Friday, August 22, 2014

European tours arranged

Liberty students will have the opportunity to obtain course credits for touring Europe beginning in spring 2014.

Three separate tours are planned, each one exploring a different region of Europe. Headed by Michael Babcock from Liberty University’s College of General Studies, the tours will take place during various school breaks.

According to Babcock, it is essential for students to experience the world outside the classroom. Not only is it fun for students, he said, but it also gives students a perspective of the world that they could not get otherwise.

“There is no substitute for travel,” Babcock said. “I believe it is an essential part of a college student’s experience to get out and see the world. Travel broadens us and stretches us, enlarging our perspective and allowing us to see our own values and culture in a different light.”

Babcock explained that the tours are supposed to have a general limit of 50 students, but more could be accommodated.

According to Babcock, school credit can be obtained for Humanities 101 or Humanities 497, depending on which one the student wants. However, the tours are not only for school credit. They can also be done simply for personal enjoyment.

“When you travel, the whole world is your classroom — but it’s not just all about learning,” Babcock said. “ Travelling abroad is fun as well. For example, there’s nothing like eating gelato in the center of Rome with the Colosseum lit up at night.”

According to Babcock, each tour will cost a little under $3,000. Although it may seem to be a steep price, it includes comfortable lodging, air and ground transportation as well as several breakfasts and dinners.

“As a package, it’s a very economical way to see Europe,” Babcock said.

Since all the tours are upwards of 10 months away, Babcock said that there are payment plans that make the price very doable.

The College of General Studies is conducting an essay competition for students who register for the trip before May 15 of this year, according to Babcock. The competition is in hopes to alleviate some of the trip’s cost, with the top prize being $1,000.

According to Babcock, in order to make the trips time and cost effective, the tours allow students to see and experience as much as possible.

“These tours are well-structured and fast-paced,” Babcock said. “We’re able to do a lot and see a lot, which means the student is getting great value for their travel investment. There are additional excursions and options that are available along the way, but the basic itinerary is planned ahead so as to make the best use of our time.”

Babcock wants students who take the trip to be able to experience various aspects of the culture that they are visiting.

“These tours are designed to let you experience not just the history and art, but also the food and customs of the places we visit,” Babcock said. “Students will also have free time in the schedule to explore in greater detail the shops, marketplaces, museums and cafés.”

For more information about signing up, contact Babcock at mbabcock@liberty.edu.

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