Prepare for Tour to South Africa from July 15-27
Windsor, N.J. - Thirteen Mercer County Community College students
and four staff members, including MCCC President Patricia
C. Donohue, are getting ready to pack their bags for a 15-hour
flight to South Africa in July. The lengthy journey will be
well worth it, say students, who discussed their reasons and
expectations for their South African Study Tour during an
orientation session on June 5.
by Study Abroad Program Coordinator Andrea Lynch, the orientation
included a "getting to know you" portion. Students
shared their travel backgrounds. Many have been to the Caribbean,
others to parts of Europe, but none to South Africa. The
group includes travelers of all ages -- from as young as 16
to several retirees. All share a passion for experiencing
new things and look forward to embracing the culture of South
will be the trip of a lifetime," said Gerri Benjamin,
a Human Services student. "I hope to learn about the
culture and relate it to my work."
to sign up for the trip as a noncredit student because she
wanted to learn about South Africa from an academic standpoint.
"I am always interested in how other cultures live, their
politics and business perspectives, and the history that made
them what they are," Eichinger said. "I see this
trip as much more in-depth, no tourist stuff."
noncredit student, Andrea Jackson, who plans to be a veterinarian
one day, is especially interested in seeing how South Africans
care for their animals, while Human Services student Linda
Robinson is looking forward to taking in South Africa's natural
wonders and also interacting with some of the local people
to understand their lifestyle and their hardships. "We
can learn from each other," Robinson said.
introduced themselves, their mutual enthusiasm for the trip
quickly became apparent. Suzieann
Bennett summed it up. "I am excited to see, learn and
do. I am just excited," she said.
expedition from July 15-27 includes a packed itinerary of
cultural, historical, and natural destinations in and around
Johannesburg and Capetown, as well as stops at educational
institutions and communtiy service agencies. According to
Lynch, the tour guide, Tribal Meetings, has an excellent track
record of leading American groups, including college students
from Rutgers University.
sites include Table Mountain, one of South Africa's most famous
natural landmarks and The Slave Lodge, one of Cape Town's
oldest buildings that has served multiple purposes over its
long history. Students will also visit the University of Western
Cape, a public university established in 1960 for "Coloured
people" that was integrated well before the end of apartheid
in 1994; Bo Kaap, an historical center of Cape Town's Cape
Malay culture; Langa, Cape Towns oldest township; Robben
Island, a site for imprisoned political leaders; the South
African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation; the Cape of Good
Hope, the farthest tip of Cape Peninsula National Park; and
Boulders Beach, where a famous colony of African Penguins
for their South African adventure: front row, from left, students
Sierra Downs, Anabell Reyes, Langston Lynch, Andrea Jackson
and Erykah Jones; Back row from left, student Suzieann Bennett,
African-American History Professor Dr. Deborah Sanders, student
Linda Robinson, MCCC Director of Library Services Pamela Price,
student Ruth Schuler, Program Coordinator Andrea Lynch, student
Bernadette Eichinger, MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue, and
student Gerri Benjamin.
Abroad Program Coordinator Andrea Lynch led a four-hour orientation
session for MCCC travelers.
student Suzieann Bennett summed up the enthusiasm voiced by
the whole group. "I'm just excited," she said.
the group will visit Regina Mundi Church, examining its role
as a gathering place in Soweto before, during, and after the
anti-apartheid struggle; the Apartheid Museum, established
in 2001; Nkosis Haven, an orphanage that cares for mothers
and children with HIV/AIDS; Constitution Hill, where the story
of South Africa's turbulent past and its transition to democracy
comes to life; Pilanesburg Game Reserve, located west of Pretoria;
and the Bruma Lake Flea Market, Johannesburg's largest market
for local crafts, clothing and accessories.
who are enrolled in HIS 109 (African-American History) will
attend class sessions with Adjunct Professor Dr. Deborah Sanders
prior to the trip. MCCC History Professor Dr. Craig Coenen
will also oversee the curriculum. Upon their return, all students
will gather for a wrap-up session on Wednesday, August 15,
5-8 p.m., in AD131 to share photos and observations of their
time in South Africa. All are invited to attend.
up during the 2012-13 school year, Sociology Professor Dr.
Gianna Durso-Finley and Biology Professor Laura Blinderman
will be taking their students to Costa Rica during the colleges
spring break in March. Other tentatively scheduled trips include
a trip to Warsaw, Poland, and Prague, Czech Republic, in late
May, focusing on the Jewish Holocaust experience of World
War II, led by Associate Professor of English Jack Tabor,
and a trip to the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico, led
by History Professor Dr. Craig Coenen and Associate Professor
of Spanish Daniel DArpa.
more about the colleges study tours and other study
abroad options, click here.
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