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SFU students explore the world during the summer

May 18, 2012

Summer is close and Saint Francis students will be exploring the world during the warm months.

SFU will be taking the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico by storm in a program led by Dr. Margaret Morales. Nineteen students will undertake this language intensive program, and some students will also be taking a Religious Studies course. They will be able to show off their language skills while spending part of their time with a Mexican host family. Excursions will take them through the “Convent Route” outside of Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula, small towns where the first Franciscans built churches on top of pyramid ruins, Mayan ruins, and an ecological park where they will snorkel and swim with dolphins!

Chuck Olson is leading his group of 17 students to Parma, Italy. They will spend their time learning the romantic language of Italian, as well as many fine arts courses including photography and hand drumming. The students will be given train passes which will allow them to spend six full days traveling throughout Italy, where they can explore historic cities such as Venice, Rome, and Florence. An exciting part of the experience will be the interaction with the locals, at street cafés, gelaterias, informal music sessions, festivals and other social events as they tour through the city on their bikes.

Ten sign language students led by Gale D´Armin and Dr. Laurie Chose will travel a service trip to Jamaica. They will work at the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf, providing daily service at the gated community of Knockpatrick, which has fifty deaf students. They will help with games, crafts, Bible studies, and other afterschool activities. They will also assist with daily chapel service at the Deaf Village by sharing Bible stories and songs in sign language. This exciting experience will be a hands-on approach leading up to full immersion in sign language.

The monastery in Ambialet, France will be home to nine students in June. The students will be immersed in French culture, music, history and the beautiful French language. Excursions will take them to historic castles, cathedrals and museums, and they will also have a free weekend to travel on their own. The Tarn River in Ambialet will allow the students to go swimming, kayaking, and allow for cook-outs as they enjoy the great weather of southern France.

The island of St. Lucia will be home to eight students under the guidance of Dr. Sue Morra and Nick Weakland. Students will take part in a diving course, and receive certification for open water diving. Students will participate in a Coral Reef Ecology Course, and learn how to identify vertebrates and invertebrates present on the reef, learn to relate the dynamic interactions between the species, as well as learn new biological research techniques and assessments.