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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Lafayette goes global: Winter study abroad recap

Students traveled to Senegal to partake in a class on African history and culture. (Photo courtesy of Olivia Sterantino ’23)

Over 100 students participated in a wide variety of study abroad trips this winter break, from watching world-renowned plays in London to witnessing active volcanoes in New Zealand. 

London and Dublin Theater 

On a trip with theater professors Suzanne Westfall and Alex Owens, students immersed themselves in a wide variety of theater experiences. 

“We saw at least one show every day, and it was amazing … There were all these small, eclectic theaters just all over,” attendee Carly Johnson ’24 said.

“It was just a big range of shows going from one-man shows to huge cast, low budget. So we kind of saw everything,” Johnson added. 

Johnson found that the trip also allowed participants to learn from each other.

“It was just interesting to see the different perspectives from the theater kids that were on the trip, and then from people that had never even seen shows before,” she said. 

Journey to Rome: Approaching and Exploring the Eternal City 

During this trip, Bridget McNish ‘24 gained a greater appreciation for art by visiting a variety of culturally rich locations. The group spent the majority of the trip in Rome with three additional days in Munich and Naples. 

Led by art professor Eric Hupe and classics professor Jason Simms, the group visited a variety of monuments and museums and were encouraged to write reflective journal entries about their experiences. 

“It was really cool seeing people who had no knowledge of anything relating to art or art history, and then becoming super excited and passionate about it,” McNish said. 

The group also visited famous sites and landmarks, including Pompeii, The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. 

“It was just so beautiful,” McNish said. 

Students were immersed in art on their interim trip to Rome. (Photo courtesy of Bridget McNish ’24)

Global Senegal: Alternative Modernities

In Senegal, students explored various elements of Senegalese culture and African authenticity. The trip was led by Africana studies professor Wendy Wilson-Fall and history professor Rachel Goshgarian. 

According to Chris Allen ‘26, the trip provided an experience to remember. From speaking with Senegalese locals of all ages, Allen heard unique perspectives on the world and the interconnectedness of cultures.

Additionally, students had the opportunity to explore a nearby island, which Allen noted as being a particularly fun memory. 

“There were art murals everywhere and you could stand out and kind of climb these rocks towards the sea, and you have the waves hitting them,” Allen said. “We literally got to watch the sunset from a viewpoint, which was something pretty incredible.”

A Geologic Exploration of New Zealand’s Dynamic Landscape 

In New Zealand, students hiked through caves, explored mountains of the Southern Alps and witnessed active volcanoes with the guidance of geology professors Dru Germanoski and Tamara Carley.

Julianna Huba ‘24, a student on the trip, said that getting to experience the geology of New Zealand in person was one of the most impactful parts of her experience. 

“I think the interesting part about the New Zealand trip is that you’re there in the environment, learning about the geology there. Whereas you’re not in a classroom learning about it, you’re actually seeing it in real life,” Huba said. “I think it’s super helpful to see real-world examples.”

As a geology major, Huba felt that the trip only enhanced her love of the subject. 

“I really wanted to expand my geology knowledge overall, and then also kind of put myself in a place that I’d never seen before,” Huba said.  

Geological and Paleobiological Evolution of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands 

Students traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos for a hands-on learning experience in the Andes Mountains and the Galápagos archipelago. 

Elijah Halsey ‘24 felt that the trip allowed students to discover various types of geology and geological formations.

“We went down to Ecuador, and that’s on a convergent margin. There’s a lot of volcanoes and mountains and we got to see the different kinds of topographical and geological formations there. The second half, we went over to the Galapagos, which is made up by mantle plume,” he said. 

Halsey also felt that the trip as a whole was very exciting, stating that he felt every activity the group did was better than the one they did before.

Lafayette Initiative for Malagasy Education 

In addition to the traditional interim trips, there was a group in Madagascar for the Lafayette Initiative for Malagasy Education (LIME). The program is a peer-to-peer mentoring program between Lafayette students and high school students in Madagascar that prepares Malagasy students for the process of applying to college in the United States. 

Additional information about the LIME program and its initiatives can be found on its website.

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Natalia Ferruggia, Culture Editor

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