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Spring break field studies to Poland, Egypt, Italy now accepting applications

Graphic by Francisco Wang Yu

Application deadlines for three international spring break field studies to Egypt, Poland, and Italy are approaching. But while the trips are publicized on Rollins’s website and leaders are accepting applicants, the field studies will not be made official until early November. 

“We have not yet made a decision about spring travel,” said Giselda Beaudin, director of Global Initiatives and leader of the spring break field study to Italy. “Since the situation is quite dynamic, we are making decisions early enough to avoid any negative consequences for students, but late enough that we can make as informed a decision as possible.”

Beaudin said that the Rollins’s International Travel Risk Committee will do a full risk assessment of every study abroad program before it is approved. The committee will analyze local COVID-19 rates, vaccination percentages, healthcare infrastructure, CDC and State Department information, impact on host communities, and other factors. 

The committee will review all spring break field studies by early November. Until then, Rollins administration has approved fall semester study abroad programs in some locations.

Rollins strongly recommends that only fully vaccinated students study abroad, in accordance with CDC recommendations. Students who do travel abroad must abide by Rollins protocols; for instance, masks are required indoors except while distanced and eating. 

Groups must also adhere to in-country rules and regulations, “many of which are stricter than those in Florida,” said Beaudin. 

For all study abroad trips, the Office of International Programs is providing students “with the full risk assessment for their program, including the insurance coverage details, so they can make an informed choice about whether to participate,” said Beaudin. 

Despite the uncertainty of spring break international travel, the following opportunities are currently being planned by faculty and staff. 

Imagining the Past: Egypt and Jordan 

This ENG309 course led by Dr. Jana Mathews and Dr. Emily Russell includes visits to Egypt’s ancient temple complexes and tombs, as well as Jordan’s Jerash, the Dead Sea, and the “Lost City” of Petra. Throughout their travels, students will question the authority of western museums and the ownership of archaeological souvenirs and artifacts.

“In order to understand where we are going, we have to understand where we have been,” said Mathews. “There is no better place to study the history of the past and its cultural legacies than in Egypt (Great Pyramids, Sphinx, Luxor, Valley of the Kings) and Jordan (Red Sea, Petra).”

Applications are due Sept. 27, and only 12 students will be selected for participation. 

Learning and Teaching About the Holocaust

In this RFLA300, Dr. James McLaughlin and Dr. Yudit Greengberg will engage students in reflective discussions to learn about the history and motivations of the Holocaust. Through a trip to Krakow, Poland, students will converse with Polish university students, the staff at the local Jewish Community Center (JCC), and a Holocaust survivor. A vital part of the field study will be a study tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau. 

“The Holocaust (Shoah) was the furthest point of hatred – the attempt to eliminate an entire group of people from existence,” said Greenberg. “In today’s fractured society, we need to understand how discrimination, racism, and antisemitism can have disastrous consequences.”

Applications are due Sept. 27, and 12 students will be selected for participation. 

Global Citizenship: Italy 

INT295F students will engage with contemporary Italian culture in this field study to Rome, exploring vibrant art spaces and a nomad camp, as well as conversing with Italian university students. Students will also take a cooking class to learn about Italian cuisine and visit international landmarks like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. 

“With this field study, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves into Italian culture and put their global skills to the test,” said Beaudin. “I hope that students come away from the experience with a sense of cultural humility and a desire to continue exploring other cultures and communities.”

The application deadline is Nov. 8, and twelve students will be selected.

To learn about how to apply to study abroad trips, click here. Students are also invited to attend the study abroad information session on Monday, Sept. 13 at 3:30 p.m., either in person at Olin Library Room 230 or on Webex.

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