St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf is your travel bucket list headquarters

Whether you’re an intrepid traveler or a newbie, most of us have a bucket list of several places we want to see or experiences we want to have in our lifetime. St. Olaf College has been helping alumni, parents, and friends of the college reach their travel goals for over 40 years.

In addition to offering more than 120 international or domestic off-campus study programs for current students, St. Olaf also offers about 12 programs per year to alumni, families, and friends.

These Alumni and Family Travel programs — led by current and retired faculty and hosted by campus leaders — enable Oles to explore and learn in new corners of the world.

Participants in the Alumni and Family Travel program “African Explorations from Imperial Cities to the Sahara Desert,” led by Professor of Computer Science Richard Allen and Professor Emerita of French Wendy Allen, ride camels in Morocco. Alumni and Family Travel will return to Morocco in January 2020.

Here’s a taste of what St. Olaf can help you see, do, and learn:

  • Experience the majesty of the Taj Mahal, hear from social activists, and take a cooking class in India.
  • Get up close and personal with breathtaking glaciers, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and a variety of flora and fauna on an expedition in Alaska.
  • Walk the same floors of the cathedral where Richard the Lionheart worshipped in 1190 as you sail around Italy’s boot.
  • Explore national parks and private reserves in Costa Rica through rainforest hikes, horseback riding, birdwatching, river cruising, and canopy walks, all while learning from local naturalists and conservationists.
  • Take part in a batik workshop on the island of Java before exploring one of the most remarkable architectural monuments known to humankind — the 9th century Buddhist site of Borobudur.
  • Stare down big game such as lions, wildebeest, and giraffes from 4-wheel-drive vehicles and spy on rarer species such as bat-eared fox, hyrax, and dik dik during safari walks in Tanzania.
  • Relax on a European river cruise hosted by St. Olaf President David R. Anderson ’74.
  • Hike the famed pilgrimage trail Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.
  • Explore trolls, Vikings, St. Olaf, and the land of Frozen on a multigenerational (grandparents, parents, and kids) journey through Norway.
  • Get a hands-on lesson in drying salmon the traditional way while examining the concept of Farm and Sea to Table in Japan.
  • Stroll the hillsides of Galilee and the suqs of the Old City of Jerusalem, explore ancient archaeological sites and the human longing for peace, be awakened by the “call to prayer” singing out from numerous minarets while contemplating an event in the life of Jesus or watching Orthodox Jews pray at the Western Wall, all in the tiny region encompassing Israel and Palestine.
  • Taste wines from the world’s oldest vineyards and hear firsthand the ancient art of polyphonic singing in the land of its genesis, Georgia.

These and more opportunities are just waiting for you. Check out all our destinations and join us!

The Taj Mahal as seen through the eyes of a St. Olaf Alumni and Family Travel program participant.