St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf is your travel bucket list headquarters

St. Olaf travelers hike the Patagonia region of Argentina in 2022.
St. Olaf travelers hike the Patagonia region of Argentina in 2022.

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 study abroad and study away programs in more than 40 countries around the world 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.

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

  • Follow in the footsteps of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and St. Paul in Greece and Turkey! Experience the same places as these three influential figures of antiquity and study the legacy they left on Western civilization.
  • Discover celebrated Inca wonders, colonial cities, and a rich cultural heritage on an expedition to Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and more in Peru.
  • Combine hiking in spectacular locations with a wealth of fascinating history and archaeology in Scotland’s northern highlands. Experience Scotland’s hiking culture and a landscape that is diverse, craggy, and sometimes shrouded and moody.
  • View, up close, flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world in Madagascar. See lemurs in their natural habitat, found only in Madagascar. Eat the local cake, koba. Walk among the baobab trees, known as the mother of the forest. And connect with locals who are doing positive things for their communities.
  • Circle the dazzling island of Ireland to explore literature, history, and culture. Walk the streets of James Joyce’s Dublin. Stroll Sligo, where Yeats spent his childhood summers. Imbibe in Irish food and drink. And more!
  • Visit important biblical sites, engage in conversations with local scholars, and explore a variety of religious expressions all staking their claim to the small place on earth known as the Holy Land.
  • Ramble around Mont Blanc, dipping your toes into France, Italy, and Switzerland, and discover what happens when you move through the world at a pace that allows you to savor the details.
  • Walk the trails, visiting villages, sampling wine, meeting the locals, enjoying the food, marveling at the incredible views, and experiencing some less-oft visited places at 3 mph in Italy and Slovenia
  • Hike, bike, and kayak your way through Northern Spain, while you explore the region‘s extraordinary history, culture, art, architecture, and local food and drink. 
  • Experience both cultural and natural temples, from towering Mayan pyramids, to the barrier reef that runs the length of Belize’s coast, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in size and diversity. 
  • Visit some of the most picturesque villages in Europe, feel the brilliant sunshine that drew artists like Cezanne and Van Gogh to the region, enjoy a hands-on experience at both a truffle and honey farm in “the breadbasket of France,” and taste some of the best wines the world has to offer in the region where the grapes are grown.
  • Explore questions of purpose, meaning, and vocation in your “third chapter” of life, and more, at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona.
  • Experience the beauty of Europe and springtime in the Mediterranean on a 10-night cruise aboard Oceania Cruises’ Riviera.

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