Hofstra’s European Odyssey – a 10-week study abroad program through Europe and surrounding regions, departed New York on February 23 with 10 students and two faculty members, Dr. Linda Longmire and Dr. Timothy Smith.
Now celebrating its 28th year, the European Odyssey is housed in the Department of Global Studies and Geography. The group is traveling by minivan, and the mobile classroom setting enables students to experience a rich comparative array of diverse countries and cultures. Students have the opportunity to interview politicians and policy makers, professors and students, as well as ordinary citizens throughout Europe. The program visits European Union institutions and other sites of both historical and contemporary relevance.
The group’s journey began in France. Freshman global studies major Olivia Tu said, “We spent a little over a week exploring Paris, Mt. St. Michel, Carcassonne, and Nice. In Paris we visited famous sites like the Eiffel Tower, the , the Louvre, and the Notre Dame. We analyzed the art and architecture and uncovered the rich cultural aspects of the city.”
After stopping Mt. St. Michel, Olivia said the students visited a castle in Carcassonne, and then moved on to Nice, where their rooms had a “brilliant view of the palm-lined Mediterranean coast. We spent the day exploring old markets filled with fresh produce and handmade soaps, as well as Old Nice with its colorful buildings layered against steep hills.”
The students attended a march in Florence, Italy, for International Women’s Day on March 8. Olivia said, “We learned a lot from the women we met. It was amazing to see so many people from different backgrounds come together for a singular cause. One young woman from Guatemala taught us about menstrual activism [an international movement that seeks to erase the taboo many cultures place on women who are menstruating]. When another woman learned we were from America, she urged us to vote in the midterm elections. The march itself was lively and spirited, and everyone there was passionate. We marched not only to protest the injustices inflicted on women around the world, but also to celebrate the women in our lives and the joys of being a woman.”