Family and Consumer Sciences students kicked off their summer with a trip to Europe to explore four prominent cities.

In all, 36 students from the Interior and Environmental Design and Apparel Merchandising and Design sequences joined faculty members Jennifer Banning, Hae Jin Gam, Elisabeth Reed, Peg Creasy, and Connie Dyar, the trip director/leader on a 10-day tour. Students focused on the historical significance of culture, art, and architecture and how it influences design.

The trip began with three days in London, where students got to see the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrod’s department store, the London Tower, Big Ben, Windsor Castle, and Millennium Bridge. The group got a chance to ride the London Eye, a big Ferris wheel that looks out over the Thames River and all of London with 360-degree views. The group even got to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

From there, it was off to Paris, where the students toured the Louvre, the Notre Dame, and the Latin Quarter.

Lindsey Jungk, a senior studying Interior and Environmental Design, particularly enjoyed exploring the Palace of Versailles.

“It’s simply gorgeous, and is in great condition, especially considering its history,” she said.

Jungk also enjoyed climbing the Eiffel Tower to see the view from the top.

“After climbing the tower, we took a boat tour on the Seine River at dusk, where we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle as it does every hour on the hour at night,” said Jungk. “It was so great to see this iconic piece of Parisian architecture firsthand.”

When it was time to leave Paris, the group boarded an overnight train to Florence, Italy, where the group visited Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and the Chiesa di Santa Croce. After that, the group was off to Rome, where they saw more historical sites.

“We traveled primarily by foot around Rome, and what I loved most about it was that you could turn a corner and stumble upon the statue of David, the Colosseum, or some ancient ruins just waiting to be discovered,” said Jungk. “I also loved the fact that there was a pizzeria on every block!”

Students also viewed the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Forum, and St. Francis of Assissi’s crypt. The group had the unique experience of being blessed by the pope during their visit to St. Peter’s Square, outside of the Cathedral. One of the most memorable parts of the trip for Jungk was the visit to the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

“I think this was when I realized that I would definitely be coming back to Europe one day,” she noted.

Jungk also explained that the FCS group had an English-speaking tour guide who knew everything about the cities and could point them in the right direction for great local restaurants, shops, and attractions during their visit.

“The tour guide even took the time to suggest other things to do the next time we visit Europe. Just one more reason that I have to go back!” she said.

Family and Consumer Sciences students who met the attendance and presentation requirements on the trip earn academic credit. The students’ experience culminated in a photographic journal recording each site visited, as well as research they conducted on the influence and significance of the time period to the present day.

To learn more about participating in departmental study abroad opportunities, contact your departmental academic advisor.