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Around the world on Winter Break

January 26, 2018

Despite the fact that it was winter break, several Monmouth College students spent their time away from school studying. And by away, I mean very far away. The business department traveled to Australia and Guatemala, whereas the education department journeyed to Ecuador. However, all students and professors played tourists during their time away. It was also a learning experience unparalleled to those inside a classroom.

Business and Economics major Ryne Daum and Business Administration major Ian Moles found themselves down under, visiting Sydney, Cairns, and Newcastle. While focusing on trade, tariffs, and international trade agreements, there was also a specific focus on the wine industry. Both men learned about Australia’s import and export limitations as well as becoming intertwined with the country’s diverse ethnic background. Though Moles enjoyed his time holding a koala, Daum loved the opportunity to see Sydney on a cruise and when Ian was beaten in pool by Professor Wertz. It wasn’t all fun and games; however, the two agreed that the time difference and amount of traveling was their least favorite part of the trip. Still, both would “definitely” go on another school venture and encourage others to learn and grow, both educationally and personally, by exploring the idea of partaking in the academic adventure.

Other members of the business department ventured to Guatemala where they learned about the rise and fall of the Mayan Empire. “I gained an appreciation for the complexity of these cultures and civilizations that formerly existed,” said Kate Saulcy, Biochemistry major. Both Saulcy and Biology major Shane Herkert agreed that on a personal level, hiking through the jungle was a memorable personal experience. Similarly enough, the two agreed it also was the least favorite part of the trip. Herkert battled the constant facial entrapments of spider webs while Kate commented on the limited ability to shower in the midst of the jungle. Just like their aforementioned cohorts, the pair hoped more people take the opportunity to travel abroad in order to gain an appreciation of other cultures while also being able to see new parts of the world.

Our last set of student travelers spent their winter break at the center of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Jessica Acosta and Yulissa Avila learned about the educational barriers in Quito, Ecuador. As part of the education department, the two young women spent time inside the classroom and as volunteers for United to Benefit Ecuadorian Children, International, or UBECI. Acosta said “the trip was a blessing. It has made me consider taking a gap year off to teach in Latin America.” Similarly, Avila said, “it definitely is a blessing to go somewhere different.” Focused on the different educational system and the outcome it has on the kids, the pair loved working with young minds, making the least favorite part leaving. Overall, they too would push others to travel and study abroad, taking advantage of the opportunities Monmouth College presents. “As liberal arts students, it is crucial that we experience opportunities outside of America,” stated Acosta. “Step outside of your comfort zone,” added Avila.

Tessa Jones
Features Editor

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