Westminster Students Tour France
"Franch" Fries, "Franch" Dressing . . . "Franch" Tour?
I've eaten a Belgian waffle, seen plenty of windmills, and even own French-cut underwear (ooh la la), but according to Jennifer Gruz, international business major ('03), I have yet to have the true "European experience."
"My roommate and I were sitting outside a cute little cafe in
Every other year in May, a group of 30 to 45 students takes an "Art History Tour of Europe" for a total of three fun-filled, action-packed weeks. According to Steve Haslam, assistant professor of French and coordinator of the tour, "Most students have not traveled outside the
The purpose of the trip was to see art in its original form in various museums, and a number of students were working on perfecting their French. The countries on the itinerary included
"I loved being able to take off with my friends," Gruz said. "We had some 'geek' tourist books, so we knew where to go and what to see, but other people got lost or had a hard time figuring out the transportation systems. It's not like the
Transportation, hotels, and breakfast, as well as four or five dinners, were included in the initial price of $2,400 per student. Haslam and his associate, Craig Glidden, professor of art, thought it was important for students to get out and find their own food. "A lot of meals in common simply keep us together too much, and whether students go to grocery stores and buy their own food, or whether they go out to eat, they still have to deal with the people, and we think those are good experiences. Besides, it's hard to satisfy so many different tastes. This way, they could choose what they wanted to eat." You mean not everyone likes escargot? How about some frog legs?
Currently, there is no preferential treatment in determining who may participate. Students from other colleges and universities, as well as faculty and staff members, joined the tour. Paula Garfield, a
"I learned more history than I could ever learn in a classroom. It's just something that has to be experienced on its own. It was helpful to have a good tour guide in
So, what's so different about
"It is hard to encompass
But these "differences," in no way, detracted from the overall experience. Gruz claimed, "I am interested in economics, so seeing where Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in
So now that you know what you're missing out on, how can you get involved in this project?
"Come and talk to me," Haslam said. "Students can receive four hours of art, history, or French credit for participating. However, there is an academic component to the tour. Art students need to draw sketches on assigned projects, whether it be a cathedral or works by other artists. They need to keep up their portfolios. Students taking it for French credit need to keep a journal of the things they see and their reactions to those things, as well as read a French novel or two and write a reaction paper." Sounds like a perfect pitch to parents, in the assistance of payment for the tour.
Despite the required work, is it worth it to take the "Art History Tour of Europe?"
"YES! I know I'm going all over Europe when I graduate," exclaimed Jennifer Gruz.
I'm ready, so when's the next one? February you say? See you there.