Last summer Troy students spent two weeks haggling with gypsies under the Eiffel Tower, drifting along the River Sine and exploring hundreds of years of history and culture.
The French department regularly sponsors the trip to some of the most prominent places in France. The department is looking for interested students now for next summer’s trip.
Though some students attend to complete a French minor or gain other class credits, others go simply for the opportunity.
“Most go for the cultural experience,” said James Sherry, a professor within the French department who also chaperones the trip.
“I would really like to work internationally. I would love to be based out of France,” said Griffin Allen, a junior history major from Troy, when questioned about why she chose to go. “It’s nice to do something new. I’d never been out of the country.”
“I went because I’m French,” Danielle Cobb, a sophomore athletic training major from Birmingham, explained. “My grandparents lived there and came here through Ellis Island.”
This chance to go abroad is versatile as it offers many different things to a variety of students.
“It’s hard to go over there and speak French because they all want to speak English,” said Allen, so students who are not bilingual or studying to be do not need to worry.
But, if a student is going for credit or wishing to practice his or her French, that is possible too.
Sherry said that if students wished, they could receive three or six credit hours depending on the amount of work they complete to accompany the trip.
For three hours a related essay or project could be done. For six, an exam and PowerPoint presentation are necessary.
While bringing together those of all skill levels and backgrounds, the trip also remains affordable.
At around $2,700, the price includes transportation to and from the airport, a round-trip plane ticket, fourteen nights of lodging in Paris, as well as food and entry fees to any attractions while there – though bringing some spending money is also recommended.
“For fourteen nights in Paris it’s unbeatable,” stated Sherry.
In addition to this low cost for travel to Europe, Troy offers a $750 scholarship to any student traveling out of the country with the university, so the price can be lowered even further.
When asked about the highlights of the trip, Allen said that her favorite experience was going to a museum and then trekking back to the hotel. “We walked ten miles back to the hotel. It was cool to experience the street life.”
“I love the French people,” she continued.
“They are so nice,” Cobb agreed.
Both enjoyed the chance to visit Normandy and the local restaurants and cafes as well.
Sherry said that among the itinerary is a boat ride on the River Sine, a meal at the oldest restaurant in Paris, and tours of museums and other attractions.
In addition to everything else, the students are also given an entire free weekend during the two weeks there to go wherever they please.
This past year, a group traveled to London and was able to experience some British culture as well.
“I just want to go everywhere now,” Cobb said of the trip.
It is highly recommended by most that have attended.
“It’s eye-opening,” said Allen.
Those interested in going next summer are encouraged to speak to Dr. Sherry as soon as possible as it is possible there could be a waiting list.