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FEATURE

It Was The Trip Of A Lifetime!

A tour of Italy and Greece introduces MC students to a whole new world

uring spring break in March, five students and three faculty members from Methodist College toured Italy and Greece as part of a new program sponsored by the College’s Honors Program. Accompanied by a tour director from EF tours, they visited Rome, Pompeii, Olympia- Tolo, Epidaurus-Mycenae, Athens and Delphi over a nine-day period. D

Honors Program Directors Jennifer Rohrer-Walsh and her husband Richard were joined by Elaine Porter, distinguished service professor of French, five adults from Fayetteville, and the following students: Vanessa Dawson, Jennifer Colletti, Karla Johnson, Thomas Mitchell, and Yolanda George. The local group was merged with two others that included college students from Georgia State, two archeologists from Guatemala and high school students from Canada. The result was a tour group of 40 persons.

“Our tour director was Florence Hoary from France,” said Mrs. Rohrer-Walsh. “The students loved her. The tour was ideal for young, first-time travelers because it was well- organized and fast-paced. The site guides were articulate and knowledgeable. We had scheduled free time each day and every night after dinner. All who went felt they got more than their money’s worth.” (The trip cost $1,500 to $1,750, depending on the number of persons per room.)

Mrs. Porter agreed with her fellow faculty member that this particular tour was very informative, with excellent guides and well-chosen sites. “It was delightful to travel with students and fellow faculty members,” she said.

In April, three of the five MC students who took the trip sat down to reminisce about their experience and the countries visited. Those interviewed were: Jennifer Colletti, a sophomore English major; Thomas Mitchell, a sophomore computer science major; and Yolanda George, a senior business administration major. Colletti was making her first trip abroad, while Mitchell and George had been part of military families and had lived in Europe.

The group spent three days in Italy and four days in Greece; the weather was good the entire time. They used all forms of public transportation, from airplane to bus to rail to ferry to

Jennifer Colletti Thomas Mitchell subway. In Rome and Athens, they took two fast-paced “walking tours.” The MC students praised the tour director and site guides for their language skills and knowledge of Italian and Greek culture. All three found Italy more appealing than Greece, saying the Italian cities seemed cleaner and safer and the people more gracious. They also preferred the Italian food. “Their gelato (ice cream) is fabulous,” said Jennifer Colletti. She said the sights in Rome, especially the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, impressed her most. During her free time in Athens, she visited a disco and the Natural History Museum. For souvenirs, she bought Italian pasta, Greek olives, ouzo (a Greek liqueur), post cards, a mosaic cross, and a ring and necklace made of silver. Because of her Italian heritage and the fact she has studied Italian, Colletti said she would like to do college work in Italy at some point in the future. Thomas Mitchell said the trip “made history come alive for me.” His favorite site was the Colosseum in Rome. “When we were there, I thought about what we had discussed in class about how the Romans entertained themselves.” While the group was in Rome, Mitchell went to dinner with his aunt. “She’s now eight ,” he said. “Her parents were from Sicil , but she was born and raised in the U. S. She eventually moved back to Sicily and then to Rome.” Mitchell’s souvenirs included post cards, small figurines, jewelry, and rosaries. Would he like to study abroad in the future? “Possibly,” he said. “But I missed the luxuries of home.” Yolanda George’s favorite sites were the Sistine Chapel and a

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Methodist College Today

Summer 2001

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