February 25, 2014

A Taste of the Parisian Travel Course, “Darkness in the City of Light”

This past January, twelve students from Emmanuel were offered the opportunity to travel abroad for a one week stay in Paris, France, through the College's travel course, "Darkness in the City of Light: Contrasting Views of Paris in Modern French Literature and Cinema." The trip was led by Lecturer in Foreign Languages Cheryl Tano.

 "I love to see how our students become excited, inspired and transformed by the liveliness and loveliness of the city of Paris- and how could anyone not be?" said Tano.

This trip was an inspiration to those who partook in the travel, including Spencer Deschenes '14. Deschenes felt that this trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and her decision to participate in this trip mirrored Tano's regard for the students' excitement and the inspiration that Paris provides.

 "I chose to take this course because I love traveling; and for me, it was crucial to travel with the guidance of someone who knows the area," Deschenes said. "Also, I enjoy being able to apply what I have learned in a classroom by visiting the actual places."

The special thing about travel courses, such as this one, is that they are not long-term trips, yet they still offer enough time abroad that students can gain valuable experiences. As much as the trip provided an education for these students, they were also given individual opportunities to experience the city of Paris without the guidance of a professor.

"Obviously, we decided to take part of that time to see the Eiffel Tower up close," Deschenes said, which, of course is one of the most iconic Parisian sites.

Other locations that the group visited included the Garnier Opera, the Père Lachaise cemetery, Victor Hugo's home on the Place des Vosges, the Pont Mirabeau Bridge overlooking the Seine River, and the Grand Mosque of Paris, which Tano stated to be "a favorite of many of our students during the class visit."

In all, the "Darkness in the City of Light" travel course was an educational and inspirational trip for Tano and the twelve students. Deschenes remarked that she "would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who likes French literature and film, and would enjoy connecting what they learn in the classroom to places in another country."

Tano also felt that this trip could be adored by anyone.

 "I love Paris, and our students do as well," she said. "It is always a joy for me to show them and share with them but a few of the gems of this wonderful City of Lights."

Various travel courses at Emmanuel are offered several times each year-coming in March, there will be a group chaperoned by Associate Professor of Art and Department Chair Cynthia Fowler heading to Ireland to study the Catholic tradition of art. For students who are interested in short-term trips abroad with an educational aspect, an Emmanuel travel course comes highly recommended by those who have partaken.

- Brittany Adams '14