Alums “Study Abroad” with New Program

Lianna Brown ’22 , Staff Writer

A new Alumni Global Adventures program allows Dickinson alumni to “study abroad” for about 10 days to learn about topics specific to the program’s location.

These programs were started “to continue to promote ‘life-long learning’ among Dickinsonians and to help alums keep in contact and engaged with Dickinson,” explained Benjamin Edwards, professor of earth sciences and the Walter E. Beach Chair in Sustainability Studies. Edwards will be running an upcoming trip to Southern Italy.

The Alumni Global Adventures program is run by the Alumni Affairs Office. In the past, there have been trips to Bologna, Iceland and Málaga, each with different focuses and activities laid out for alumni and their guests. 

These trips have been in the planning stage for several years. According to Edwards, the trip to Iceland was one of the first “large” trips for Dickinson. It included 22 alums and friends. 

On this trip, in the summer of 2017, participants learned about the geological features of Iceland, its changing climate and the history of the earth.

“It was a great group—we had alums from the class of 2013 to the class of 1958,” Jan Monks Herrold ’68, P ’03 said, “and the daily interactions and discussions were every bit as interesting and fun as the events, the sites and the merrymaking.”

Typically, the trips last about 10 days, with prices varying based on location. The spring trip to Italy costs $7,295 per person, while an upcoming trip in early 2020 to the Galapagos, focusing on Charles Darwin’s exploration of the island and his work on evolution, will cost about $10,000 per person. For the trips, expenses cover the hotel fees, meals, transportation, pre-departure information, special events and excursions, and leadership from professors and local guides. 

The first trip to Bologna, Italy in April 2016 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Bologna study abroad program. This “brought more than 70 alumni, students, faculty and friends of the college together in beautiful Bologna, home to Europe’s oldest university and Dickinson’s first study abroad center,” said MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson, writer/editor and marketing liaison to alumni, advancement and arts said. 

The 2018 trip to Málaga differed slightly from the other trips, as it was a “choose your own adventure” alumni trip. Alumni chose their daily activities, the hotel they wanted to stay in and how busy they wanted to make their trip. 

The upcoming trip to Southern Italy will focus on hiking, volcanoes and wine. Edwards said, “they approached me about Iceland, and that trip was very successful, so we decided to try Italy.” He said that the trip sold out very quickly.

More information on previous and upcoming tours can be found online at