History Lived and Learned: Students and Vietnam Veterans in an Integrative Study Abroad Course
In May 2000, the College of International and Continuing Education and the History Department at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) sponsored an innovative study-abroad course on the history of the Vietnam War. As part of the course, three Vietnam combat veterans accompanied eight undergraduate and eight graduate history students to Vietnam. The course’s staff included three members of the history faculty, a social-work faculty member, a psychologist, and a cameraman. This precedent-setting study abroad course integrated the teaching of Vietnam culture and military history with an exploration of the mental health aspects of combat and post-war recovery of Vietnam veterans. This article discusses lessons learned in designing and implementing the course, and implications regarding the integration of history education and therapeutic mental health objectives.
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