Our View

Now that students are busy signing up for May Term classes, they need to be aware of some issues concerning May Term trips. For starters, comparatively speaking, they’re completely overpriced.What fuels most of the high prices are airline tickets and group travel. These programs mostly involve students being around other students for lengthy periods of time, sometimes seeing tourist attractions on large buses and sometimes not permitting a lot of personal freedoms.

If students are willing to throw down the $4,000 to go to the Mediterranean or Japan, or the $3,659 to go to Europe for three weeks, they should probably consider the semester-long trips provided through Simpson and other nearby programs.

For example, Simpson’s semester in Germany costs $4,400 plus tuition; that’s only $400 more for three more months in Germany. The Nicaragua trip costs $3,700 plus tuition, and for an entire semester in London, students pay approximately $4,000 plus tuition. During the months spent on a semester-long trip, students have the freedom to travel and learn on their own, without quite as much group travel.

Now, it’s true most of the Simpson programs go through foreign-language programs, but it’s not always mandatory. Mastery in the language isn’t at all necessary, but with a few phrases and an understanding of the people, the experience will be thoroughly enriched. Students should therefore consider the semester trips as not only a better deal financially, but they’ll also pay off better for their education.