Every Winter term, Pacific University offers short-term travel classes that offer students a chance to go to a variety of places for different subjects. This past January, Pacific students went to Utah, Hawaii, Greece, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago.
“I know a lot of people who went this term and who’ve gone in the past and everybody highly rates it,” said Mari Leslie, who went to Greece as part of a Theater and Philosophy cross section course. “The courses are great. Because it’s a class, you’re still getting credit, but you get to travel. And for people whose degrees might not permit them to do a full-length study abroad, you still get to go abroad.”
The courses last about two weeks and usually have between 15 and 20 people. This can be a good or bad thing for students.
“This one in particular I really enjoyed, like the community aspect that we had as a group,” said Kaz Hasbun, who went to Trinidad and Tobago for an Anthropology and Social Work cross section course. “The group dynamic was just really amazing and a lot of people got along well.”
After going on two short-term study abroad courses while at Pacific, Hasbun’s only dislike is the brevity of the courses. “I think the downside is that it goes short because I definitely would’ve liked to have stayed in places a lot longer than a couple days,” they said. “I think in general, that’s the downside of the short term travel courses. But overall, I feel like they’re extremely valuable.”
Leslie, on the other hand, found that while spending two weeks traveling with 17 people, she often needed time to herself at the end of the day. “I like traveling alone or with a small group of people. No more than like three other people.”
When it came to the speed of courses, Leslie had a different experience. “I think we spent just the right amount of time in every place,” she said. “I don’t think we spent too long in Athens or too short a time in Delphi or anything. I think they’re just perfect. Two thumbs up.”
Regardless of their individual opinions, both Hasbun and Leslie loved the experiences they had and would recommend more students go on the short-term travel courses in the future.