European study abroad trips to resume next spring and fall

Marina Boyle, Editor-in-chief

Although COVID-19 has halted some parts of campus life, the Study Abroad program is still moving ahead. The Office of Global Programs has released details of the experiences for 2021, including FSAT programs in Europe and Greece and the Fall 2021 Mercyhurst in Dungarvan program.

“Study abroad is alive now and we are here to help students learn about our upcoming programs,” Janet Pasco, Coordinator of Administrative Services for Global Programs, said. “Mercyhurst in Dungarvan, Ireland” gives students the opportunity to travel to Dungarvan, Waterford, Erie’s sister city, for eight weeks.

Students earn credits toward their degree and get to explore and experience the best of Irish culture. Although the program usually runs for the second half of the spring semester, the Office of Global Programs has committed to the Dungarvan experience by changing the date from spring to fall.

Students who choose to take part will travel in fall 2021, with preliminary applications already being accepted.

Students who go will enroll in full-time courses offered by Mercyhurst faculty and take many trips and excursions including weekend trips to Dublin and Galway. They will also have a one-week break in a European country, as well as independent mini excursions.

For those considering the program, there are many Dungarvan alumni who can tell you all about how it was one of the best parts of their college experience.

However, for those with a different location or shorter trip in mind, also being offered are two shorter-term Faculty Led Student Academic Programs (FSAT) options. FSAT classes are offered as a mini in either the fall or the spring semester, followed by up to two weeks of travel in either January or May.

FSAT courses carry credit that can be used to satisfy students’ REACH core curriculum, including Beyond the Gates, major/minor requirements and electives.

This year students can sign up for “Holocaust in Europe,” which will include travel to Europe in May 2021.

Although people of any major can join, classes will be linked to History, English and Criminal Justice, fulfilling REACH E (Expression & Creativity), Reach C (Contexts & Systems) and Reach H (Humans in Connection) requirements. Lakers can also experience “Food & Wine as Art & Science in Greece.” This trip will be tied to Hospitality Management, fulfilling Reach A (Analytical Thought) and H requirements, and traveling to Greece in May 2021. Averill Earls, Ph.D., assistant professor of History will teach a History & Memory of the Holocaust class in spring 2021 as an FSAT course for the Europe trip.

“We’re traveling to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic in May after a semester-long course, and it is going to be an awesome experience. Powerful, of course, and sad, but there will also be plenty of time for fun and exploration of some of Europe’s coolest cities – Berlin, Warsaw and Prague,” said Earls.

Through FSAT courses, Mercyhurst students and faculty that travel abroad make a valuable connection between the classroom and real-world experience.

These programs are a great option for first-time travelers and students whose personal, professional or academic situations do not allow them to be out of the country for an extended period of time. However, for those longing for a semester-long escape, the Office of Global Programs is still working closely with its partners to ensure students have this option.

“We are supporting our affiliate partners for semester and summer programs and are more than happy to talk to students about those,” said Pasco.

For any questions regarding study abroad applications, costs or requirements, students can reach out to Pasco or to Heidi Hosey-McGurk, Dean of Global Programs and Experiential Learning.

Students can also make a Teams appointment to chat with a member of the Global Programs staff. More resources are also available on the Hub.

Students should apply by Sept. 30 and be aware that scholarships are available for these programs.

Although programs had to cancel due to COVID this past spring, we want students to know that we are moving forward with study abroad again and we want to keep things going and support our students,” said Pasco.