Travel interterms often worth the expense

Story by Nathalia Barr, Managing Editor

Instead of education, some students see dollar signs when thinking of travel interterms, but these trips can also be an investment to expand horizons and experience different cultures.

That is certainly the case for junior Hayley Morrical.

“To be able to go to Greece and Turkey I worked two jobs this summer,” Morrical said. “I know it’ll be worth the money for me.”

Not only is the trip suited for Morrical’s interests in art and history, she also has a personal connection with Turkey. Three years ago, a Turkish exchange student lived with Morrical’s family. She is planning to spend some time with her friend while in Istanbul this January.

This will be the first time Morrical has traveled outside the United States, but she thinks to be a “well-rounded person” you have to see the world and learn about other countries.

Joe Watson, associate professor of mass media, agrees with Morrical. Watson is taking a group of students to Amsterdam and the Netherlands in January 2015.

“Nothing makes you grow more as a person than travel,” Watson said.

This interterm class is not related to a specific major, focusing instead on World War II, Anne Frank, Dutch resistance, famous artists and European culture.

Assistant Professor of Art History Brett Knappe also leads a travel interterm course. The January trip to Athens and the Black Sea will be his fourth trip while teaching at Baker.

Knappe teaches interterm abroad classes to help students learn and understand cultures outside of the United States. Experiences like these help students later on in the job market, Knappe said.

Although Watson did not get the opportunity to study abroad while in college, he has been to many places, including four continents, 19 countries and 45 of the 50 states. Watson’s love of travel drives him to teach interterm abroad courses. He thinks traveling is a valuable opportunity.

“Students may learn more in a couple days in another country than a semester in a classroom,” Watson said.

The expense prevents some students, or parents who bear the financial burden, from taking interterm trips, but Watson says, “If you can get past that, you never know what you could discover.”