Europe Mayterm

Mayterm 2011

Dear current and prospective Kinesiology majors,

I would like to give you an update on our last Europe Mayterm trip (2011). It was a fantastic trip! Twenty-four students and two professors spent ten days on campus and thirty days traveling throughout Europe. We offered a total of eight units of credit.

Students took our Special Popluations course, International Issues in the Sport Sciences, and one unit of physical education credit. It was a trip of a lifetime for students and faculty alike. This was the sixth trip the Kinesiology department has directed and the culmination of a decade long dream by our former department chair, Crystal Jorden, to expose students to the top sport science facilities and faculty in Europe.

Let me give you a general feel for what was experienced on the 2011 trip. We began in Scotland, enjoying a hotel right on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Visits to the Royal College of Surgeons and the University of Edinburgh were academic highlights, but the culmination of our experience in Scotland was completing the "Aerial Assault" at the largest indoor climbing area in the world. Next stop was London with a visit in route to Loughborough University for a tour and talk with a renowned Exercise Physiologist. Once in London, we visited the British Museum, British Library, National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben. A one day side-trip was an academic day at the University of Bath. No one can experience London fully without a night at the theater, and we continued our tradition of seeing the powerful Les Miserables together.

Boarding the "Chunnel", the group then headed to Haarlem, Netherlands for a quieter time in the small town made famous by Corrie Ten Boom (The Hiding Place) as well as a bike ride to the North Sea. Next stop was Berlin, Germany. Berlin is a city with an incredible history, both related to sport science and German politics. This was a rare opportunity to visit a city that was once divided and part of Eastern Europe. We had the honor to listen to a presentation by an excellent professor and the past-president of the International Sport Science Association. A highlight for students was a guided walk through Berlin, learning about the history and politics of this amazing city strategically located in the center of Europe. Our travels then took us for a night in Prague in the Czech Republic, then with a quick stop in the "most romantic city in Europe", Chesky Krumlov, on to the beautiful alpine town of Halstatt, Austria! We ended our time in Austria by visiting Salzburg.

We then took an overnight train to Rome, Italy. There we toured the Vatican, St. Peters Basilica, and the Coliseum, and spent time with a biomechanics expert. Our time in Italy concluded with a visit to the beautiful city of Florence and enjoyed the culture and history in the birthplace of the Renaissance. After five train rides we finished our trip in fabulous Switerland! We spent a number of days high in the Alps, hiking along beautiful mountain paths. Can you imagine a better spot for a physical education course? Unlike the typcial tourist who simply gazes at the Alps from a distance, we rode cable cars up to the highest peaks and had a perfectly clear day to enjoy these famous mountains. The students loved staying in the mountain hotel high in the Alps, away from the beaten path. The wild flowers were in full bloom and the waterfalls at their peak. After an exhilarating four weeks, we returned home with pictures, memories, and a broader cross-culturally enriched perspective.


Gregg Afman and Chris Milner