May term travelers busy finalizing preparations

by Morgan Perkins

With May Term quickly approaching, certain students have discovered that extra cost and preparation is involved in preparing for their ventures abroad.

One of the more unique trips this year is to the Galapagos Islands. According to a trip leader, Jackie Brittingham, assistant professor of biology, the majority of unexpected expenses for the island trip will come from medical expenses.

“A variety of immunizations and prescription for Malaria are necessary,” Brittingham said.

According to Brittingham the total cost of the medical expenses is around $200.

But, there is also extra cost involved in gathering appropriate clothing for the environment the students will be exposed to.

Sophomore Jill Toombs said that she is going to go shopping to buy a canteen, walking boots and fast-drying pants.

“I’m also trying to work out more to get in shape for the hiking we have to do,” Toombs said.

Junior April Reineke said that she expected to have to get a lot of water-resistant clothes. “Some of the stuff they’re giving us when we get there like the scuba diving equipment,” Reineke said.

There is something special about this trip though because three students are doing something extra.

“Three out of the 20 students are working with eighth graders out of Philadelphia. We’ve been e-mailing back and forth and those students will get biology credit for doing additional work,” Brittingham said.

With the estimated amount of the Galapagos trip being $3,500, students have chosen a variety of ways to pay for the trip.

“I knew I wanted to go on this trip last year, so I worked all last summer and saved everything. My parents are also helping,” Toombs said.

Reineke said that she took out a loan to help pay for the trip. “I also work throughout the year,” she said.

Brittingham said that about one third of the students going are getting loans.

“More than half are paying for themselves,” Brittingham said.

To prepare academically for the trip students might also have to do some additional work.

“A lot of the students are biology majors, so most of them have basic course work. One person is reading a text on Darwin’s experience and then she’ll write a paper comparing her own experience to Darwin’s,” Brittingham said.

Other trips have been able to stick closely to the estimated budgets, such as the one called Greek Influences. Jim Palmieri, assistant professor of economics, is a faculty advisor for this trip.

To help the students prepare for this trip they have done a couple of things, according to Palmieri, mostly on campus.

“We’re having some exams. We’ve also brought some guest lecturers and talked about Greek philosophy. Professor Walt came in and talked about the history,” Palmieri said.

Unlike the Galapagos Island trip, this trip doesn’t have any unexpected expenses.

“We pretty much laid it out for them what to expect,” Palmieri said.

Palmieri suggests that the students prepare for this trip by coming to discussions, doing the readings that are assigned, and looking over the itinerary.