For the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19, Wabash is offering four immersion trips over Thanksgiving break. These immersion classes will travel all over the world, including to the Bay of Naples, Rome, Napa, and the Southern United States.

Wabash’s fall immersion trips seem right on schedule, promising a formative experience for all those involved. As professors and their students pack their bags and verify their travel plans, they look to their goals for the experiences.

“For the first time in my life, I can actually stand in those spots.”

Drew Boyer ‘23

“[I’ll] be in the position to [see] everything that I’ve studied and fascinated about,” said Drew Boyer ‘23. Boyer, a Classics major, is preparing to attend the Bay of Naples trip. “And for the first time in my life, I can actually stand in those spots.”

But there have certainly been some hiccups in the planning. Dr. Robert Royalty’s class on the historical Jesus faced a change in destination. Due to COVID restrictions, the trip had to change from Israel to Rome. The class content centers Jewish resistance to Roman rule, so the shift to Rome was not a radical change. “It’s not like we changed courses entirely, but we changed focus,” said Royalty.

Despite the woes of travelling during a pandemic, the focus of the planning remains on the memorable experiences students will enjoy. To hear Dr. Jeremy Hartnett, Professor of Classics tell it, the immersion course professor’s joy comes from watching the students’ awe.

“By leading these trips, I get to have that first experience over and over again and just see the students’ minds blown,” said Hartnett. “Tuck into a plate of yaki or huff and puff their way up and disappear into the crater or go underneath a Renaissance-era church and then prowl around among Roman ruins — you just know that they will remember that for the rest of their lives.”

From Europe to the American South, these immersion courses will be an amazing opportunity for students to expand their horizons and convert classroom discussions into real-world experiences.