Pack your teapot and grab your baguettes. Amarillo College is going to London and Paris.
On April 27, attendees had a chance to hear firsthand accounts from the group of students who traveled this year to Italy during spring break. The group was the second class of Global Competency travelers at AC.
The event was hosted by Student Life in the Oak Room in the College Union Building on the Washington Street Campus. While audience members munched on free pizza, the travelers told the story of how traveling changed them.
Each person talked about the tourist attractions and places, but the places they said really made an impact were the more local and lived-in areas of Italy.
Many of the travelers mentioned a stop at a bed and breakfast-type establishment in the Tuscan countryside.
Stephanie Mendoza, an education major, spoke about how amazing it was to be welcomed to someone’s home so warmly. Even though there was a language barrier, the woman who lived in and ran the house treated each of them as one of her own.
The students also described the true paradise of Capri and its countless grottos. Emily Henriquez, a social work major, said she bought perfume made with the local flowers.
“They spared no expense,” she said of the perfume makers.
Katelin Cater, an education major, said she was taken aback by how much nature has taken over the places they visited and how the buildings, chapels and other structures that were built hundreds of years ago are standing tall and strong.
As much as they were awestruck by the famous works of art they saw, such as Michelangelo’s “David,” some of the travelers, such as mass media major Amanda Castro-Crist, said it was the colorful and captivating street art that was surprisingly deep and beautiful.
“In America, we see graffiti or street art and we automatically think, ‘Oh, I must be in a bad neighborhood,’ ” Castro-Crist said. “But according to our tour guide, Matteo, and our tour guide, Mattie, in Germany last year, most people see it as another form of art. It felt like the residents were telling their current story to us.”
Kyle Freeman, a biology major, described the differences in the cultures of Italy and the U.S. One of the big differences, he said, were the methods of travel. In Italy walking is more common; here everyone uses a car or some other type of vehicle.
“The trip was a great and valuable experience, (traveling) is the most important thing besides an education, Freeman said.
Judy Carter, honors coordinator, said the travelers were able to experience more than just a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
While visiting the Colosseum in Rome, the travelers were able to witness a solar eclipse. She described the beauty and awe of seeing something wonderful in a beautiful place.
Carter also traveled recently with the Presidential Scholars to Nepal, which was recently devastated by a massive earthquake. Traveling does more than expose you to new things, she said, adding that she would not have as true a desire to help them if she had not visited the country.
Presidential Scholar Lilly Gamble also traveled to Nepal and India and spoke about how important world travel is.
Traveling is hard work and requires flexibility, but it’s worth it, Gamble said. Carter agreed.
“After you’ve been, your life has changed,” she said.
More details about the upcoming trip, including itineraries, cost and requirements will be announced in the coming weeks.
Carter advised that students and faculty watch their email for further announcements.