Comments and Recommendations from Student Participants

This trip was by far one of the coolest things I have ever had the chance to do in my life. Not only were the places and people great, but I also learned a lot about myself. We were given a lot of freedom in traveling and finding our way around. At the beginning, all I could think about was how I was too young to be on my own in a foreign country where I didn't know the language. By the end of the trip, I felt much more comfortable in my travels and with myself. I knew that I could handle being on my own. I even had people coming up to me and asking directions (although I couldn't understand the language)!

I would recommend that future students bond with their group as much as possible. The people you are with really make or break the trip. I felt that since the group bonded so much, it made the entire experience more enjoyable. It is also a nice feeling to think about hanging out with everyone back at school. I would also recommend that people have game plans, but remain flexible. When traveling things are always subject to change. Good moods are crucial to having a good time.

Donít hold back when you go. This is a once in a lifetime experience and donít take it for granted. It was amazing, and try to do as much as you possibly can. Talk to students who have gone in the past and take advice from them.. Research before you go and really decide where you would like to travel.

I will never forget this incredible experience. I will carry the memories forever and really cherish the time I had in Europe. It has been something I have wanted to do for so long and I am blessed to have finally been able to do it. Keep an open mind, work hard, and have the time of your life! One of the very best experiences of my entire life. Thank you so much, Padre Marco!

A fluid open mind is required. Attempt the languages! The Rome-Florence-Munich Arts and Ideas May term is an amazing trip. Its merit lies not simply in its brilliant venues, but in the experience one shares with fellow travelers. Unlike much of the States, Europe is a place in which the richness of life comes together in every blend imaginable. As this trip plays off all of oneís senses, a knowledge of oneself rings all the clearer. Amazing people, food, history, vino, challenges, entertainment,  life!

For those students who don't mind going a little unprepared, I would recommend against the Eurail Pass. It works out much easier just to pay for each fare along the way than to worry about how to use the Eurail and which lines it works on. I had a great experience without purchasing the Eurail in advance, and I'd recommend that to other travelers in the future.

It was a great overall experience! Father Mark did a great job organizing the trip and choosing a great group of individuals to travel with. I would recommend this experience to all other CSB and SJU students.

Have fun. Be loose and open up to new experiences because you don't want to be wishing you did something there when you get back to the states. Just an overall amazing trip with a unique group of individuals that bonded from day one.

You have to go on a summer term!!! I recommend this one of course, but anyone with Father Mark would do! This trip was definitely worth the money. It was the time of my life! Thank you for allowing me to be part of this amazing experience - the trip, the people, the lessons learned and all the fun times will remain in my heart forever!

Have fun at night, stay under control, be ready for the days, and be open to meeting new people, new foods, and new experiences. With all of these things in mind the trip will be unforgettable as it was for me! Thank you so much for a phenomenal July term experience. I truly will never forget it! Pack Light, and explore!!

I want to go back, so very much. I cannot wait until my next opportunity to travel to Europe. I made great friends and had an amazing time. Just wish we had more time!!! My advice for future students is to just have fun and to not get so stressed out about the independent travel. That was my problem before I came over, because I had no idea where I was going to go and with whom. Yet, everyone else was in the same boat as I was and it worked out perfectly to get to know everyone on the trip first and then to pick your group.

I really just want to thank you for allowing me to travel in your group on this amazing experience. You really made me feel at ease with everything and were very laid back. This is a trip that I will never forget and there was never one day that I wished I was back home or second guessed myself. The trip was laid out nicely where we were able to learn a great amount of information, but in a fun way which made us want to learn. Thank you!

The Top Ten books are a great resource. If you know where you want to go during independent travel find out if there is a Top Ten for that location, ex. Top Ten Vienna. At the same, explore the cities for yourself. For instance, if you see an appealing restaurant as you're walking along the streets stop in to see what they have to offer rather than strictly going by the Top Ten restaurants. Be flexible about what people you share a room with, where you eat, where you go on independent travel, who you sit next to on the bus, and what activities you do. Record the places you went to, where you ate, what you ate, where you stayed, money spent, and the activities you did, in a journal. The journal will be great resource for making a scrapbook, sharing your trip with family and friends, and recommendations for people that are going to travel in Italy, Austria, Germany, or Switzerland.

Make every minute count because the time goes by way too fast! I'm blessed to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Rome, Florence, and Munich May Term. It has truly been one of my best experiences as a student at CSB/SJU. Fr. Mark, thank you for your enthusiasm about the program and your time and commitment. I hope you enjoy the program as much as the students and that you're able to continue to offer the program to CSB/SJU students.

Be loose and cool. I kept telling myself "You are only in Europe for the first time once." As I said in my binder that I turned in, this trip was the most amazing part of my life thus far. When the July trip was getting ready to go and I got a few of the preparation emails, it was almost too hard to read them because I wanted to go back so badly. This trip has got me seriously considering the possibility of attending Graduate School somewhere in Europe.

I think that main things it to pack light, get along with everyone, and to make the most of the short time you have together because it goes by so fast. This experience really helped to open my eyes about the world we live in. There is so much out there to learn about and to explore!! I had a wonderful time and wouldnít trade it for anything. Be completely open minded!! Enjoy every moment.

Before I left my mom told me to make sure I enjoyed every moment, she said, "Don't think of Florence when you are in Rome, Don't think of Germany when you are traveling, just enjoy the exact moment that you are in." I tried to do this and I feel like it made my trip all the better! I realized that this might not happen again for a very long time so I tried to enjoy every minute that I could, and I did!!! I loved it.

I just wanted to thank you Father Mark for this opportunity. I could not have had such an awesome experience if it weren't for you. I grew and learned so much about myself as well as the world. I hope that someday I can experience this again but I will never forget this time. Thank you for your hard work, care, and enthusiasm. I could not have asked for a better tour guide of Europe!! Thanks so much for the trip of a lifetime!

Sleep when you need to sleep. There were a few nights when I just couldn't go out and it was fine. I felt ten times better in the morning and the experience wasn't hindered by missing a night. I absolutely loved it and am so grateful that I could experience this trip! Have an amazing time and don't let anything or any stereotypes about a person, get in the way of making tons of friends and having a great time! This was the most amazing trip of my life and I could not have asked for a better time! I want to go back and it has made me think about traveling in a whole new way!

Donít stress over the little things. It was awesome but it was also very intense. I am glad to be back because I got really worn out trying to fit so much in. I am glad we saw as much as we did; you just need to realize that this trip is more than a vacation. You have to be ready to hit it hard and work a little bit to maximize on the opportunity. Donít have super high or low expectations about any part of the trip. Go into it with a totally open mind. Donít make assumptions about members of the group before you truly have a chance to know them because most often your first impression is slightly (or in some cases completely) off.

Pay more attention when watching the movies it is very helpful and you'll appreciate more of the art if you have that brief background of it. It was an amazing trip and I would do it all over again if I had the money. It would have been nice though to spend a couple more days in each city so we could experience more of the culture.

Pack only what's necessary and like you're going camping but with some nice clothes for the dinners- You'll be bringing home lots of souvenirs. Make sure you have lots of money in your checking account and call your bank before you leave. I did that and I still had trouble using my check card.

Go with small groups for independent travel...and don't get too caught up with who you are traveling with...everything will work out. I am very glad I took this trip. It was an experience I will take with me forever.

Padre Marco made us challenge ourselves and I know I learned a lot and feel more confident with my self now that this whole experience is over. Thinking back on the trip, I have so many fond memories that I know I will probably never be able to recapture fully again. However, I now have 22 new friends with whom I can relive the memories and continue to form new ones. Thanks for everything! I'll see you in the fall semester!

Get to know everybody, and welcome anybody and everybody to do things with you and others. I believe that was one of the most important things on our trip that made it so wonderful for me and everybody. Eat a lot of Kebabs!!!!!!!!!!

One of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend it to everybody. I saw more things that I could ever dream. I would go again if I could. It was wonderful how everybody got along and we were so willing to include anybody and everybody in all that we did. Be very flexible with who you hang out with. You can meet a lot of great friends, and I have. Don't hang out with the same people all the time, separate yourself from the persons you knew before you came and really take the opportunity to get to know the rest of your group. You will meet a lot of amazing people.

This trip was one of my most memorable experiences in my life and I have you to thank for that! I had a blast seeing new places, enjoying the Italian wine and German beer, but I also learned a lot, which I think is one of the most important things about this trip. I miss it already and want to go back right now!!!

     advice for days of small-group travel 

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