For three weeks before the second semester begins, students at The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) participate in a “mini-mester”, or January Interim, where they focus on one elective course. Interim classes are a great way for students to ease into the new year, and the wide variety of course offerings allows students to tap into undiscovered talents and explore new hobbies. Several courses include travel, nationally or internationally, and field experiences. In years past, groups have visited places like Silicon Valley, Peru, South America, and the Galapagos Islands. The entire student body has the choice of the class and signs up the summer before school starts.
Course topics are diverse and include science, technology, art, music, and drama. Interim courses are taught by members of the GSSM faculty, along with visiting professors from South Carolina colleges and universities.
“I think that traveling is an important experience for young people because its how they can learn about the world from their own perspective instead of other people’s stories and accounts. I think you gain respect for other cultures as well.” -Thandikwe Nixon, Charleston, SC
“My favorite part of my trip, by far, was visiting the Paracas Natural Reserve. I have never been to a desert before, and it was more beautiful than I could have imagined. The landscape was absolutely captivating, and I could see for miles. The colors were also amazing, the shades of the dunes ranged from the typical tan to burgundy. It was such a unique place, with a dessert that leads right up to the ocean. The cliffs that stood high over the rolling water provided a juxtaposition that was simply breathtaking. I am so thankful that I was able to visit this hidden gem.” – Hollis Smith, Clover, SC
“Travel is such an incredible opportunity and privilege for young people and I would like to point out that there are several educational foundations that support giving these opportunities to students who couldn’t otherwise afford it. First, the GSSM Foundation supports our students taking trips; second, EF Tours Foundation has supported students being able to travel for decades and even organizes at-trip costs for schools to travel as cheaply as possible. Third, there is a charity called FLYTE that supports entire groups of children from project areas to travel abroad. The reason I mention these foundations is that they recognize that travel can broaden a student’s mind and contribute to their educational journey in a way no other experience can, giving them a priceless opportunity they will remember for years to come. All of these charitable efforts were originated by people who had life-changing travel experiences themselves, showing you just how important travel is to education.” – William Hobbs, Lexington, SC