William Woods announces two trip destinations for 2017

Giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands
Giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands

William Woods University will offer two trips for students, alumni and friends during 2017 through Woods Around the World—the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador will be the first and Australia and New Zealand will be the second.

“On one of the coldest days of the new year, we came up with one of the warmest ideas we could think of—an announcement of our travel plans for next year,” Travis Tamerius, director of WWU’s Center for Ethics and Global Studies, said.

Ecuador
Ecuador

“In March 2017, we will journey to Galapagos Islands and Ecuador for a nine-day adventure in paradise. And then, in May of 2017, we’ll take a 12-day trip to Australia and New Zealand, visiting two of the most beautiful places on planet earth.”

The reveal party happened to coincide with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). Students decoded clues and solved puzzles to discover next year’s destinations.

Students try to solve the puzzle of the next destinations.
Students try to solve the puzzle of the next destinations.

They found the king in some global-themed cupcakes, won prizes and played games as they learned more about WWU’s global studies program. Alumni were on hand to share how cross-cultural learning experiences have supported their personal and professional formation.

“At William Woods University, we view education as a journey of discovery … we believe the very best journeys are fed by curiosity in the world around us,” said Tamerius.

“Woods Around the World is a unique approach to education that takes the student beyond the classroom and the textbook and into the real world of another culture—out of a classroom of walls and into the classroom of the world,” he said.

Sheep outnumber people in New Zealand 10-1.
Sheep outnumber people in New Zealand 10-1.

For many of the students, the trips are made possible by Project 123, a service-based scholarship program. Students who are selected and complete 123 hours of community service are given a stipend to participate in Woods Around the World. Project 123 was created with the generous help of the Lambert Foundation. The goal is to make the opportunity of traveling overseas available to anybody, and the donors strongly believe in the idea of “serving the world to see the world.”

Woods Around the World is in its 10th year. Previous trips have included Peru, the American Civil Rights trail, a Holocaust tour, Italy, France, Scotland, England, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, South Africa, several service trips to an Indian reservation in South Dakota—and most recently, Cuba in January.

The next Woods Around the World trip will include Spain, France and Italy during spring break next month and another service trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in May.

Kangaroos abound in Australia.
Kangaroos abound in Australia.

“Whether you are traveling across the globe or across the street, traveling is important for so many reasons,” Tamerius said. “Traveling is wonderful for feeding curiosity, broadening the mind, developing confidence and cultivating empathy for others. It helps us to become interested in a story other than our own.”

For more information on Woods Around the World or Project 123, contact Tamerius at travis.tamerius@williamwoods.edu.