Alvord Center Announces International Education Program(IEP) for the Summer

Madison Hua '23, Social Media Manager

The Loomis Chaffee Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies has updated its International Education Program(IEP) for summer 2022 to be “close to home,” offering students three programs: Northeast Kingdom & the Connecticut River, Buzzards Bay & Martha’s Vineyard, and Adirondack Mountains & Lake George.
The IEPs are 1-2 week trips that offer students the opportunity to engage in active, inquiry-based learning. The Northeast Kingdom & the Connecticut River program focuses on interdisciplinary environmental studies and outdoor education. Buzzards Bay & Martha’s Vineyard is focused on historical perspectives and cultural stewardship. Adirondack Mountains & Lake George is focused on engaged citizenship and leadership development.
Traditionally, students travel abroad to a myriad of destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Peru, India, and China. However, because of COVID-19, the Alvord Center has decided to stay “local,” while still focusing on the learning opportunities in the Northeast.
“When deciding where the June 2022 summer’s IEPs would be, three primary factors came into play: proximity to campus, engaging Global & Environmental Studies Curriculum (GESC) opportunities, and geographic diversity,” said Director of Alvord Center and IEPs Marley Matlack.
“Since the future of COVID-19 and traveling currently is still largely unknown, we wanted to err on the side of caution when planning programs this year. This meant ensuring no plane travel and developing curriculum for locations that were largely focused on being outdoors,” she said.
In addition, many countries have different rules and regulations as to whether or not travelers can visit their countries. For example, there may be mandatory quarantining for certain countries. Many countries don’t have equal access to vaccines which puts communities students typically travel to at risk.
After careful consideration of different geographic locations, the Alvord Center’s program ideas require the approval of the Heads’ Administrative Team (HAT) and Off Campus Programs’ Risk Management Committee to ensure a safe, diverse, and fun IEP for students.
“After two years of doing little to no travel, the Close to Home IEPs sounded like a great opportunity. I love traveling in New England and this program would allow me to further pursue my interests and also develop new skills,” said Bridget Hickey ‘23, a prospective Close to Home IEP student.
Meanwhile, students trying to fulfill their experiential education GESC requirement have the option to partake in third-party programs outside of Loomis with approval from the director.
“Due to COVID, we have had to be creative and flexible, resulting in many students taking advantage of virtual or on-campus opportunities to fulfill this specific GESC requirement,” said Mrs. Matlack. Since last year, online programs have been offered as well because of travel restrictions.
Financial Aid for these programs are also offered for students currently receiving aid from the Loomis Chaffee Financial Aid Office.