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Students burst Baylor Bubble by traveling abroads

Sept. 24, 1996

Students burst Baylor Bubble by traveling abroad

Bill McCracken, left, a Bethany senior, and John Walkup, a Houston senior, visited Amsterdam as part of the Baylor in Europe Program.

By Anna Hogue

Lariat Reporter

University classrooms extend beyond the bounds of the Baylor Bubble.

For some students, spring semester will encompass most of Europe as they participate in a semester-long study abroad program in the third annual Baylor in Europe at Maastricht program.

A meeting for the semester-long program will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday in 201 Poage Legislative Library Center. The meeting is open to all students who are interested in traveling to Maastricht this spring and will cover all of the details concerning the trip.

Dr. James Vardaman, coordinator of Baylor in Europe at Maastricht and deputy director for international education, said that enrollment will be limited to approximately 30 people. Vardaman said that the program lasts a semester and is established in Maastricht, which is located in the Netherlands, on the border of Belgium and 10 miles from Germany.

Students will stay in the Vaeshartelt Castle, an old Dutch royal family residence, and take classes from University professors. Students will also take classes at the University of Limburg in Maastricht.

'Education should be global,' Vardaman said. 'The key way to make education global is to live somewhere else.'

Darcy Hansen, a San Antonio senior, traveled to the Netherlands last spring as a program participant.

'The trip helped me with my Spanish and German since I got to speak to natives,' Hansen said. 'It makes European history come alive and helps you to appreciate different cultures.'

Hansen said that the highlight of her trip was during a week in February called 'Carnival,' which she said is similar to Mardi Gras. Hansen said that she was able to travel to France and Italy during 'Carnival.'

'I think that traveling abroad is the best experience you can have in college,' Hansen said. 'Everyone needs to go abroad.'

Jamie Polson, an Overland Park, Kan., junior, will travel to the Netherlands in the spring.

'I really don't know what to expect,' Polson said. 'I would like to get a better view of the world in general and I want to learn about European history since I am a religion major and I'm interested in

missionary work.'

Patrick Shearer, a San Antonio senior, will also participate in the Baylor in Europe at Maastricht.

'I want to go because I think it is a great chance to learn about the culture and history of Europe and to see firsthand what we will be studying,' Shearer said.

Students will have a two-month Eurorail pass and will be able to travel during their stay. The trip will begin in London, where the students will stay in Westminster Abbey.

'It is a marvelous way for the students to meet other students from other cultures, develop friendships and see how they eat, sleep and travel,' Vardaman said.

Anne Pierce, an Arlington senior, took the trip during the spring of 1995 and now coordinates times for students who have taken the trip or will take the trip to get together.

'Our group became close,' Pierce said. 'This is a way for us to get together and keep up with each other and a way for those who are interested to find out more.'

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