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This summer, students from St. Edward’s will travel all over the world. They’ll learn new languages, volunteer their labor, conduct research in museums and libraries, and visit sites both sobering and inspiring.

St. Edward’s offers as many ways to travel as there are destinations: classes that culminate in a study trip, exchange programs with partner universities, and service trips organized by Campus Ministry. Students with truly outstanding ideas for research or service can apply for summer travel grants to turn their dreams into reality. Here are 11 of this summer’s adventures to inspire you.

Paris illustration

Destination: Paris

The traveler: Medical Laboratory Science major Jade Darwish ’19

Her goal: Darwish will study at the Sorbonne, where she’ll work toward fluency in French via language courses and a course on French fashion. When she’s not practicing her conversation skills, she’ll be going on excursions to Normandy and the Chateaux of the Loire Valley.

Destination: London and Edinburgh

The course: History and Philosophy of Science, taught by Assistant Professor of Forensic Science Casie Parish-Fisher. The class focuses on the history of medicine and disease and how it intersects with the history of crime.

The trip: The 32 students in the course will visit sites in London related to scientific and medical history, including the Alexander Fleming Museum, which showcases the laboratory where Fleming discovered penicillin, and the Surgeons’ Hall Museums in Edinburgh, which has collection of pathological anatomy specimens and an anatomy theatre with an interactive dissection table.

Destination: Prague

The traveler: Art major Brittany Fucik ’18

Her goal: Fucik will take two courses on Czech art and history and conduct research for her senior Honors thesis, which is about the influence of the Soviet occupation and communism on Czech art. The Czech National Museum is down the street from her university, allowing her to make in-person visits to artworks she learns about in class.

Destination: London, Berlin, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw

The traveler: Criminology and Philosophy major Amanda Hobson-Garcia ’18

Her journey: Hobson-Garcia will participate in the monthlong History of Genocide program offered through the American Institute for Foreign Study. In the classroom and in visits to sites including the Jewish sector of Berlin, the Jewish quarter of Prague, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen Concentration Camps, she’ll investigate the roots of genocide and ethnic cleansing, across history and around the globe.

Her motivation: “Civilization is shaped by the actions of the past,” Hobson-Garcia says, “and these drastic violations of human rights still manifest in the world today.”

India illustration

Destination: Whitefield, a suburb of Bangalore, India

The Service Break Experience: Ten students will participate in this Campus Ministry International Immersion. They’ll work with the Holy Cross Brothers at the Abhayadhama Human Development Centre, a home for orphans and boys whose parents can’t afford to care for them.

The project: The trip occurs during the children’s summer break, so the St. Edward’s students provide a two-week summer camp including English language practice and games, sports and crafts.

Bigger picture: Like all Service Break Experiences, the trip is built on the four pillars of community, justice, simplicity and spiritual engagement.

Destination: Ubud, Bali

The traveler: Finance major Madisyn Collier ’18

Her goal: Collier will teach English and work with a microfinance organization that focuses on providing interest-free loans to artisans, who are feeling financial pressure as the tourism industry expands in Bali. She plans to apply what she learns to her future career in the nonprofit sector.

Destination: Khayelitsha, largest township outside Cape Town, South Africa

The Service Break Experience: Ten students will volunteer at the Baphumelele Children’s Home, which offers care to orphans and children who need a temporary stay away from their families.

The project: The students work in the nursery school’s baby house, offer after-school programs in the children’s home, and help in the respite care center for children recovering from surgery or illness.

Bigger picture: The Campus Ministry International Immersion focuses on community, justice, simplicity and spiritual engagement.

Costa Rica illustration

Destination: Costa Rica

Program: Freshman Studies. The entire Class of ’20 explored the theme of Food Justice this year, and during the spring some of them deepened their studies in a Literature or American Experience course connected to food. About 30 students from both classes traveled to Costa Rica for two weeks in May.

The trip: The students toured cacao and coffee plantations, shopped at a farmer’s market in San Jose, took a cooking lesson from a chef, and harvested their own lunch at an organic farm, all with Food Justice in mind.

Destination: Costa Rica

The program: EcoLead, which involves a semester-long course on leadership, sustainability, and biodiversity conservation in Costa Rica. The program is led by both an Environmental Science and Policy professor and a student leader.

The trip: As a capstone to their course, the 20 students will visit Costa Rica to hike in the tropical rainforest, participate in ecotourism activities like ziplining, visit the eco-minded EARTH University, and consider whether the country is meetings its goals of sustainable development through ecotourism. 

Destination: Lesvos, Greece

The traveler: Global Studies major Tannya Oliva ’19

Her purpose: Oliva will spend two months volunteering with a Greek non-governmental organization at a refugee camp. She will help provide families who have fled the violence in the Middle East with food, clothing, shelter and childcare, an experience that will help prepare her for her future career serving immigrants and refugees.

Destination: Israel

The traveler: K. Zwiesineyi Chindori-Chininga ’19, who is majoring in both Environmental Science and Public Policy and Religious and Theological Studies

Her quest: Chindori-Chininga will begin at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where she’ll study the role of religion in peace and conflict in the Holy Land. Then she will visit several innovative projects in desert agriculture, learning about sustainable techniques that could help her home country of Zimbabwe adapt to climate change.

By Robyn Ross