May Term Travel Still Beckons

More than 30 years after graduating from Mary Baldwin University, Ann Gordon Evans ’65 was drawn to the idea of trekking to Israel with a group of Mary Baldwin students during May Term – a short term study session that often involves domestic or international travel. The 1998 trip, “one of the highlights of my life,” Evans said, launched an eight-year travel tradition, as she explored countries throughout Europe with students and faculty.

A group from Mary Baldwin explores Amsterdam during May Term 2015.
A group from Mary Baldwin explores Amsterdam during May Term 2015.

Alumni are always invited to participate in May Term study abroad courses, and Evans is one of many who have taken advantage of the opportunity. This spring, Mary Baldwin offers alumni seven exciting travel opportunities.

“A special aspect of our travel was getting to know the students and the professors,” Evans said, noting that her husband, Rusty, and daughter Mary Katherine Hogg ’96 also traveled abroad for Mary Baldwin May Term. “Our lives have been enriched by our Mary Baldwin May Term travel, and we feel so very fortunate to have been invited to be a part of it for so many years.

“I would recommend May Term travel to alumnae/i who yearn to learn more about our world and who are willing to ‘rough it’ a little bit.  Our trips were certainly not luxurious, but the food was always excellent and the company — students and faculty — was enriching.”

For application information, contact Lisa Brown, assistant director of Mary Baldwin’s Spencer Center, at All of the costs listed below include airfare and accommodation. Course credit is available for an extra fee.

Course Title: Everyday French: May Term in France
Location: Paris, France
Instructor: Martha Walker, professor of French
Description: This course has two components: a three-week academic course on French theatre and a three-week homestay with a French family. You’ll spend your mornings reading and discussing French plays, your afternoons visiting French playhouses and other cultural venues (such as the Musee de Orsay and Versailles), and three to four evenings attending productions of those plays. You’ll be placed with a French family to hone your French language skills. Alumni who speak French at an intermediate level are welcome to participate.
Cost: Approximately $4,500

Course Title: London Theatre
Location: London, England
Instructor: Terry Southerington, professor of theater, and Sarah Kennedy, professor of English
Description: In this course, students stay for three weeks in shared flats in Bloomsbury in London while seeing and discussing approximately 10 plays in different theatres each night. As a result, participants will see some of the important theatres and architectural styles in theatre history as well as the plays. The cost includes a trip to Stratford and performance there as well as a play and backstage tour of the Globe. In addition to the theatre, students have afternoons and weekends to explore with easy access to museums, galleries, and historical sites.

Cost: $4,000

Course Title: Studio Art in Prague
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Instructor: Paul Ryan, professor of art, and Jim Sconyers, associate professor of art
Description: Immersed in the history and culture of one of Europe’s most beautiful and enchanting cities, students will use the language of visual form through a variety of drawing media and photography to create representational and abstract images that record their interactions with and observations of “Magic Prague.” Participants will explore a range of historical and cultural sites and institutions in and beyond Prague, including Prague Castle, the Lobkowicz Palace, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, Petrin Hill, the town of Kutna Hora, Terezin, Lidice, and much more.
Cost: $3,500

Course Title: Tropical Ornithology
Location: Costa Rica
Instructor: Paul Callo, associate professor of biology
Description: Students will spend 14 days traveling throughout Costa Rica studying resident and migratory birds, keeping a field notebook on the various species. While comparing how Costa Ricans and U. S. citizens differ in their approaches to their natural resources and discovering the impact of eco-park rangers and others, students will also have ample opportunity to learn about the everyday lives of Costa Ricans. There is as much to learn about Central American culture as there is ornithology during this course.
Cost: TBA

Course Title: May Term in Oaxaca
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Instructor: Brenci Patiño, assistant professor of Spanish
Description: This course offers complete cultural and linguistic immersion through formal classroom instruction and home stays with local families. In addition to taking language and culture courses daily, during their stay in the city of Oaxaca, students will travel to Zapotec archeological sites in the vicinity such as Monte Albán, Mitla, and Yagul. Additionally, students will participate in daily workshops that include, but are not limited to, Oaxacan painters, alebrije-making, dance, Oaxacan cuisine, and music.
Cost: $2,750

Course Title: Intercultural Communication in Haiti
Location: Cherident and Jacmel, Haiti
Instructor: Bruce Dorries, associate professor of communication, and Lisa Brown, assistant director of the Spencer Center
Description: Students will utilize intercultural communication skills to work with residents of Cherident, Haiti. Specifically, the students will be engaged in a community service-learning project to benefit education in the partner community. This project will be at the heart of the experience, providing opportunities to connect theory learned in readings and discussions with practice. Additionally, the trip will include two days in the arts/beach town of Jacmel.
Cost: Approximately $1,750

And one more course available to alumni this summer:

Course Title: Autism on the High Seas (Summer 2016)
Location: Alaska / Canada
Instructor: Rachel Potter, dean of the College of Education
Description: The course will take place on board a seven-day cruise to Alaska including travel to and from Seattle, the port of departure/return. The cruise will be offered in partnership with Autism on the Seas and will include a group of families traveling with children who have autism and related developmental disabilities. Students will supplement (not supplant) the Autism on the Seas staff in the care and support of the children and families in our travel group. Alumni who have passion for working with students with disabilities are encouraged to participate.
Cost: $3,100