The Travel Bug

Sara in Rothenburg, Germany

October, 2009 - Sara on a street corner in Rothenburg, Germany, a place she hopes to return to this summer.

I have the travel bug. I know I am not alone—many students my age feel the same way. I dream of picking up and moving to another country to experience the culture, see the sights and taste the food.

I made the difficult decision last year not to study abroad in Austria so I could keep my on-campus job and graduate in four years. I struggled with this decision for a while, wishing I had just gone, thinking I had lost an opportunity and knowing I would regret it. However, I do not regret it because if I was abroad, I would have missed a lot of wonderful opportunities here. I found other ways to satisfy my urge to travel and I know that I will make it to Salzburg at some point, and hopefully many other places on the way.

Every year, Dominican offers numerous opportunities for students to travel, learn and grow. Whether this is a long weekend on a farm in Iowa or a 10-day trip to Ghana, there are plenty of chances for us to experience cultures, traditions and places we would otherwise never see.

Several of my friends have studied abroad—some to Salzburg, some to London, some to South Africa. Others have attended short-term trips to Ghana, China and Haiti. The best part about these trips is that they offer opportunities for every kind of student.

Whether you desire to take a class in another language, study at a foreign university, stay with a host family, build houses or feed the hungry, there is bound to be a trip for you. Every time students come back from these trips, they rave about how much fun it was, how many friends they made and how the trip changed their perspectives on the world.

Dominican aims to foster “global citizenship,” and these trips are a vital part of that mission. They open students’ eyes to social, economic, political and environmental issues around the world and allow students to experience other cultures and ways of life first-hand. These experiences turn college students into good citizens, mature and compassionate leaders and advocates for national and global change.

Whether you want to get your feet wet with a trip to Iowa or you want to dive right in and live abroad for a year, you can find these life-changing experiences and all the excitement, wonder and growth that come with them, at Dominican.

Even though I could not commit to a study abroad program, I’m piecing together my own adventure this summer. I plan to visit England, Austria and Germany, work on an organic farm in Salzburg for a few weeks, visit friends and family and eventually come back here to finish out my senior year. I am so excited to satisfy my travel bug (for a while, at least). I know the experience will help me learn and grow and help me become a better leader and a global citizen.