St. Olaf College | News

Alumni and parents are studying abroad over Interim, too

Many St. Olaf College students — 70 percent of those who study off campus — use the month-long January Interim to take classes in locations around the world.

But they’re not the only members of the Ole community studying abroad this month. New Zealand is playing host this January to a group of alumni, parents, and friends of the college, many of whom are customizing their experience with pre- and post-travels on their own. They’re participating in the St. Olaf Alumni & Family Travel “Active New Zealand Adventure” program, which will take them to volcanoes, rainforests, and glaciers over the course of 17 days.

Participants on the “Active New Zealand Adventure” program hike on Fox Glacier after being dropped there by helicopter.

Mary Ellen Andersen ’71 and Norm Ritland ’71 P ’05 are two travelers participating in the program. They arrived in New Zealand before the program began and are extending their stay after it ends.

Mary Ellen Andersen ’71 and Norm Ritland ’71 P ’05 are two travelers participating in the New Zealand program.

“We appreciate getting settled in a new time zone before the exciting tour activities begin,” Mary says. “After the tour we’ve added six days to visit some places we won’t have seen on the tour. Because St. Olaf provides a detailed itinerary well in advance, that is easy to do. We’re excited for another well-planned St. Olaf journey!”

St. Olaf has been offering educational group travel for alumni, friends, and families for over 40 years. Not sure if group travel is right for you? Benefits include not having to make dozens of reservations, taking advantage of group rates, journeying with like-minded travelers, and hearing from knowledgeable faculty leaders.

But even with group travel, there are still plenty of opportunities to dream, learn, and plan on your own. St. Olaf helps travelers discover interesting new destinations and learn about the culture, history, cuisine, historical figures, art, architecture (you name it!) of a place — all while providing trip information sheets and helpful tips for taking great photos and getting over jet lag.

Every itinerary includes chunks of unscheduled time so travelers can disconnect from the group and explore on their own.

Read more about enjoying group travel or start browsing upcoming Alumni & Family Travel destinations.