May term travel courses still open

May+term+travel+courses+still+open

by Kimberly Kurimski and Sylvia Koss

While one May term travel course is flooded with student interest, other courses have not received as much attention.

The international travel course to India was cancelled due to a small number of applicants. This changed the number of international travel courses Simpson offered from nine to eight.

Typically, one or two international travel courses are cancelled due to a lack of interest from students.

“It’s impossible to decide what was it that made this course not get enough applications,” International Program Coordinator Jay Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson says the Dominican Republic course had 50 applicants and could only accept 28.

One of the professors advising the Dominican Republic course is Instructor of Spanish Marzia Corni-Benson. Corni-Benson explained the first steps in deciding which students would be accepted into the course.

“First we made sure everybody was meeting the GPA requirement,” Corni-Benson said. “Then we went directly to the essay page, and we essentially ranked them based on four questions.”

Applicants had to submit personal essays explaining why they were interested in this specific course and what their motivation for applying was.

“The instructors were putting a lot of weight into the personal statement, the one to two page essay that students submitted with their applications,” Wilkinson said.

Some Spanish minors were not accepted into the course causing them to look elsewhere to fulfill study abroad requirements.

“For some students that are Spanish minors and need to have a study abroad experience to complete their minor, the Peru course is an option for them,” Wilkinson said.

Students who weren’t accepted into the Dominican Republic course or applied for the India course have other options.

“They’re more than welcome to apply for other courses and use their deposit money for other courses,” Wilkinson said.

This year’s applicant numbers for international travel courses are on target compared to previous years.

“It seems like we kind of have a higher year one year and a lower year the next,” Wilkinson said. “The numbers this year are very similar to what we had two years ago.”

The change in applicant numbers every year is due to the courses offered.

Seven of the international travel courses for May term 2012 are still accepting applications.

“Applications are still being accepted,” Wilkinson said. “The priority deadline has passed but there’s still seven courses that are accepting applications.”

A few of the courses still accepting applications include trips to Namibia, Thailand, Peru, Brazil and China.

Domestic travel courses are also available to those not wanting to travel out of the country.

“Media in D.C.” is one of the domestic travel courses offered this May term.

“We’ll spend the first week of the term on campus, doing research and preparing for the trip,” said Tracy Lucht, assistant professor of communication studies and one of the professors advising the course. “We’ll travel the second week and spend the third week back on campus, debriefing.”

“We’re planning for about 20 students,” Lucht said.

The cost for “Media in D.C.” is approximately $1,100.

However, not all students are interested in any type of travel this May term.

Freshman Ashley Nauman wishes to travel her junior or senior year, but feels it’s not the route to go for her this year.

“I’m only a freshman and I wanted to experience the whole year here,” Nauman said.

If a student decides not to travel, there are still many courses being offered on campus.