Shenandoah University is committed to providing global experiences for its community in the safest, most ethical ways possible. It will do so this summer as it gradually reinstates international travel by honoring its commitments related to postponed Global Citizenship Project (GCP) trips.
The trips, usually held during spring break, were suspended due to the pandemic in March 2020, mere days before students (some of whom are now alumni), faculty, and staff were set to travel in small groups (approximately 10 each) to a record-high seven destinations around the globe.
But, being mindful of conditions around the world, Shenandoah’s upcoming three GCP trips this summer will only travel to locations with close Shenandoah community connections, and will explore how people associated with Shenandoah have navigated the issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those associated with the effects of the pandemic on regions with a significant reliance on the tourism industry. The trips, as always, will also include sharing of the home cultures and environments of each host country. GCP trips are provided to participants at no cost.
The first trip, at the end of June, will take a small group to Oaxaca, Mexico, to a hotel in the heart of the city owned by the family of a Mexican student who is also helping to manage the trip experience. Planned activities include visits to Mayan ruins, cooking classes, exploring the local markets, pottery making, and learning about sustainable agriculture and ancient medicinal practices.
The second trip, to Puerto Rico, slated for late July, will be led by School of Business Dean Astrid Sheil, Ph.D., who has family connections to the island, and will include the assistance of a Puerto Rican student currently living on the island.
Antigua & Barbuda
The third trip, to Antigua and Barbuda, in August, will link up with the family of a student who has learned virtually from home all year, and whose family manages lodging facilities. It will be the first time in more than a year that the student will see Shenandoah faces in person.
Each trip lasts approximately a week, and every traveler must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All participants will also adhere to mitigation measures (masks/face coverings, social distancing, etc.) required by each location, many of which are in different phases of vaccine rollout than the U.S. All the locations have necessary health care facilities and are a single flight away from the continental United States. The remaining 2020 participants who aren’t traveling this summer will have the opportunity to do so in January 2022 (destinations to be announced at a later date).
The traditional GCP program will reboot in the fall. Students, faculty and staff will again have the opportunity to submit anonymous essays to be considered for trips to be taken during the spring break of 2022.