By Alexa Manzo
This article was originally published in Issue 11, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (March 24, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
This past spring break was one for the books for DeSales students. The university sponsored multiple trips abroad including to Paris and Switzerland, Nicaragua, Ireland and Scotland, along with volunteer trips within the country to places like Florida and Texas.
The trip to Paris and Switzerland was the annual spring break trip through the Student Leadership and Engagement office, where any student was eligible to sign up and go. This was the first year the office held a trip that went to more than just one country. Nick Luchko, three other chaperones and about 30 students flew to Paris and stayed there for four days to take in the sights that Paris had to offer and, of course, climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
From there, students took a bus to travel to their final destination, Geneva, Switzerland. Before they reached Geneva, they made a pit stop in Dijon, France where they got a local tour of the city and even had time to shop around and pick up some Dijon mustard. When they arrived in Geneva, students had plenty of time to sightsee and receive a tour of the area.
The last day trip destination for students to explore was Annecy, France. Students and chaperones had the opportunity to travel to the Basilica of the Visitation where they saw the relics of St. Francis de Sales and were able to pray to St. Jane de Chantal and her remains.
“There was a strategic motivation to go to France this year because of the 50th anniversary of DeSales and to make the extra trip to Annecy so the students could enjoy the history of the university,” said Luchko.
The group came back with a new appreciation for European culture.
“My favorite part is always after the trip when the students say they had a great time. I believe that makes it all worth it,” said Luchko.
The trip to Scotland was facilitated through the Food Science class, a new class offered at DeSales. Dr. Julie Himmelberger, the course’s professor, had a great turn-out for the trip, with eight students and four other faculty members.
Jessica Cole, a junior finance and management major was one of the students who went to Scotland.
“Personally, I went because I have never been to Europe and wanted to spend spring break somewhere new, learning about the different culture of a foreign country,” said Cole. “The different lifestyle and the food were so fun to experience and I hope to go to Europe again soon.”
In Scotland, the students and faculty chaperones had the opportunity to tour historic cathedrals and castles and take a brewery tour, a distillery tour and a scotch whiskey tour.
The raving reviews around campus about the different experiences students had traveling over spring break cannot be easily avoided. Many people took advantage of the opportunities that DeSales presented to them and the number will keep growing in the future. The Student Leadership and Engagement spring break trip next year will travel to London. Sign-ups and deposits will be occurring over the summer for anyone interested in attending.