ECTC study abroad group tours Japan, plans for 2024 travel underway | ECTC

ECTC study abroad group tours Japan, plans for 2024 travel underway

September 12, 2023

In May, 31 Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) students, faculty, and guests traveled on a cultural tour of Japan. The study abroad trip, led by ECTC Chair of Global Studies & International Partnerships Kevin Parrett, included visits to several shrines, temples, mountains, cities, villages and much more.

“I have taken literally hundreds of students to 40 different countries around the world over the last decade at ECTC,” Parrett said. “This was truly one of the most impactful tours I have led with ECTC. The group came together to focus on the culture of Japan, and many of the historical sites we saw were thousands of years old.”

ECTC leads the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in study abroad trips. Parrett has led more than 50 group tours, including trips to Iceland, England, India, Poland, Austria, New Zealand and more. Participants on this trip included 15 students, 13 of whom are ECTC honors students, six faculty, and 10 community members. They visited the cities of Tokyo, Hakone, Takayama, Kyoto, Osaka and Hiroshima.

“This tour to Japan was one of the best experiences I have ever had,” said ECTC student Joey Dunn. “I don’t think the trip could have gone any better than it did, and I look forward to going on more trips in the future.”

“This was the cultural experience of a lifetime,” said tour member Felicia Darensbourg. “I learned more in mere days than I ever could have gotten from any history book, and I've gained a new respect for the people of Japan. Their history, pride in their culture, pride within themselves, and their unsurpassed work ethic were all mind blowing.”

The tour group visited Tokyo landmarks, including the Imperial Palace Garden and Meiji Shrine. They also visited villages and markets, and traveled by bullet train to Hiroshima, speeding more than 200 miles per hour.

“Traveling and studying abroad offers students a wide range of benefits that add to personal, academic, and professional growth,” Parrett said. “Expanded perspective is usually noted by students upon their return – they learn about various cultures which makes them better global citizens.”

Parrett will lead tours to Spain and Morocco in May 2024; Ireland, Scotland, England and France in October 2024; and Israel in November 2024. Scholarships are available for students. For more information, contact Parrett at or 270-706-8640.

ECTC students, faculty, and guests traveled to Japan