Study abroad program returning to College of The Albemarle

Published 7:57 am Thursday, April 21, 2022

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After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study abroad program is returning to College of The Albemarle (COA). Previously planned trips to Puerto Rico and Thailand were canceled due to health concerns and travel restrictions.

Regarding the reinstatement of the program, Dr. Dean Roughton, co-founder of study abroad at the college, said, “As the world begins to open back up, we are cautiously excited to resume this global experience opportunity at COA while working with our travel partner to implement additional health and safety protocols aimed at protecting our participants.”

Roughton is leading the trip taking place this academic year during COA’s spring break, April 15-23. Participants will travel to France, Monaco and Spain, where they will visit sites such as the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower in Paris and enjoy the cuisine in Spain during tapas and paella group dinners, among other activities.

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New program leaders Leslie Lippincott and Bradley Boswell are already gearing up for the trip over spring break in 2023. That trip is scheduled for April 8-14 and will take place in Belize. Planned activities include visiting Mayan ruins, ziplining through the rainforest canopy, cave tubing through underground rivers and learning about the country’s rich biodiversity.

The study abroad program at COA has traditionally attracted mostly university-bound students; however, COA hopes to expand participation to more career and technical programs.

Lippincott, who also serves as the culinary arts program coordinator at COA, sees cultural exploration of other countries as directly relevant to the coursework in her program: “Bringing back recipes, new knowledge and applications of ingredients, traditional cooking techniques and live videos and photographs of food [from other countries] would create an authentic experience” for culinary students.

A French and Spanish instructor at COA, Boswell believes that world travel can be an important part of a well-rounded education for students. Boswell stated, “It allows students to see how others live, and it opens them up to other ways of thinking and experiencing the world. It also allows them to appreciate the things they take for granted living in the United States.”

While COA students have first priority, the program is open to faculty, staff and community members as well.

For more information or to inquire about becoming a participant on the Belize 2023 trip, contact Leslie Lippincott at 252-482-7900 ext. 6017 or