For some students, summer means long days with no responsibility. For others, time to hope that lemonade stand or lawn mowing business will turn a profit. Others find themselves entering into an internship or, for graduates, the dreaded unemployment. Some students will embark on trips to study in a foreign language immersion program or mission trips and still others will get married and start a life away from Angwin. However, for more than 30 PUC students, come June, summer means the opportunity to take an accredited study tour.
Two groups of students, one from the history department and the other from the honors society, will be taking trips to Europe to immerse themselves in the history and beauty outside of PUC classrooms.
The history department tour, a 10-day trip through Eastern Europe, departs June 19 for Budapest, Hungary. Sponsors Ileana Douglas and Aimee Wyrick will accompany 20 students on the tour, which will expose students to cities in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Sophomore Tim Giang, a social studies major, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to travel and learn for 10 days: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Auschwitz-Birkenau,” said Giang. “I’ve heard it is a very powerful experience.”
History study tour students have the option of taking two different courses during the 10-day trip: HIST 450 European Seminar: WWII in Eastern Europe and HIST 411 American Seminar: American-Foreign Relations During the Cold War. Each class is worth four credits. Students can choose to take one or both classes. Students must keep a journal throughout the trip and write a 10-page research paper and a number of book reviews following the conclusion of the tour.
The history study tour, conducted through Education First, costs nearly $3,800, including airfare, program fees and PUC tuition costs. Every history and social studies major is required to take a four-credit study tour sometime during their time at PUC.
The honors society trip begins in Florence, Italy, on June 25. This trip will last one month until July 24. The classes offered during the students’ stay at Villa Aurora, the Adventist university in Florence, are the same as normal honors classes with the added benefit of being in Italy.
Three sponsors, Professor Reid, Professor Hill and Adrian Gregorutti, will accompany the 11 students on their trip. This trip is usually taken between the sophomore and junior years of honors society classes, but three of the students attending this summer are juniors.
The theme of the study tour is beauty. It will feature almost daily field trips to museums, historical sites and points of interest near Florence. Two overnight trips to Rome and Ravenna are planned. Students are required to read five books during the course of their stay, as well as keep a sketchbook.
For sophomore Madeline Miller, this will be her first time visiting Italy. She is grateful for the five-credit class because, she says, “Honors students are usually very contained within the major and don’t take the opportunity to study abroad or spend time as student missionaries.” Miller is also volunteering as a student missionary in Cameroon immediately following the study tour.
The honors study tour follows the same itinerary each year and gives students a chance to tour Italy and be exposed to cultural and artistic opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise face. The cost to students is a $2,000 touring fee. Additional costs include round-trip airfare to Florence and the cost of five summer credits. Altogether, students are looking at $4,500 to $5,000 for this month-long study tour.
Both trips are great, if costly, opportunities for students to get out of the classroom and study in an inspiring setting. The chance to travel to Europe and study history firsthand or allow the Tuscan countryside to inspire greater ideas is something many people never get to do. However, it is easy to ask the question of whether such trips should be required, especially at such great additional costs to students who are already filling the weight of college loans and debt.
An additional group of students will be attending a Shakespeare in Performance study tour in Ashland, Oregon at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival from June 18-20. This class, taught by Thorvald Aagaard, will be a two to three credit tour in which students will attend various seminars and plays. The English department conducts this short tour.