Summer of Travel

Franklin University Switzerland: if there's one thing students here are known for, it's their love of traveling. More than just something we do on the weekends, travel is also integrated into our courses in the form of Academic Travel and other experiential learning opportunities. It seems only natural that students here don't just stop traveling once the semester ends — in fact, that couldn't be further from the truth.

Therefore, in this post I would like to highlight some of the adventures that my fellow students experienced this summer. From West Africa to the Himalayas, Botswana to Australia, and everywhere in between, keep reading to find out more!
Scene from Academic Travel in New Zealand with Professor Hale's "Managing the New Zealand Environment" and Professor Roy's "Literature and the Land: Aotearoa-New Zealand" courses. See Elisabeth's story for more!
. . .

Name: Jordan
From: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Field of Study: Master of Science in International Management (MSIM) Program at Franklin Graduate Studies. Completed Bachelor of Arts at Franklin last year in History and Communication and Media Studies; participant of 3+1 program to complete undergraduate studies in 3 years and receive a Master's degree in the 4th year from Franklin University Switzerland.
Graduation Year: Bachelor's 2016 (Completed), Master's 2017

Summer travel: "This summer, I went back to Senegal, West Africa, for two weeks. I took a gap year in Senegal three years ago when I finished high school, but this was the first time I had been back, and I brought my girlfriend Katie along. We spent a week in the capital city, Dakar, and a week in the town where I had my homestay, Mboro. Mboro is a small-ish town of around 15,000 people located about two hours north of the capital and it was my home for the seven months that I lived there."
Jordan with one of his best friends, Babacar Siby
"I had the chance to reconnect with my host family, see friends that I hadn't seen for three years, and get reacquainted with life in Senegal. It was strange to be back, but I found that I fell into the rhythm of life very quickly once I was there again. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to go back and see my host family after three years and I hope to continue going back in the future."
Jordan's girlfriend, Katie, with one of Jordan's host sisters, Mame Bousso
Jordan and Cheikh Bi, one of his host brothers
For more about Jordan's return to Senegal, please visit the following link to read his detailed post for Global Citizen Year.

. . .

Name: Elisabeth
From: Florida
Field of Study: International Management and Marketing Major and a French Minor
Graduation Year: 2018

Summer Travel: "Over the summer I participated in Professor Roy’s and Professor Hale’s new Academic Travel to New Zealand, which was hands down one of the most magical and surreal experiences of my life. Aside from the excitement of being able to point out every landmark from Middle Earth I could recognize, the sheer brilliance of the landscape pretty much left us in a constant state of awe. We started in Christchurch, learning about sustainability within natural disaster-prone cities, and traveled south, where we took breathtaking hikes through the manuka forests (native only to New Zealand) up to the glaciers which still cover the south of the island near Queenstown. On the way back up the east coast we got a surprise by being able to get INSANELY close to some seals and penguins in Kaikoura as a perfect finish to the 3 week long adventure."

 "My own adventure continued a bit longer though, since I followed travel up with a short trip to Australia. After all, I don’t imagine I’ll often be on that side of the globe, so an extension was well worth it. I could talk about how amazing it was to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge every night, and see the Sydney Opera House lit up for Vivid, Sydney’s annual lights festival – but honestly what was the most surreal was seeing Finding Dory in Sydney. Going home, that’s what I started out my story with nearly every time. But overall, it was a month that I have no chance of ever forgetting."

. . .

Here, N. demonstrates Upavisht Konasan in Shirshasan,
or the Wide-Angle Headstand.

Name: N.
From: India
Field of Study: Combined Major in Art History and History, with Minors in Environmental Science and Italian Studies
Graduation Year: Fall 2018

Summer Travel: "Summer… the very word brings delight in one’s mind… colleges and schools go on vacation and everyone gets time to enjoy! This summer began with the same notion in my mind too. But a thought ran across my mind: How could I make my 19th summer ‘constructive’? So I came back to Switzerland in June and took two very interesting courses, Public Speaking and Statistics, and came out with flying colors! Then arose July - the month of my birthday - and the very next day after my birthday, I took a flight to the Himalayas! I had registered myself for a Yoga Teacher Training Course (YTTC), and was excited to commence it. During the entire span of 25 days, I ‘explored’ myself.. Yes! EXPLORED and got myself to know better. This course not only taught me yoga and meditation, but also dedication to my goal to become a yoga teacher. It helped me discover my strengths and showed me ways to tackle my weaknesses."

This pose is called "Ardhabaddhapadmotanasan" (half bounded lotus stretch pose).
"I travelled across a couple of religious places across the divine Ganges, hiked around sacred mountains, and inhaled all the positivity I could get to remove the obstacles from my path. I thank my parents for allowing me to witness an entirely never-thought-but-dreamt experience of my life! So coming back to the notion of enjoyment; indeed my summer was intense yet enjoyable in a productive manner."

. . .

Name: Erika
From: Brea, California, USA
Field of Study: Combined Major in International Business Management and Communications and Media Studies with a Minor in Psychology
Graduation Year: 2018

Summer Travel: 18 flights. 3 continents. 6 countries.

May 18 – June 3: Australia
In Melbourne I lived with a former Franklin student, Pierre. I met with another Franklin student and close friend of mine, Maddie, in Sydney.

June 5 – July 13th: Switzerland
I returned to Franklin to complete summer courses, both sessions.
Erika and Maddie at the Sydney Opera House

July 14-28th: Botswana, Africa
Two weeks in Botswana for second session summer school Academic Travel with Professor Zannechia...the trip of a lifetime!
Group photo just as students arrived in Maun, Botswana to embark on their two-week Academic Travel through the country. This was their vehicle for the entire trip. 
Elephants crossing the Chobe River
July 29 – August 1st: Milan, Italy
Here I stayed with my friend Maddie before taking off to travel for the rest of the summer.

August 1 – August 5th: Czech Republic
I have good friends who are Czech that I met in California, which is where they live now. I had the opportunity to stay with them in the Czech Republic, somewhere that I had never been before. We spent one night in Prague, then the next day we took a train to Tanvald, their home city near the Polish border and stayed there for the remainder of the trip.
Erika and her friend Natalie at the train station in Prague
August 5 – 15: Reykjavik, Iceland
I have good friends in Reykjavik so I was able to stay with them a short distance outside of the city. I lived with my friend Baldur and his parents. I met Baldur while traveling to Copenhagen with two friends of mine during my first year at Franklin. I had been in Iceland and stayed with the same family last year in October, following my Academic Travel to Ireland. This time I stayed 10 days and got to know the area so much better. I also made many new Icelandic friends. I am so blessed and overwhelmed by this experience and this country. I hope to return again very soon.
Erika in front of the Gljúfrabúi Waterfall in Iceland
An Icelandic swimming pool and natural hot spring
August 15 – 25: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This was perhaps the most independent journey I have ever taken! Here I lived by myself in an apartment right on the main canal just 5 minutes walking from Dam Square. I could see the royal palace and the Magna shopping center from my window, unreal! I made many friends while here spent time with locals I already knew. This last leg of my summer truly opened my eyes to just how extraordinary life at Franklin can be; without Franklin none of this would have been possible in my life.

. . .

And that's that! I hope you enjoyed reading about these incredible summer experiences. As always, please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Arrivederci and till next time,



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