The May Xperience
Hello! My name is Pete Bard and I am a rising Junior here at Furman from Boise, Idaho. This summer I had the opportunity to participate in a MayX program! MayX is an opportunity for students to participate in optional on campus or study away courses after we wrap up spring semester finals! In my specific MayX program, I travelled all over England, learning about religious pilgrimage and how Christianity and other religions spread in England through pilgrimage. I travelled with two Furman professors, Dr. Vaughn Crowe Tipton, and Professor Caroline Davis. For three weeks, we traveled from Canterbury to York to London, learning about the history of pilgrimage. Dr. Tipton covered the religious teachings and discussed how religion was a factor in pilgrimage. Meanwhile, Professor Davis focused on the cultural teachings, discussing how pilgrims lived, and how cultural pilgrimages were a large factor in the spread of ideas. We visited many amazing sites including the Canterbury Cathedral, York Minster, and even took a Ghost Tour of York! I got to meet some great people and have an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience!
In previous blogs, we have discussed the different types of semester-long study away programs. We also have different types of MayX programs including on-campus and off-campus programs. In total, Furman offers over 60 MayX programs both on and off campus.
Furman has roughly 40 different on-campus May X programs. These programs include a wide range of activities. For example, there are May X programs on fly-fishing and river conservation, improv, tai chi, and even classes on TikTok as a form of communication. These on-campus May X programs will typically be around 3 weeks long, with you staying at Furman and being taught in Furman classrooms. My friend, who took the Fly Fishing and River Conservation MayX would take day trips to North Carolina and Tennessee to fly fish. An on-campus MayX program, doesn’t mean you will stay at Furman the entire time by any means.
Furman offers over 20 off-campus May X programs ranging from travel from New Mexico to New Zealand. In these, you travel with Furman professors, and other Furman students to learn about a wide variety of topics. We have off-campus May X programs on happiness in Denmark, the medical field in Cambodia, code breaking in World War 1 and many other opportunities. Learning can be inside or outside a classroom. A great example of this was on my MayX program, where we learned outside of the classroom, through lectures in places like cathedrals, minsters, and even at The Globe.
Going on a May-X experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, these three week long classes can push students outside of their comfort zone and allow them to learn something completely new. You also earn 2 class credits for a MayX program, so you can earn class credits while traveling through France or the Netherlands! I would advise all students to take advantage of the MayX programs during their time at Furman, whether on or off campus.
– Pete Bard