J-term offers travel opportunities

The January term class offerings at Mercyhurst this year have been a controversial topic around campus. The concern of the number and variety of courses available to students has been a concern to scrambling students and advisors alike.

Still, there are a select number of students that had even more things in mind when scheduling for J-Term: booking plane tickets, receiving passports, and updating their vaccinations for study abroad trips. According to WebAdvisor, there are currently 54 students enrolled in a FSAT course during the J-term. Each FSAT course is accompanied with actual travel to the studied destination.

Mercyhurst students will be traveling to four countries, including Ireland, Guyana, Vietnam and Mexico.

While there, students will be sight-seeing, doing service work, and even attending our sister school in Dungarvan, Ireland.

The students in each course will be preparing for their visits in various ways.

The students traveling to Georgetown, Guyana, will be required to receive various vaccinations, including one for typhoid and yellow fevers, along with prescriptions to prevent malaria. The students are traveling there under the supervision of Laura Lewis, Ph. D. of the Social Work department and Jennell Patton of Campus Ministry.

They will be preparing for their trip by researching the history, government, culture and religion of the country. While there, the females are asked to wear long skirts and the males to wear polos and respectable shorts in order to fit in with the country’s culture. They will also be collecting toys and clothing to bring to the orphanage at which they will be spending most of their time volunteering.

The students traveling to Ireland, on the other hand, are not required to receive additional vaccinations. Accompanied by Heidi Hosey, Ph. D., the students will be visiting various cultural and historic landmarks from the country, including national museums, as well as sites that students will research prior to departure. The Ireland course, titled Celtic Mythology, will consist of the readings of multiple mythological tales from the Celtics here in Erie, then a tour of multiple locations significant to the stories the students analyzed.

“My students are privileged to have the resources of many friends in Ireland, so our access to sites and our tour options are very rich and very cool,” Hosey said.

Overall, these Mercyhurst students are lucky to gain historical value from visiting these countries. College is meant to be a time for experiences, and studying abroad is a great way to do so.