Record number of students register for May Term trips


by Drew RiebhoffStaff Writer

Ireland, England, Greece, Thailand, France and Italy. These are just a few of the opportunities students have to travel outside the United States during this year’s May Term.

Many students plan on taking advantage of this opportunity. 270 students — 17 percent of campus — will be headed overseas.

“This year is a record-breaking year for us,” said John Bolen, registrar and associate academic dean. “The old record was 212.”

Even if a student isn’t going overseas, there are plenty more opportunities for travel this coming May Term.

With a grand total of 70 classes, students can choose from 20 different international study trips, eight domestic trips, four on-campus global awareness classes and 21 “regular” May Term classes. There are also 17 classes reserved especially for freshmen and sophomores.

The international study abroad trips are always a popular educational opportunity.

Senior Jennifer Chambers, undergraduate assistant of study abroad programs, highly recommends taking advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.

“May Term is a perfect opportunity to study abroad,” Chambers said. “It’s only for three weeks, meaning you don’t have to spend a whole semester overseas. It’s an opportunity you may not have after you graduate.”

This year’s most popular course is the trip to Thailand led by professors Jack Gittenger and Lora Friedrich. Students will visit Buddhist temples, talk to monks, take an overnight cruise on the Chaiphara River, ride elephants and bamboo rafts, walk along the railway immortalized in the novel and movie “Bridge on the River Kwai,” visit coastal areas rebuilding from the 2005 tsunami and complete a short service project working with students at a Thai English-language school.

There are other notable overseas trips planned as well, including the Madrigal’s tour of England and Scotland, a tour of France and Italy with the Communication Studies Department and a trip titled “Exploring the Biblical World,” which will tour parts of Turkey and Greece.

Senior Zach Leiser, who plans to take part in the Madrigal Tour, is excited for the opportunity to visit Ireland.

“It’s my first time traveling outside of the United States,” Leiser said. “I’m pretty excited.”

This trip includes stops in Britain and Ireland with tours of each country’s castles and countryside. While the deadline for original registration has passed, students can contact the trip leaders to see if space is still available.

It’s important to remember there are trips planned that stay inside the U.S. as well.

The trip to Denver will focus on community service and helping others. Other trips include a tour of the Southwestern states, canoeing in northern Minnesota and a trip to Washington D.C.

On-campus classes range from introduction to guitar to advanced make-up design and a lifeguard training course.

Freshmen and sophomores have the opportunity to take part in specific classes reserved for them, including one particular course focusing on the study of the history of rock and roll. Participants will visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cincinnati, Ohio. Another popular course specifically reserved for freshmen and sophomores is the career observation class, which gives students the opportunity to job shadow for a few weeks and learn more about a career they may be interested in.

Information on any May Term class or trip is available on-line or in the Registrar’s office. Financial Aid offers loans for international travel.

May Term gives students the opportunity to take a class that’s fun and only lasts three weeks. Whether a student opts to head overseas, travel somewhere in the U.S. or stay on campus, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.