05Aug Next Stop: London and Paris by Wendy Weichenthal (Marion) If you’ve always dreamed of a trip to London and Paris, now is the time to cross that dream off your bucket list. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are invited to join the first Marion Technical College Study Abroad Trip set for spring break in March 2020. “For students who have never left Marion, to take them to England and show them all of the history and culture, it’s amazing!” said Professor Tola Sanusi who is leading the trip. The business faculty member grew up in Britain. “I’m excited to take them where Meghan and Harry live, to dine on fish and chips, to see where the English language started, to explore thousands of years of history.” Professor Tola Sanusi The tour will include many notable locations, including the Tour of London, the British Museum, Stonehenge, and the Louvre. Check out the full itinerary here. “The whole purpose is to find a way to help students expand their boundaries,” said Dr. Ryan McCall, who is also attending the trip. “Many of the local employers that hire MTC grads are international companies. This trip provides an opportunity for students to explore other countries and experience new things at a reasonable cost. Breaking down the barriers of high travel costs that might otherwise eliminate opportunities like this was important to us in planning the trip.” At a previous college, McCall had taken students on trips, “A dozen students had never flown before. At the beginning of the trip, they stuck to me like baby ducklings. When we returned, they had the comfort of world travelers,” Ryan recalls. In addition, this rich trip provides many other benefits. “You understand history at a different level. You understand other cultures. The best way to get to know someone is to spend time in their land. I think that’s one of the great things about travel,” McCall stated. “It’s good to experience not being a native speaker and how to figure out how to communicate.” Students will see sites and experience different standards and expectations. Dr. Ryan McCall “Most of Europe doesn’t eat quickly and leave. They dine. They don’t expect a tip. You have to ask for the bill,” McCall shared. “American portions are much more massive than European ones. You have the opportunity to both appreciate and question our norms.” For Sanusi, a new American citizen from England, the tour is personally fulfilling. “It’s exciting to take students who have never left Marion to England. It’s a great honor to be able to show them my home,” Sanusi enthused. Registration for the trip ends on September 29. The tour includes airfare, many tours, breakfasts, and dinners. Chat with Sanusi and others excited about the trip on Facebook.