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Connections faculty and staff newsletter
 November 2012

Get Out of Town

Get Out of Town

Study Abroad programs offer multiple destinations this summer.

Belize Bound

Columbia College students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will head approximately 1,500 miles due south of Missouri this summer for a 10-day study tour to Belize, located on the north-eastern coast of Central America.

“The Study Tour Committee tries to find affordable tours that provide a variety of experiences that relate to multiple academic disciplines; Belize met both of those criteria, as well as added some geographic diversity to our tours,” explains Dr. Brian Kessel, Study Abroad Coordinator and Chair of the History and Political Science Department, noting that the previous two summer study abroad trips were to Europe.

This year’s trip includes a carefully prepared itinerary that’s packed with experience and activities. “Experienced local guides and accompanying faculty members provide a rich educational experience,” Kessel says. “In Belize, we will get to see ancient Mayan art and temples, rainforests, wildlife, a marine preserve and much more.” The trip will include more activities than previous studies abroad; the approximately 30 participants will have opportunities to go zip-lining, cave tubing, kayaking and on a river cruise.”

“I hope that our participants will come away with an appreciation for the natural beauty and cultural richness of Belize,” Kessel says. “My goal is that all of our trips encourage a life-long desire to experience other cultures and to seek out more opportunities for international travel.”

The tour starts May 24 and ends June 2; prices start at $2,999 and include airfare, lodging and 1 to 2 meals per day. All members of the College community at all venues are welcome, as are friends and relatives. Everyone must register by Feb. 3. Visit to learn more about the trip and study abroad scholarship opportunities (deadline for scholarship application is Nov. 30).

The Other Side of the Pond

Should students prefer scones and tea over beans and rice, they might consider the Missouri Study Abroad Intercollegiate Consortium (MOSAIC) trip to England, July 1 to 23. Students will spend the majority of their time in Oxford or London visiting museums, such as the Natural History Museum, the Darwin Center, the Grant Museum of Zoology and the National Maritime Museum.

“I take students on tours, I do walking lectures, I know people in museums,” says Graham Higgs, chair of the Department of Psychology and Sociology. “They’re going to be exposed to museums that huge numbers of people don’t get to see; we’ll sit in parks and talk about what we saw.” Higgs, who lived in London as a child, will teach “British History of Scientific Psychology” this summer.

“It’s an adventure, something they’ll remember for years,” Higgs says. “Without exception, I have students who say it’s changed their lives.”

The $5,260 price tag includes transport, lodging, activity fees and two courses (although students can take up to nine hours). To register, contact Dr. Higgs ( or Dr. Kessel Kessel (