By Lin Shuandan
As we all know, to graduate students have to take a Jan or Jun term course, but it might be less known that we have the option to take these courses outside the campus in the form of a trip.
The Zimbabwe trip, which is run by a professor on the main campus this January, is counted as a Jan Term. There are many Jan Term trips in the main campus every year. Just as the Budapest campus, Westminster students can choose to do a regular Jan Term class, but all students also have the option to spend some extra money and go on a trip instead. You still get the same amount of credits as the Jan Term class and it also counts towards the mandatory graduation requirement. All trips offered in the main campus are also open to Budapest students. To sign up for Jan Term trip, the only thing you have to do is to send an email to the professor in charge and explain that you are a Budapest Campus student and are interested in the trip, and they will give you all the information.
Zimbabwe trip specifically is a service-learning experience. A group of 14 people consisting of 5 students, 3 faculty members, 3 Trustees/Alumni, and 3 very close friends of the college making this a particular trip consisting of a small number of students(usually they have more students than faculty members).
The trip will start on the 2nd January 2013 and end on 21st January and will cost about $3500-$4000 depending on the price of the tickets.
The course description is the following:
The country of Zimbabwe is home to both one of the most important ancient civilizations -Great Zimbabwe – and the site of the most brutal forms of colonization. Today, the country suffers from ineffective government and economic ruin, but the people and culture of Zimbabwe seem to be invincible, continuing to work toward a brighter future. Students will be expected to attend the pre-trip orientation sessions and complete readings on Zimbabwe’s ancient and contemporary history.
The group will be based at Africa University in Old Mutare, with which McDaniel has a partnership. Several service projects will be completed with AU students. These will be at a local orphanage, a hospital and several local schools. It is possible that the students involved will participate in fund-raising activities prior to travel to raise funds for malaria nets, school supplies and textbooks. In addition to working on service projects, the group will travel to either Great Zimbabwe or Victoria Falls to bring the trip to its conclusion. A final reflection paper will be expected after the return to McDaniel’s campus.
Another thing to remember is all of the trips are different. For instance the Italy trip is for photography, there is one for scuba diving, and the Zimbabwe trip happens to be service learning. This is the link listing all the Jan Term trips available for 2013
There was a special event ran by Brooke Ness in the Budapest campus, the bake sales, which was aimed to get some financial support in order to raise funds for the activities in Zimbabwe. ‘The bake sale was a fundraiser I wanted to do on the Budapest campus to help with our Zimbabwe trip. All proceeds go towards buying nets to prevent malaria, medical supplies, and school supplies. I’m one of the panel members on the student union and everyone involved heard about my fundraising idea and was glad to help me plan the event. We made a lot more money then we projected we would. We had some students donate baked goods they prepared at home, and we sold them in front of the school. The people who baked were Verena, Federica, Jessica, and myself. Those who helped us sell were Sebastian and Toni. At the end of the day we made 24,485 forints. If we make more money from another event I will take the final forint amount, change it to dollars and give it to my professor in charge of the Jan Term’ said Brooke Ness.
For Budapest students, if taking a trip, it is not necessary to fly to the US first unless it is more convenient (perhaps your Jan Term is in Hawaii for instance). The cost of the trips varies; the trip to Zimbabwe happens to be a more expensive one. Each trip is a different price depending on what you’re doing and where you are going.
In 2013, there are many Jan Term trips in Europe as well, so obviously a student from the Budapest campus has the opportunity to take a train to the destination or choose cheaper flights to reduce the cost. This means the overall cost for a Budapest student would be much less in this situation because most of the cost the American students are paying is the original flight to Europe.