BETHANY, W.Va. – From London to Jamaica, student groups from Bethany College visited various parts of the globe during their Spring Break, March 17 to 21.
Five members of the Bethany College History Club, along with advisor and Professor of History Dr. Gary Kappel, traveled to the United Kingdom, where they visited a number of museums and parks. The group visited the Tower of London, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and the British Museum in Russell Square.
“Travel abroad is addictive,” Kappel said. He has been advising student trips at Bethany for years, and he said that short-term study abroad trips like those during Spring Break may set students up for a lifetime of discovering new places.
“It is to be hoped that the students who participated in this trip will be moved to travel again and again, not only back to the UK, but elsewhere around the world, and on a regular basis,” he said.
The group visited well-known sites, witnessed the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Some students toured the Cabinet War Rooms in Whitehall while others toured the restored Globe Theatre on the South Bank.
The Tri-Beta National Biology Honorary Society combined work and play during their trip to Puerto Rico. The five members of the Alpha-Phi chapter and Jennifer Franko, advisor and Assistant Professor of Biology, performed volunteer work with Para la Naturaleza, an environmental conservation group. Students helped plant endemic trees at the organization’s native tree nursery in San Juan, and they performed iguana nesting surveys as part of their green iguana management project.
Students explored local ecology by visiting El Yungue National Forest and the Rio Camuy Caves. The students snorkeled and visited a bioluminescence bay, one of few places in the world where the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence can be witnessed regularly year round. Before returning home, students also had the opportunity to explore the cultural history of the island through visits to Old San Juan, Castillo de San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
Nine students from Bethany’s Spanish Club took a trip to Mexico City, Mexico. The trip showcased a wide range of the country’s historical and cultural treasures, including the pyramids of Teotihuacan and El Zócalo, the main plaza in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City. They toured Museo de Antropologia (the National Museum of Anthroplogy) and the Frida Kahlo Museum. Professor of Political Science Dr. Marc Sable and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Holly Hillgardner served as trip advisors.
A group of nine students traveled to Petersfield, Jamaica, as part of a service project through Amizade. The group had the opportunity to be immersed in Jamaican culture, as they stayed in houses of local people. The group worked in after-school programs as well as in architectural projects. Activities each night gave the group the change to learn more about the area’s education system and culture. “The experience really showed the advisors and students a different side to a country that is visited often by tourists on vacation,” said Ashley Kanotz, trip advisor and Director of Alumni and Parent Relations. Sam Goodge, the Director of Student Activities, also served as an advisor. The trip was sponsored by the Student Activities Council.
Eight members of the German Club and Dr. Harald Menz, advisor and Professor of World Languages and Cultures, traveled to Austria and Switzerland. The group had the opportunity to sightsee and also learn about the history of the areas. The group flew to Vienna, where they spent the first few days of the trip in Austria’s capital. They then made their way to the Alps for skiing. They then traveled through Switzerland to Geneva.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.