Stephanie Sprott is an Arts/Law graduate who majored in History. In her last year at Monash she did a study tour called the ‘Final Journey: Remembering the Holocaust.’ The tour took students to Holocaust historical sites and memorials across Europe, and Stephanie talked to us about why it was so significant for her.
What was the ‘Final Journey’ study tour like?
We went to four different countries in Europe (Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland) to observe the way in which those countries conceive of the Holocaust, how they memorialise tragedy, and how they experience the past in the present day. (Students travel as group with their teachers.)
My study experience with (teacher) Mark Baker was the highlight of my history major at Monash. It provided me with a deeply moving and personal understanding of the Holocaust and memory in Europe.
What was it like travelling and learning with the other students?
There’s quite a big difference between learning about traumatic events in a classroom, and then seeing it face to face. It can be quite shocking at first – so you form really close bonds with the other students.
It was actually really great, you make really good friends and the closer you get on the trip the more you kind of ‘hash out’ what you’ve been seeing.
You said the tour was ‘life changing’ why was that?
I found when I was actually at the (Holocaust) sites, talking to people who had worked there … it made me really grapple with the content. Just being there ‘in person’ made it a lot more significant.
I was also personally moved by the sites of suffering and the stories of enduring strength and resilience that permeated these places.
The trip motivated me to pursue social justice and human rights, particularly in the context of global conflict, and was a life-changing learning opportunity.
After graduation Stephanie was able to use the skills she had gained in her History major and the European study tour, taking an internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ITCY) in The Hague.