By Samuel Malone
Amarillo College’s Student Life Program is leading this year’s international trip to Switzerland, Italy and the French Riviera.
Traditionally, Student Life has worked with and helped organizations with student travel. “This is usually led by faculty every year, but international travel stopped when COVID arrived,” Amber Hamilton, Student Life director, said. “Now that we’re on the other side of the pandemic, Student Life was asked to kick off international travel again for the college.”
The trip will take place over 11 days and students will get to experience the Lucerne region of Switzerland, Verona, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre and the French Riviera, according to the webpage for the trip.
In order to participate students will have to be enrolled in at least six credit hours for the fall and spring semesters and maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA.
According to Hamilton, AC has a history of not only encouraging student travel but supporting it.
Students and staff are both interested in international travel because of the benefits. “It’s a great way to interact with different cultures, become a better global citizen, network with peers and professionals in your field of study and see the world from a different lens than what you just see from your hometown,” Hamilton said.
Presidential Scholar and engineering major, Isabella Contreras, feels the same. “I’ve never been outside the country before so that will be a new experience for me.”
Presidential Scholars is an honors program “that gives high achieving and motivated students the opportunity to participate in student-centered learning experiences that promote intellectual growth, cultural appreciation, professional focus, leadership development and civic participation,” according to the webpage for the program, is taking a trip to South Africa in the spring semester.
Linda Navarrete, a presidential scholar and general studies major, is not only excited to learn about other cultures but also for the opportunity to serve was one of the main draws into the program, such as “the community service that we are going to get the opportunity to do, like in South Africa,” Navarette said.
Last year, Sara Clinesmith traveled with Presidential Scholars to Poland and enjoyed the bonding aspect because she felt like she was traveling with family.
“Traveling internationally for 10 days will bring y’all very close together and you always feel like you have someone to turn to if you are in need of something or you just want a friend to talk to,” she said.