by CARMINE PALUMBO, Dean of the School of Humanities
In the early morning hours of May 12, 2016, a small SUV snaked its way through the streets of Swainsboro carrying six students and three faculty members of East Georgia State College. The occupants were mostly silent, maybe thinking of the family members to whom they had just bid farewell, or maybe they were mulling over the words of EGSC President Bob Boehmer and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Goodman, who had shared with them a moment of silence and a few final words of encouragement as they began their journey in the morning darkness.
“Too few students take the opportunity to study abroad,” said Boehmer to the group of students, faculty, and parents who gathered in a circle in front of the Luck Flanders Gambrell building. “Enjoy every bit of this trip of a lifetime.”
Before long, the group had boarded its flight from Atlanta to San José and had met a familiar face in the chaotic arrivals area of Juan Santamaría International Airport: Alex Jimenez, a driver from Monteverde who has carried EGSC students around various parts of Costa Rica on many occasions.
EGSC has been doing study abroad trips to Costa Rica since 2009, with its first trip in May of 2010. With seven years of experience, Program Director Dr. Carmine Palumbo, EGSC Dean of Humanities, and faculty members Jessica Todd, Associate Professor of Spanish and English, and Desmal Purcell, Associate Professor of Art, have made many friends in the area that they look forward to visiting each year with a new group of students.
The participating EGSC students were Brittany Tatum of Glenville, Shea Kirby of Oak Park, Samuel Terry of Atlanta, Jessica McVay of Statesboro, Makayla Flowers of Swainsboro, and Suella McCrimmon of Swainsboro. McCrimmon also has the distinction of being a retired Professor of Mathematics at East Georgia. She enrolled as a student and took the Smartphone Photography course with Desmal Purcell.
As it does each year, the EGSC group based their trip at the University of Georgia’s campus at San Luis, just outside the Cloud Forest at Monteverde.
“We have a great relationship with UGA Costa Rica,” said Dr. Palumbo. “The program faculty and I were able to stay at one of the campus’ two faculty houses, which offered us a number of conveniences, including a strong internet connection to keep up with work back at home.”
The group also travelled to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast and visited the Costa Rica National Museum in San José.
For information about EGSC’s 2017 trip to Costa Rica, please contact Dr. Palumbo at email@example.com.