Study Away kicks off 2019 summer trips with Pre-Departure Orientation

Group photo of the student, parent, staff, and faculty attendees of the 2019 Study Away Student Pre-Departure Orientation. Participants are gathered in the annex of the ATC, looking up and waving to the camera.

On Friday, April 12, nearly 100 students, parents, and faculty gathered for the Study Away Student Pre-Departure Orientation.  This orientation provides information around overall safety to those leading and participating in our 5 Study Away trips this summer.

This summer’s trips represents the 8th year GRCC has offered these travel experiences for students.  We processed over 150 applications for 5 trips – a record number.   This year, nearly 80 students will be participating in these trips (another record!).

Summer 2019 Trips:

  • Costa Rica (Sherry Knoppers/Laura Moody)
  • France (Hillery Haney/Katie Budden)
  • France/Germany (Sasha Ahmed/Audrey Heckwolf)
  • Italy (Kimberly OverdeVest/Audrey Heckwolf)
  • Spain (Sean Mackey/Megan Lockard)


  • Development of these trips began over 16 months ago, were vetted and approved 12 months ago.
  • All trips are short-term (roughly 2-weeks).
  • All trips are a part of a course and faculty-led as well as having a Support Person (an additional GRCC employee).
  • Most of these faculty have led these trips for several years (borderline veterans).
  • Students are required to apply and pass a criminal background check, a code of conduct review as well as other vetting criteria.
  • All students will have submitted all required travel paperwork and have been paid-in-full prior to departure.
  • Many students will be flying for the first time, and will have received their very first Passport.

Pre-Departure Agenda:

Information is presented in a way that allows the speakers to share from their level of expertise while also providing leeway for other speakers to interject when appropriate:

  • Welcome – Michael Schavey
  • Faculty Trip Introduction – Faculty Leaders
  • General Safety – Chief Whitman
  • Overall Conduct – Kimberly DeVries
  • Personal Health – Katie Hughes
  • Student Issues and Removal – Michael Schavey
  • Collect Forms and Conduct/Safety Agreement – Michael Schavey
  • Trip Swag – Michael Schavey
  • Group Photo – Michael Schavey

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