TROY students take studies global

Posted: Friday, 02 May 2008

TROY - The sights and sounds of wild animals on a Kenyan safari, or the mouth-watering taste of fresh French crepes in a small Paris bistro, or the hustle and bustle of London’s financial district. Whatever the fancy, Troy University students are finding their own global experience.

Troy University has supported study-abroad trips for years to help students see more of the world and expand their knowledge of foreign countries and cultures. This summer’s round of trips begin May 3 and include visits to London, Paris, Kenya and Greece.

Dr. Carol Jordan, eminent scholar of risk management and insurance at TROY, has been making an annual trip to Lloyd’s of London since 2001. This year, she’ll take four students and one student intern with her May 3-8.

“I invite students based on their academic standing in the Risk Management and Insurance Program and their involvement in the Insurance Society,” Jordan said. “While we're in London, I teach at Lloyd's while the students spend their days at Lloyd's of London learning insurance from underwriters and brokers there.”

The Excellence in RMI Foundation pays for the students’ housing and admission to several cultural events and also underwrites side trips to Salisbury, Stonehenge, Old Sarum and Cambridge.

Dr. James Sherry, associate professor of French and the coordinator of Modern Languages, will be taking students to Paris for an excursion in May. This trip is popular among the students with the maximum capacity of 14 already filled.

The program of Troy in Paris began in 1984 and is still flourishing.

“We are based in a budget hotel in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Pres for a period of two weeks,” Sherry said. “There is a mix of group events, for which I am the guide, and free time, which is the first Saturday and the second weekend.”

The free time is open to the students’ personal interests, and it includes trips to monuments, such as the Chateau of Versailles and the Cathedral of Chartres.

“The first night we have an evening boat cruise on the Seine River, and we also ascend the Eiffel Tower at night,” Sherry said. “There is a possibility that this year's group may be able to visit the World War II Normandy beaches where the liberation of France took place in June 1944; and if so, we will have an hour at the American Cemetery at St. Laurent.”

If French cuisine and the Eiffel Tower aren’t quite what a student is looking for, then a walk on the wild side may be the ticket.

In early May, 18 students and alumni will be traveling to Africa for a Kenyan safari and a smaller splinter group will take a side trip into Rwanda’s Congo National Forest on a photo expedition with the Department of Art and Design’s director of photography Bob Joslin.

“It’s great for our young people and the others along to get to meet and be with people from the Third World in a very close relationship. They will see people who are very happy on very little,” he said.

The two-legged trip that begins in Niarobi, Kenya includes a stay with the Maasai, Kenya’s warrior tribe and a safari photo shoot conducted by the same guides used by National Geographic.

Following the Kenyan safari, Joslin said a smaller contingent will seek out the less than 400 gorillas left in the wild in Rwanda.

“Rwanda is an absolutely beautiful country and it’s staggering what our people are going to see,” he said.

Rwanda is, in terms of land area, among the smallest African nations and is among the most populated. Its recent political unrest is calming down, Joslin said.

“I think the connection (between TROY students and Rwandans) is very important. They are 10 years out of genocide this year and our students are going to see people getting along with one another in a new country,” he said. “It’s amazing to see how this country has pulled itself up by the bootstraps and it’s important for people to understand how they’re getting along.”

From mid July to the beginning of August, Dr. Maryjo Cochran, dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, will be taking seven students on a trip to England.

From Aug. 4 – Aug. 12, Dr. Mary Catherine Colley on the Phenix City campus will be taking students on a European tour with stops in Germany, Luxemburg, Belgium and France.

“I believe it is so important for students to travel abroad. After they travel abroad once -- at least in my experience, they will want to go back,” Colley said.

Although the number of student sign-ups wanted is six, Colley said the trip will still be on if she gets at least one student to lock in.

So, whether French monuments and London fog suit a student’s liking, or driving next to a wild gazelle and getting an all-in-one trip look a little better, the students have plenty of exhilarating trips to choose from.