The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


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February 23, 2024

T.R.A.V.E.L. program expands its horizons

For Gannon University students interested in learning abroad, consider the T.R.A.V.E.L. Program.

The T.R.A.V.E.L. Program, or Transforming Residents Abroad Via Engaged Learning, is an organization that the division of Student Development and Engagement has offered over the past two years to promote the university’s goal of developing a worldwide view.

The program, which was featured at the Possibilities Abroad Fair Tuesday, encourages students to form groups, or intentional communities, in which they will choose their international destination, live together on campus and meet on a regular basis throughout the year to participate in topic discussions and trip planning.

“I like that they have meetings so we have a chance to get to know everyone going before we all get there,” said Alicia Fassinger, a junior participating in the London and Paris T.R.A.V.E.L. group. “So it’s like you go with the friends you’ve known all year instead of strangers.”

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What makes the T.R.A.V.E.L. Program unique is that students will room with their group throughout the year on campus.

A reason being is that these intentional communities aid in building relationships and forming a common bond with one another.

“Intentional yearlong development is what sets this program apart,” said Rebecca Perry, resident director of Residence Life and a co-facilitator for T.R.A.V.E.L.

Perry said that this program is student-focused with facilitator support, meaning that students have the opportunity to take leadership in choosing their destination, itinerary and their topic of discussion.

Students participating in this program and living on campus will receive $1,000 toward their trip as well as preferential housing.

The T.R.A.V.E.L. Program works closely with the Office of Residence Life to provide equal housing opportunities for all participants.

Students must have a 2.0 minimum GPA to participate and agree to meet with their groups on a weekly basis. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to apply whereas freshman may apply for their sophomore year.

A group can consist of eight to 14 people with two co-facilitators. There are seven established groups that will be traveling for the year 2015 with 80 students participating.

Perry said the goal for 2016 is to have, at minimum, 10 groups. Twenty facilitators have already shown interest for future trips.

The T.R.A.V.E.L. Program would also like to branch out more in terms of destinations.

“We are trying to broaden our offerings,” said Perry, as she hopes to have more trips traveling to countries in South America and Asia.

In addition to maintaining GPA, living on campus and attending meetings, students must also agree to a scheduled payment plan that includes fundraising activities.

One fundraiser students and faculty should look out for is Discover Deutschland’s Oktoberfest, which will be held at the Knight Club.

The event will take place from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Oct. 25 and will feature authentic German food, music, raffle prizes and an opportunity to experience German culture.

“You don’t have to be German to enjoy the fun,” said Shaylyn Walberg, a member of the Discover Deutschland T.R.A.V.E.L. group. “But if you are, it’s a great way to learn about your heritage.”

Admission tickets will be sold in Waldron at $10 per person until Oct. 14. Admission is free for children under 6. Raffle tickets for an assortment of baskets can also be purchased in Waldron and throughout the event. Raffle tickets will be priced at one for $1, six for $5 and 15 for $10. All proceeds go toward Discover Deutschland’s Germany trip in May 2015.

“Oktoberfest will be a great opportunity for those with German roots to celebrate their heritage and for those who are unfamiliar with the tradition to try something new,” said Hannah Smerker, one of the group leaders of Discover Deutschland.

“With an authentic menu and music, we will bring Deutschland to Gannon and would love to share the evening with our friends, family and community.”



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