Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alexandre Strokanov's Trips

Alexandre Strokanov, LSC history professor, is busy planning trips abroad for students in 2010. There will be multiple opportunities for students to leave the country, explore new territory, and learn about different cultures.

To explain why he does these trips, Strokanov said, "because I love it. I got the bug of travelling disease." He has travelled to over one hundred countries- after he hit the one hundred mark, he started to lose count. He enjoys moving around the world, seeing different people, and learning different cultures. "I love to pass this passion to my students," he said.

Last year was Strokanov's busiest year yet, with seven different trips. This year, though there are still plenty of options, there are not quite that many trips planned.

The first trip planned will be over April break. Strokanov will be giving students the chance to travel to Israel. He said that this will be a wonderful trip for those who are interested in Christianity, Jewish history, or anything else involving that area of the world. These students will be able to visit Nazareth, Bethlehem, a Bedouin camp, and various other places of interest. They will walk through Jerusalem and have the chance to experience floating in the Dead sea.

A trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam will be offered right after graduation in May. During
this trip, students will tour the Ancient City in Bangkok, enjoy a cultural performance in Siem Reap, see the war remnants museum in Ho Chin Minh City, and visit a floating market in Cai Be, as well as doing the many other things that are planned.

The next trip will be to Russia. This will occur in June, right after the previous trip.

The last trip of the year will be over Thanksgiving break next fall. The destination of this trip is still undecided and open for suggestions, but some that Strokanov is thinking of are Ireland, Spain, Romantic Europe (Italy, France, and Monaco) or Egypt.

"It should be required for everyone to go on at least one," said Shandi Barclay, senior, who has gone on nine different trips with Strokanov. "It's a historical and cultural experience you'll never forget," agreed Caitlin Murphy, who is also a senior, and has gone on six of Strokanov's trips. Neither of them could decide which one was their favorite, saying that each place they had been had a different aspect that was their favorite. For example, the history in Egypt was the best, but the shopping in China was better than any other place. They said one thing that was hard to endure was the long flights. The longest that they took was to Australia; it was 28 hours long.

There are also academic benefits to these trips. By simply going on one of these trips, students receive one credit. If a student chooses to attend lectures before the trip, do some work while on the trip and after the trip, such as projects, they receive four credits. Some of the longer summer trips, along with the extra work, are worth six credits.

Where there is a benefit, there is also a cost. The typical trip costs from $2,000 to $4,000. These costs add right onto tuition bills, where financial aid and loans can help to pay for them.

To learn more about these trips, Strokanov will be having informational meetings from Sept. 21 to Sept. 24 in his office, Rita Bole 217. On Sept. 21 meetings will be held at 11:00am and 4:30pm, on Sept 22, they will be at 11:00am, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm, on Sept. 23, they will be at 11:00am, and 4:30pm, and on Sept. 24, they will be at 11:00am and 3:30pm.

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