The Collegian
Friday, August 12, 2022

Students have diverse travel plans heading into Spring Break

<p>SEEDS' trip to Louisiana over Spring Break in 2014 |&nbsp;Photo courtesy of SEEDS</p>

SEEDS' trip to Louisiana over Spring Break in 2014 | Photo courtesy of SEEDS

Students are finally smiling again after a rough midterms week, with travel plans to all over the world this Spring Break. With an on campus choir group going to Europe, SEEDS going to Louisiana and West Virginia, international students traveling to Canada and a group of seniors going to Jamaica, there are bound to be some memories made this Spring Break.

Schola Cantorum to perform in Europe 

Schola Cantorum, a small mixed chorus on campus, will be on tour this coming week traveling to the capitals of Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Leaving after classes end on Friday, the group of 40 students, along with their director and accompanist, will be taking a bus to Washington D.C. to start their journey across the Atlantic.

Over the course of their nine-day tour the group will travel from place to place, performing their songs to the local people who are very enthusiastic about American choir concerts. During the day, students will explore the cities with guided tours and trips to museums to learn about the culture of the area. 

Sophomore Mike Olano has never been to any of the spots on their Spring Break tour.

“Honestly, I’ve never really heard of three of the places before, so I’m pretty excited for Finland, just because I’ve heard people talk about Helsinki,” Olano said. “We’ll be taking a ferry across the gulf of Finland to Tallinn, Estonia, which will be pretty cool.”

SEEDS to focus on service in Louisiana and West Virginia 

With only 50 spots for 131 applications for this year’s Spring Break trips, SEEDS, or Students Engaging in and Enacting a Dialogue on Service, strived to pick a group that bought together a variety of students with different experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.

“I don’t know the people going, and it’s really exciting that in one week's time I can go from strangers to being really close with these people,” said Emily Smith, a senior on the leadership team of the SEEDS Spring Break trip to Louisiana. “It’s amazing what kinds of conversations the trip inspires.”

The trip to Louisiana will be focusing on coastal erosion, not only an environmental problem for the area but an issue that greatly affects the region's inhabitants. The 25 SEEDS members go into the trip blindly, with no information or itinerary explaining what their schedule will look like for the week. Only knowing a general gist of what they will be doing and where they will be, the trip really encourages students to focus on what is happening in the moment.

“It’s great because you’re not necessarily thinking ahead of time, and thinking, ‘Oh, I’m so excited for this thing we’re doing Thursday night,’” Smith said.

International students to explore Canada 

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International student Isaure de Vibraye is crossing borders this break, but not to go back to her native country of France. De Vibraye plans to visit Canada with her friend from the university, who has also been studying here on exchange from France this past year.

With visits to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec City, de Vibraye can’t wait to go up north, despite the chilling temperatures.

“It may be weird to go there for Spring Break, but I’m not a very big fan of the beach,” she said. “I have never been to Canada and I really wanted to go there, so I thought the 10-day break is the perfect time.”

With friends from home studying in every city she’s visiting, de Vibraye said she had a lot of help planning out the optimal vacation. Focusing the trip on Montreal, her plans are to discover the city throughout the five days she’s there, maybe with a map or maybe not.

“It’s more expensive to travel here in the U.S. than in France and Europe in general, and less convenient with the size of the country,” she said.

With this in mind, de Vibraye picked 6 a.m. flights for each time they switch cities because they were the cheapest and maximized the time spent in each location. With just 60 days left until she has to go back to France, de Vibraye says she’s trying to make the most of what time she has left on this side of the ocean.

Group of seniors traveling to Jamaica 

Senior Madeline Smith is traveling out of the country as well to the sunny skies of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Staying at an all-inclusive resort with seven girls, Madeline said she was so ready to get out of Richmond. She booked the trip without even researching the area, after being asked by two friends to share a room for four.

“I’m most excited to be at the beach,” Madeline said. “I’ll be going snorkeling a lot hopefully, and I’m bringing my underwater camera, so I really hope to see a sea turtle.”

Equipped with a spa, tennis courts and various exercise classes, Madeline plans to relax and unwind from her rough midterms this past week. But she has started mentally preparing herself for the all-inclusive resort food that will “probably be pretty terrible,” she said. 

Contact reporter Kay Trulaske at kay.trulaske@richmond.edu. 

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