured to be able to provide experiences like this for undergrads.

We would like to thank the Department of Geography, School of Environmental Science, Department of REM, Faculty of Environment, and the SFSS for helping fund this trip.


Photo Credits: Paolo Orosa, Marina Miller, Jeanine De Guzman, Victor Yin, Helen Wong, Lucy Lei