Around the AP World

City High’s AP World teachers’ experiences traveling around the world.


Naomi Hemley

AP World History teacher Mr. Schumann instructing his class

Kate Meis, Reporter

Covering over 3,000 years of history in just nine months AP World History teachers Jason Schumann and Judith Dickson are going all around the globe with their lessons. 

For Schumann, this is his 10th year teaching, having taught AP World for nine of those years and for Dickson this is her 30th year teaching. This is her 4th year teaching AP world history with roughly 10 years of teaching history in general. She’s taught American history, International Studies, and Government, as well as spending time as a school librarian and administrator. 

Dickson recalled a past history teacher who later came to teach at City High being a big inspiration for her. Schumann, also, was inspired by a past teacher.

“My junior year in high school, I took AP US History, and had a teacher named Mr. Banker who very much inspired me to pursue being a teacher,” Schumann said.

The two teachers have had different experiences traveling to different places in and outside the United S

“One of our favorite family vacation spots is in Florida, just because it’s always isolated and lonely. We like to come to different cities and try different foods. That’s really the big thing for us, different food and museums…we are adventurous eaters, so everywhere we go, we try to find well reviewed hole in the wall restaurants. We like to try to find authentic food experiences that are pretty unique to the areas we go to, like New Orleans or wherever else. You know, wherever we go food, food, food,” Dickson said.

For Schumann his most impactful experience traveling was when he went to South Africa in college.

“It was it was a couple of years after the end of apartheid, so it was an opportunity just to get a sense of kind of living like that. The end of that chapter of South African history and also the beginnings of them trying to build a new more democratic government,” 

Schumann goes on to say South Africa has been his favorite place he’s been to outside the United States.

“It’s just geographically beautiful. There’s this beautiful mountain called Table Mountain and Cape Town. The people are really welcoming. And they’re not afraid to pull you aside and give you things and tell you their stories,”

Schumann has also spent time in Thailand, commenting on how culturally different it is from the United States. He went for his honeymoon and his time there included sightseeing and new experiences.

”Having these Buddhist temples on every corner was very different from here. I guess we have churches, but like it’s just a little more different in terms of they’re very welcoming. Just kind of walk in and take off your shoes. And as you have probably seen in Thailand the culture is just very different,”

While in Thailand Schumann also got to spend time with the animals inhabiting the country.

“For me I really like animals. So in Thailand, my wife and I got to swim with a baby elephant. We got to care for an elephant for a day. One of the elephants was a mama elephant and she had this baby. We got to walk it to this waterfall and then we got to swim around with a baby elephant for a while,” Schumann added.

Outside the states Dickson has been to Spain and the Caribbean and other than South Africa and Thailand, Schumann has been to Guatemala, Mexico, and France. He highlights how much you learn from simple exposure when you go from one culture to another. 

Back in the states Schumann has lived in Washington, and travel to the Midwest is something that brought him to teach in Iowa City.

“I lived in Seattle, Washington for a while so that is one of my favorite places to go, but I also enjoyed traveling in the Midwest. So one of the things that brought me here was travel and experiencing Midwest culture and people. People are so friendly, something I don’t think you realized until you’ve lived in other parts of the United States. There really are distinct ways in which people treat each other.”

Dickson emphasized how you can learn many things from other countries, cultures, and backgrounds without traveling. Things like books, movies, museums, music, and events in the community are ways anyone can learn more about people and places similar and different to those you know.