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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Valentine’s-themed ‘I Heart Travel Day’ encourages study-abroad

‘Why not love traveling, getting to know other people, and other cultures?” says intern at the Center for Global Exploration.
Maria Vurbic
Left to right: Gaby Rolim Da Silva Figuero and Hallie Vavrus working the Center for Global Exploration’s I Heart Travel Day booth in the Student Union.

People gathered in the lobby of the Strosacker Hall Student Union this Valentine’s Day to show their love for studying abroad in an event called “I Heart Travel Day.”

The Center for Global Exploration partnered with the Hospitality and Tourism Management Department to host the Valentine’s Day themed event  to garner more interest for the Center for Global Exploration and for studying abroad as a whole.

Gaby Rolim Da Silva Figuero is an international student and a leadership in higher education intern at the Center for Global Exploration and said that she hoped to dispel any misconceptions about the study abroad experience. 

“The idea is to promote our programs for students to go abroad,” Figuero said. “Because sometimes people have this idea that going abroad is too expensive or not for them.”  

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Another goal that the Center for Global Exploration has is to teach students about the upcoming study abroad programs that they can sign up for next year. The faculty-led trips include ones to Guatemala, Ireland, Japan and Zambia. There is also an opportunity specifically for athletes to travel to Greece.  

This is not the first year that I Heart Travel Day has been hosted around Valentine’s Day. 

“Normally people see Valentine’s Day just as something romantic, and we wanted to demonstrate that you can love other things,” Figuero said. “So why not love traveling, getting to know other people and other cultures?” 

This year, I Heart Travel Day featured a Jeopardy-style game focusing on traveling and music from different countries and cultures. Hallie Vavrus, a leadership in higher education intern at the Center for Global Exploration, was in charge of coming up with the questions. 

“We wanted questions that students might not know,” Vavrus said. “That’s going to get student’s gears going and thinking about traveling.” 

I Heart Travel Day also featured pink paper hearts that students could write down the place they were most interested in visiting. 

“So our plan is to get an idea of what locations people are more interested in getting to know,” Figuero said. “Then we can promote these on our social media.” 

Students place a pin where they would love to travel through a map in the Strosacker Hall Student Union. (Maria Vurbic)

Other attractions included sweetheart candies, prizes and a raffle basket full of goodies that students could enter to win.  

Vavrus and Figuero expressed how important they think studying abroad is for current students.  

“It’s not just like learning in a classroom,” Vavrus said. “When students study abroad, they’re getting not only the experience, but also hands-on learning that a classroom can’t provide.” 

“Nobody goes abroad and comes back the same person,” Figuero said. “You always learn something different that will be valuable for your life.” 

The Center for Global Exploration will host another event similar to I Heart Travel Day on March 13. Being so close to St. Patrick’s Day, this event will be called “Lucky Travel Day.” 

Vavrus said that the Center for Global Exploration uses these holiday events to connect students with information about holidays in other countries. 

“It’s kind of cool because we have these holidays here in America, but they might not be the same in other countries,” Vavrus said. “We try to blend American holidays while talking about other countries as well.” 

Both I Heart Travel Day and Lucky Travel Day take place before the deadline to sign up for a semester or year abroad on April 1, which allows students to learn about studying abroad before making a commitment. 

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