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Students to travel abroad in January

Michelle Nunez
Staff Writer

Amber J. Guadez
Staff Writer

Students will explore the world and gain a new perspective through international travel and study during the 2013 January Interterm.

Student travel opportunities next month include trips to six different countries: Italy, France, Spain, Thailand, Japan and England.

“Each of them…basically does different things depending on the nature of the course that is involved,” said Al Clark, associate vice president of academic affairs, who heads the January study programs. “One is in education, another is in humanities; They are quite varied in nature.”

Each trip includes a variety of activities including visits to historic sites, villages, farms and more.

“My office endeavors to make sure that all the various legal and financial aspects of the trip are somewhat standardized.” Clark said.

“Everything else is individual. It is faculty members deciding they want to go abroad. (They) contact a travel company to help them set it up and organizing meetings to advertise it themselves.”

The trips this year will be between 10 and 18 days, and students will earn four units of course credit.

“Each trip is organized by the separate faculty members and they collect the money and determine the number that they need in order to make the trip successful.” Clark said.

Jeffery Burkhart, professor biology, has traveled with La Verne students for more than 13 years. This year he will travel to Malaysia and Thailand.

“I want students to be exposed to a different culture, a couple of different cultures and I also want them to experience what field research is like,” Burkhart said.

“So they will be working with graduate students mostly from Europe.” Burkhart said. “They will be in the forest helping students collect data… on forest elephants, crocodiles, orangutans and I will be doing a project on tropical lizards.”

Judy Krause, assistant professor of education will lead a trip to Italy. With nine students in her diverse group, they will study history, culture, ethics and education.

“What I’m especially excited about is looking at schools in Reggio Emilia,” Krause said. “The way the view time in Italy, everything is very slow and relaxed as opposed to America.”

Krause said everyone in Italy takes a rest in the middle of the day, and ends school at 7 or 8 at night, including elementary schools, and usually has dinner at 10 p.m.

Along with their studies, Krause’s group will also sight-see with a tour guide and interpreter who will accompany them throughout their trip. Some of their visits will include the Vatican and Coliseum. Their tour group will join a group from New York, Krause said.

Students have been preparing for the trip since the summer and many are beginning to get excited as the departure date gets closer.

“I’m really excited because this is my first time outside the United States,” senior business major Karina Balmaceda said. “It’s just really exciting that I get to do this as part of a course.”

Balmaceda leaves on Jan. 8 for a trip to England, Ireland and Wales.

Michelle Nunez can be reached at michelle.nunez@laverne.edu.

Amber J. Guadez can be reached at amber.guadez@laverne.edu.

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