There are certain things that I would recommend every Gannon student to do in their four years here. 1. Get breakfast from Dave’s Diner. 2. Become friends with one Metz worker. 3. Walk on the lake when it’s frozen. 4. Go on a T.R.A.V.E.L. trip.
Number four is extra important to me. I always had this deep seeded need to travel. I wanted to go and see different places and appreciate the world hands on. My goal in life was to study abroad but with being a student-athlete I couldn’t do that. Thanks to the T.R.A.V.E.L. program, I could still fulfill that need to travel.
If you go to Gannon you should have gotten a massive email saying that applications to the program just went out. But honestly, you might have just deleted it without just looking at it. That was a big mistake. If you have ever had a slight interested in going somewhere different, you NEED to sign up for the T.R.A.V.E.L. program. When I started talking to people about the program, most people were very confused and had their minds made up that they couldn’t do it. But you can do it and for an inexpensive price too.
The point of the program is to have students and staff to work together, grow, plan, and experience a brand-new culture together. You and your group will meet once a week for an hour to get to know each other, learning about the places you’ll be going, and going on mini adventures together. There will be activities that will help you reflect on yourself and your cultural awareness. You become friends with the people in your group so that you already have a good bond with each other before you leave for where ever fun you’re going. This is helpful because instead of you going on this massive trip with a few people you vaguely know, you’re going on an adventure with ten of your friends. After all this planning, your group will travel to your location for two weeks in May/June and soak in the new world around you.
Not only will you learn and bond, but you will fundraise together. When I went to Australia, my group did a pancake fundraiser the day after St. Patrick’s Day. You have so many options to fundraise and get money off of your trip. The trips are already pretty cheap for most expenses paid trip. The cost of my Spain/Portugal trip is $2400 for two weeks. Since I’m an upperclassman and I live on campus I get $1000 off. Then there are Yankee Candle fundraisers, the fundraisers my group put on, scholarships that both the Honors College and the T.R.A.V.E.L. program offer, and then a Friends/Family postcard fundraiser. There are dozens of ways for you to almost pay nothing for your trip. There is also a payment plan that helps you organize the best way for you to pay.
These trips go all around the world: Australia, Germany, South Africa, and Iceland to name a few. If there isn’t a trip that you want to go to, get a group of friends together and choose where you want to go to. The T.R.A.V.E.L. program will work with you so you can get where you want to. The best part is that you get to choose what you want to do. Do you want to go skydiving? Cool, you can get a group to go do that. Want to go climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge? Most of your group probably wants to too. What to take tango classes? Do it. You and your group oversee what you do, you can make it as memorable as you want.
So, let’s review. The T.R.A.V.E.L. program takes you and up to ten others with two staff members somewhere amazing for two weeks. The trips are already less expensive than if you planned it by yourself and you can make it even cheaper with fundraisers. You and your brand-new friends get to plan this grand adventure together. As a sophomore, I went to Australia with my best friend and the T.R.A.V.E.L. program, as my mom and I were driving into Gannon to start my Junior year of college she looked at me and said, “You should sign up for another T.R.A.V.E.L. trip if you can. You’ll never have this opportunity to do this again.” And if Mama J says I should do something, I do it. That’s why I’m going to Spain/Portugal in May.
If you are interested, sign up on Engage U for next year’s trips or reach out to Becky Perry if you have any questions.