Study Abroad program offers adventure

Some new Study Abroad opportunities for the coming quarters are taking on a new approach for a different overall student experience. Most Study Abroad programs last an entire quarter, which is just long enough to learn more about and adapt to a different culture. However, most students can’t afford to be away from the greater Olympia area for 10 weeks at a time or cannot afford the $5,000-7,000 cost. What Patrick Chapman is offering are 2 hybrid (travel/study, not online/face to face) solutions–study in Olympia first, then spend 2-4 weeks somewhere else. Does Scotland sound good?

The first trip to Glasgow Scotland took place in the Summer of 2010 and was so successful it’s happening again this summer. The course, offered by the Social Sciences and Business division, will be a Scottish history course taught by Professor Nicholas Alforde, and the students themselves will get the chance to stay at Strathclyde University in the residence halls. The students will spend one work-intense week in Olympia involved in the course, followed by 3 weeks in Glasgow, Scotland.

“The program includes excursions to Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, and Stirling, the site of a famous battle. Last year’s program was so popular we have decided to do it again,” said Chapman. The cost of the trip will be just under $3,000, which includes airfare, accommodations, and cost of required activities. You can find more information about the Scotland trip from brochures posted around campus (especially in building 23), or contact Patrick Chapman via e-mail (

With the success of last summer’s trip, South Puget Sound Community College called a new program to be introduced by Chapman which will take place in winter 2012.

This trip will also cost around $3,000 (before tuition), which includes accommodations, most meals, and required excursions, according to Chapman.

Chapman said that in New Zealand, you can earn a college degree in “adventures.” He said that’s where you’ll be headed at the end of winter 2012 and into spring break if you so choose, though the weather in damp and foggy Olympia, is similar to Otago, New Zealand.

Students first stay in the city of Dunedin, at SPSCC’s sister college, Otago Polytechnic, Chapman said. From there, it’s on to Queenstown– the adventure capital of the world, as Chapman described. Also in New Zealand is the world’s steepest street, he said.

According to Chapman, in New Zealand, students will be able to take guided tours of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory and Speight’s Brewery (samples given at Cadbury’s).
For outdoors enthusiasts, Otago Peninsula’s wildlife and an entire day at the glacier-carved Milford Sound offer entertainment, said Chapman. At Milford Sound, students will have the opportunity to tour some of the mountains and forests featured in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The latter trip, however, is a bit different than the former. In winter 2012, the students involved will spend the full quarter at the SPSCC campus and from there will travel to New Zealand during finals week, Chapman said. The course itself will be called “Topics in Anthropology: New Zealand”. According to Chapman, “this course is an anthropological study of New Zealand society.”

Chapman said that space is extremely limited, and encouraged students to apply soon. To apply (for either trip), fill out a Student Interest Survey with Sherrie Buendel, the SPSCC Study Abroad Advisor ( Additionally, you can contact Nicholas Alforde at or Patrick Chapman at for more information.