by Gloria Diaz
A new culture can be an exciting thing to experience, but not many students can spend a semester away from home to travel to another country. Fortunately there are travel opportunities for students who want a short trip with all the fun.
The trips, sponsored by speech communication, education, English, communications and biology departments, last for approximately two weeks and costs are not included in tuition.
The first group to leave is led by Kenneth Scambray, professor of English, and his group of 17 students for their trip to Italy on Jan. 5.
This is an essential part of the arts and sciences undergraduate education to go and visit other cultures, Scambray said.
The group will make two stops during their stay in Italy. The group will first arrive and stay in Rome for one week before taking off to Florence. The trip lasts for two weeks and during that time, students will be able to travel to Venice, Milan, Pisa, and any other locations they wish to see within the area.
“I found out about the trip through my sisters that went last year,” said Nancy Reyes, sophomore. “I hope I will get sung to while riding in a gondola. I am looking forward to seeing Venice and Rome.”
This is Scambray’s fifth year offering the trip, after canceling it in 2002 because of Sept. 11. He also said that the interest for the trip keeps going up every year. Initially 35 students signed up for the trip, but only 17 could afford to go. Students traveling on the trip will get credit for Core 310, and English 409.
Scambray said the trip is roughly $2,400. Students make their first airfare payment in March and make their final payment in October. Students pay for hotels upon arrival in Italy.
“My loving parents are paying for the whole thing and I have had to sacrifice my trips to Starbucks,” Reyes said.
Going down to the tropics of Brazil is Lisa Porter, assistant professor of education, and Jeanne Flora, assistant professor of speech communication.
“Lisa and I have a huge love for traveling and we had a good group to choose from,” Flora said.
Departing on Jan. 8, the group’s 17 day stay will include living on a boat for five days while traveling though the Amazon and stopping in Rio de Janiero, Manaus, Salvador da Bahia, Iguassu Falls and Recife.
“I wanted to study abroad, but I couldn’t spend a whole semester away from home,” said Amy Fontenot, junior. “I could not pass up hiking through the jungle and seeing the waterfalls. I am looking forward to having a lot of fun.”
The trip will cover Core 310, Core 320 and Intercultural Communication (SPCM 220). The trip costs $3,450 with first payments submitted in June and final payments in October. The cost includes lodging, breakfast and transportation.
The biology department is sponsoring a trip to Baja California, Mexico. Jeffery Burkhart, professor of biology, and Dan Merritt, professor of zoology, are supervising the trip.
Merritt has offered the trip for more than 30 years and this is Burkhart’s second year going.
This year, six students have signed up for the trip’s Natural History of Baja California class. But Burkhart said that the group will probably increase to 10.
It is open to biology and non-biology majors. Non-majors are required to have taken at least one biology class.
“I believe a field experience is critical for biology majors,” Burkhart said. “This is an opportunity for students to feel what it is like to be a field biologist.”
The anticipated cost is $650, but if the cost is less, students will be reimbursed.
Other students will be crossing the Pacific Ocean for a 14-day stay in Oahu, Hawaii at the University of Hawaii’s pacific studies department. Don Pollock, professor of communications, George Keeler, chairman of the communications department, and Richard Gelm, chairman of the history and political science department coordinated the 16 student trip and will teach the classes.
Students will visit historic, cultural and media centers and will have a chance to visit Pearl Harbor and Hawaiian newspapers and television stations.