Study Abroad Office Prepares for Faculty-Led Trips in Spring 2022

The Study Abroad Office at Baldwin Wallace University has opened eight faculty-led trips for the Spring of 2022 semester. Students have the opportunity to visit countries such as Iceland, Guatemala, England, Japan, Ghana, Brazil, and Germany in these faculty-led experiences that are tailored to a number of different majors offered at the university.

Students can look forward to seeing a number of sites on these trips abroad, from rolling fields to mountain ranges to active volcanoes. Each trip gives students the ability to travel to a different country that they learned about in class. Students with majors in computing, psychology, geology, and others can take part in these trips to experience a different part of the world from a new perspective.

With the continuing complications of travel due to COVID-19, many study abroad trips had to be postponed. Because of this, a lot of thought went into the programs that were planned to take place. Graduate intern Kate Ganczarz helped give a little insight into why these trips were chosen as faculty-led excursions. “This year specifically, we were looking into what kind of experience we are offering the students,” Ganczarz said, “if we think they are going to get a really valuable insight into intercultural competency.”

Each of the faculty-led trips has a discipline they are tailored towards. For example, the trip to Iceland is geared towards geology, while the trip to Japan is for psychology. These trips each have a four-credit course attached to them that students take the semester before, and the Study Abroad Office wanted to make sure these courses offered a valuable experience for the students.

When preparing for these faculty-led trips, as with any trip to a new location, anything can happen. Ganczarz explained the importance of always having a backup plan, and how preparation and planning are extremely pertinent to these trips. Especially with COVID-19, the office continues watching the Centers for Disease Control guidelines as well as the Ohio State Department guidelines and BW’s leadership guidelines every day to keep everyone involved safe.

Kristen Catrina, the faculty advisor at the Study Abroad Office, added they have “the same mindset” that they would have if there wasn’t a global pandemic happening. Anything can happen at any time, and being prepared for any event is something the office is always preparing for.

Though there is the ever-looming reminder of COVID-19, the faculty-led trips do not plan on lessening the number of students able to participate. “We are just hopeful that things will get better,” Ganzcarz said. “We’re really relying on the fact that we’ll have vaccines available, other countries will have vaccines available, and we’ll be able to start carrying on as before the pandemic started.”

While there is still one year until these trips take place, it’s not hard to be reminded the world still faces a global pandemic. But Ganczarz said she stays hopeful that “life will begin to blossom again” as Americans can begin receiving their vaccinations and other countries follow suit. Though the world may never fully return to the “normal” it once had, students can look forward to these faculty-led trips bringing some form of normalcy back to BW.

The Study Abroad office holds sessions for each of their faculty-led trips for any student interested in learning more information. If you’re interested in one of the faculty-led trips, you can visit the Study Abroad page at Applications are currently open for anyone wanting to apply.