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Several 2024 Interim trips have been grounded

Since interim registration in early October, the Wofford community has seen some slight alterations in their plans.

Interim expenses can be burdensome on college students. The college offers grants to help make the trips more accessible to students, but these efforts can only go so far. While some students are able to cover expenses, some are unable to do so and ultimately drop out of the trip. 

As a result, the quota for the minimum number of participants fails to be met. For every trip, coordinators get an expected number of participants, which assists in working out costs and intended fees. When the number of students signed up is lower than the expected number, changes must be made.

Matthew Cathey, professor of mathematics, and Trina Jones, chair of the religion department, fought hard for the success of their trip, JAN 412 A: From Piccadilly Circus to Covent Garden: Musical Theatre in London’s West End. The trip itinerary, initially designed to travel from New York City to London, underwent a major alteration. 

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After much deliberation, they entirely canceled the New York City portion, aiming to make the program more feasible within the existing budget. The professors are delighted to see that the trip could still be made possible.

“It looked like we were going to have to cancel,” Cathey said, “but the folks in our office of international programs and in our business office really wanted to try to find a way that we could make it work with the students we have and at the budget that we quoted because we did not want to raise the price on people.

We could have still done it if we had raised the price, but we might have lost more people, and it wouldn’t really be fair.”

With the help of the business office and office of international programs, the team came up with the compromise. 

“We reached out to the students that had registered and said, ‘look, we don’t have enough people to make this work at the price we quoted. We have two choices: we could either cancel it or we can shift our focus. We can cut costs by eliminating New York,’” Cathey said. 

Cathey explained that this compromise would give students the opportunity to see famous theatrical performances without canceling the trip altogether. Both Jones and Cathey emphasized that this trip would exist to serve the students’ interests and provide them with a rare and valuable experience. 

Other trips, however, were not as lucky. The following trips were suspended for 2024:

ARTS 280: Memory & Art in Berlin: Exploring German Culture & History Through Artistic Expression 

JAN 401 A: Demystifying Theme Parks: The Science Behind 3D Rides and Coasters at Universal Studios Orlando 

JAN 410 A: Rhythm is Gonna Get You: Music, Culture, and Politics in Cuba 

JAN 414 A: Mic Drop: The Rise and Dominance of Korean Pop Culture 

JAN 417 A: Culture and Sport in France and England 

JAN 421 A: Yoga, Sustainability, and Resilience in Costa Rica.

Chrtisine Jardine, assistant director of international programs, explained the deliberation behind such drastic adjustments.

While most program cancellations are typically related to low enrollment and the resulting impact on financial feasibility, the college reserves the right to cancel or modify a faculty-led travel/study program if, solely in their best judgment, College officials conclude that unforeseen and/or immediate circumstances pose a risk to students, program leaders or the integrity of the program,” Jardine said. 

While the college’s faculty proposes each trip in hopes that it would be successful, it is not always the case. Each program has an enrollment target that must be met by the application deadline, otherwise it is canceled. 

“It’s an unfortunate reality that, historically, the college has always had to make the difficult decision to cancel programs due to low enrollment each year,” Jardine said. “However, in 2024, we still have over 400 students enrolled in travel/study programs, with more than half participating in faculty-led programs specifically.”

Unforeseen circumstances may deter students from participating in such programs, but students may transfer their application to another available program depending on the time of their cancellation. For questions regarding interim programs, reach out to the Office of International Programs at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Catherine Lesesne, Staff Writer
English Major from Greensboro, NC
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