Every semester California Baptist University hosts many faculty-led tours overseas. These tours cover a variety of topics going to many places all over the world. The purposes of these tours range from creating positive relationships in the Middle East and touring biblical sites in Israel to an ecotour of Peru, or from an architectural tour of Italy to a tour of various places such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany focusing on World War II sites and museums.
Dr. Mark Blincoe, associate professor of history, will be one of the faculty supervisors for the WWII trip to Europe alongside Troy Hinrichs, professor of criminal justice. Blincoe talked about the reasons he and Hinrichs wanted to do the WWII tour.
“One purpose is to try to have a good, fun way to help students have a global experience,” Blincoe said. “(Some) students will jump right into an ISP, but a lot of students aren’t ready for that type of international experience. I’d like to be able to progress students to be able to do more internationally.”
Blincoe said he likes hands-on learning and the best place to do that for European history is in Europe itself.
“A type of study tour like this allows students (get) to visit areas and see artifacts and writings and other aspects of history that they like close up, rather than just in a classroom setting,” Blincoe said. “I teach 20th century Europe. Students generally like the WWII time frame and I thought this was a good trip to take to generate student interest where you could go beyond the classroom.”
Blincoe said he will also be teaching a course alongside the tour that is optional for students to take.
“They don’t have to do that for this trip — you could just go on the tour — but you can actually have those happening side-by-side, which isn’t going to happen in Southern California specifically,” Blincoe said. “It’s also the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, so I thought it would be very appropriate to have a WWII trip remembering (that).”
Another faculty-led tour happening this semester is the ecotour to Peru. Dr. Bonjun Koo, professor of environmental science, will be the faculty supervisor on the Peru Ecotour. This will be the fourth ecotour Koo has led for CBU students.
Koo said the ecotour came with a class, Field Practicum, and students can use their financial aid to pay for the trip.
“(The) Field Practicum is open to the entire CBU student body,” Koo said. “Anybody who wants to join but doesn’t have enough money to pay monthly or at once can use financial aid. That way they can go on the trip without having a financial situation.”
The ecotour will travel to various places in Peru over the course of nine days, including sites such as Lima, Cuzco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Although the registration date was Jan. 21, the tour itself will be from March 13-21.
Alie Minium, freshman environmental science major, said she is looking forward to the adventure this trip will provide.
“I think it’s really important to support sustainable ecotourism and I really just want an adventure and to see the world,” Minium said. “This is a really good opportunity to do both of those things.”
Karli Yocum, sophomore biology major, said she found out about the trip through one of Koo’s other classes.
“I was taking a class with Koo — his general biology class — and he made it a point to make everyone his ‘academic children,’ as he called it,” Yocum said. “When he first mentioned (the trip), I really wanted to go. The more he talked about it, the more I wanted to go. He made it seem like he was going to take all of us under his wing. I’ve always seen traveling out of the country as a daunting thing, but I feel like he’ll be a good leader.”
Although the deadline for the ecotour has already past, there are many more trips coming up still available for students, including the WWII trip to Europe.
The WWII Tour will be a 10-day trip from May 11-21, traveling to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. Students should plan to pay $4,200 plus some meals, with a maximum of 30 students going on the trip. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 6. Students can find out more about the upcoming tours from the Provost office here: https://calbaptist.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Abroad.ViewLink&Parent_ID=0&Link_ID=6BF21173-5056-BA12-C0FEB9D4CBC892C5.