– Erin L Givens
***The writer is enrolled in Comm 240 News Reporting.***
Eight Fort Hays State University students and their graduate assistant guide spent their spring break traveling around France as part of MLNG 390, the Travel Abroad class offered at FHSU.
Students who were interested in going to France had to attend an informational meeting and then apply for one of the eight spots available.
The work began once they were accepted.
“We met weekly as a class to study the culture of France and discuss the places we wanted to visit. Each member on the trip had the opportunity to prioritize the importance of seeing popular monuments and give input on where we wanted to go,” said Jessie Havice, Abilene senior and a speech pathology major.
Along with sightseeing in Paris, students had time to travel around the rest of France and even other parts of Europe.
“A few of us traveled to Bruges, Belgium. The day in Bruges ended up being one of the highlights of my entire trip. Kind people filled the cobble stone streets, and our day consisted of chocolate, a canal ride, mussels, espresso and one last visit to the sea,” Havice said.
For some students, just the experience of traveling was their favorite part of the trip.
Laura Regnier, Colorado Springs junior, left America with complete strangers and came back with new friends.
“I have so many great memories it is hard to choose one. I loved getting to know and become best friends with eight complete strangers. I loved the way traveling opened my mind and taught me life lessons,” Regnier said.
Students on this trip were lucky enough to have a local to guide them.
Christophe Cheroret is a graduate assistant at FHSU and a native of Paris. Cheroret said it was his duty to guide, rather than instruct, his students on how to spend their time in Paris.
“It’s my country, the place where I grew up, and my culture. I know the language, so it’s ideal for me to take students,” Cheroret said. “I especially wanted them to see…Normandy. It’s the region where the U.S. troops landed in the Second World War. So I took one day, and I took them all. It’s part of their history, and I thought it was really necessary for them to see.”
The cost of the trip for accommodations and flight was $1,800 plus spending money. The class is offered once a year through FHSU’s Modern Languages Department. Ideal candidates for the trip have prior travel experience and some knowledge of the language. Those interested in next year’s trip may contact Christophe Cheroret at the Center for Language and Culture at firstname.lastname@example.org