New travel opportunities for students

by Rachel Peterson

The annual Study Abroad Fair took place last Wednesday to inform students of opportunities to travel abroad for a semester or during May Term.

Jay Wilkinson, Director of International Education, was there along with several professors who are leading trips. Wilkinson said approximately 200 Simpson students travel abroad each year. Locations are spread across the globe and offer opportunities for service, cultural exploration, and historical insight.

Study abroad is a viable option for any student.

“If this is something you want to do, you just have to plan for it,” Wilkinson said, “Don’t let cost be a factor.”

Students have options to take out loans, such as the International Education Loan through the Office of Financial Aid.

Wilkinson said traveling during May Term is a great option for transfer students on a deadline to graduate or students with rigorous course requirements. There are 11 trips tentatively scheduled for May 2014. Locations range from Great Britain to the Dominican Republic.

Wilkinson suggested students talk to their advisors about planning out a semester abroad or discussing potential May Term trips.

Claire Baxter, an international student at Simpson, urged students to explore other parts of the world.

“It’s so important for everyone to have this experience. In America, it is so easy to experience diversity in your own country, but there is so much more to see,” Baxter said.

Her opinion was echoed by many of the students in Great Hall. Laura Alt, a sophomore, said she is interested in traveling because she wants to experience different cultures. Her hope is to travel in Spain during May Term.

Other students said this was the most opportune time to travel.

“I’m young,” Heather Adolph said, “Now is a good time before I get too tied down.”

If students have questions or want to find out more about trips, they can contact the course instructor or visit Wilkinson at the Office of International Education in the Kent Campus Center.