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Alvord Center Announces 2019-20 Student Travel Programs

Italy, Puerto Rico, British Columbia, Portugal, the Galapagos Islands, and Cambodia are the destinations for this year’s International Education Programs for Loomis Chaffee students offered through the Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies.

This year's school theme is Belonging, and the students will have the opportunity to ask themselves, “How do we belong globally?” while experiencing other cultures and discussing environmental justice, said Marley Matlack, director of International Education Programs and Christopher H. Lutz Director of the Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies. 

Each year the Alvord Center organizes educational travel that broaden students' understanding of what it means to be a global citizen in today's world. This year’s programs include a greater emphasis on integrating the travel experience into specific class curricula, enabling students to apply what they learn in the classroom to their travels and gain a deeper understanding of the material.

Over Spring Break, students will journey to the Galapagos Islands and Italy.

Participants in the Galapagos program will focus on conservation and evolutionary biology as they work as citizen scientists alongside local scientists and researchers. The students will get hands-on experience in scientific field research and methods while they help measure and examine the impact of aquatic micro-plastic pollutants on the native wildlife and environment of the Galapagos archipelago and complete a mapping project for NASA’s Globe Program. Additional program activities will include hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, touring a volcano, and observing wildlife.

Students on the trip to Italy, in partnership with Earthwatch, will explore ancient history and help excavate an ancient seaside city in Tuscany. The travelers will gain hands-on experience in archeology, osteology, and art history while studying classical civilizations and expanding their knowledge of history, Latin, and science.

Over the summer, students have the opportunity to explore issues of economic justice in Puerto Rico, environmental studies and outdoor education in British Columbia, and cultural immersion in Cambodia.

In conjunction with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a group will travel to Puerto Rico and work with a local nonprofit to assist in communities' continued recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. The group also will examine the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico and engage in educational fair-trade learning practices, focused on social and environmental justice. 

Alongside members of Vancouver’s First Nation indigenous communities, students on the British Columbia trip will participate in outdoor education activities to better understand the history of the land and environmental justice and sustainability. They will study the heritage of indigenous communities and learn about the limitations of Western perspectives on the concept of resources. 

The travel program in Cambodia will involve a 12-day exploration of the country’s culture, customs, and history. The program was inspired by a new course at Loomis, titled Genocide: Media, Remembrance, and the International Community, that was designed by Liam Scott ’19. The trip will enable students to take what they have learned in the classroom into the field through interactions with local residents as the students document local history, art, and economic realities.

In November of this year, Model United Nations students with a passion for international affairs will travel to Lisbon, Portugal, to participated in the Yale Model Government Europe Conference. The conference simulates political and diplomatic relations in the European Union in an exercise similar to Model U.N. conferences. 

Connect to the informational brochure or the Alvord Center webpage for more information about the 2019-20 International Education Programs at Loomis.