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Go on a Study Trip if you’re Hip !

Go on a Study Trip if you’re Hip !

(I’m sorry … that title was painful to type… )

ANYWAYS … three weekends ago, I got the opportunity to go on a study trip to Malta with 18 other JFRC students !!

First of all … what are ‘study trips’? Well, they are these trips that JFRC plans each semester and all you have to do is signup and pay for your part of the deal! They plan everything and literally all you have to do is show up! Okay, now that may not seem like a big deal to you BUT when you only have 14 weekends in Europe and until this past summer the only country you had been to in Europe was Greece … you begin to plan and make lists and look up flights and find things to do and try to save your money through it all and and and …. well the list could go on and on. Basically what I’m saying is that, especially when you haven’t grown up doing this, setting up short weekend trips can become exhausting SO why wouldn’t you want to go on a trip where you simply have to show up?!?!

For this semester there were SO many options as well that ranged from a spring break trip to either the Balkans or Greece all the way to an Assisi Pilgrimage !! SOOO why did pick the Malta trip … I mean where even the heck is it on a map ?!?!)

Basic facts:

Malta is an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and North Africa’s coast.

They speak English and Maltese … BUT mainly English.

Use the Euro currency.

And they drive on the other side of the road for various reasons that I will not get into right now…


WELL yes there are a lot more facts that are extremely important about Malta, however, this is all that I had heard about it when I signed up to spend a weekend there.

During this weekend I found out that, Malta is a beautiful country and there were many photo opportunities on the island. Also, per usual, I overate to the point of zero movement while still having fun. BUT, this trip was a little different than what the rest of my weekend plans would look like for the semester. How so? Simply put, it wasn’t all about me.

You see, because of it’s location, Malta has been extremely affected throughout their history with migration, and at present times this still holds true. SO … our study trip was not necessarily focused directly on us, students, but rather it gave us the opportunity to learn about something that is so much bigger than ourselves and that we don’t have to experience on a daily basis.

So during our short 3-day trip, I was privileged enough to … listen to the facts about the refugee crisis specifically in Malta … hear a heartbreaking testimony from a refugee about her journey to Malta … learn about what the Jesuit Refugee Services are doing to help undocumented migrants that come through Malta … experience the Maltese festivities of the Festival of St. Paul’s Shipwreck … appreciate all that Malta has to offer through a hike along the Dingli Cliffs … embrace the Maltese values of hospitality that were seen everywhere we went … and celebrate Mass with a refugee community.

It was truly an experience that I would never forget.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the trip was a life changing one. I was given an opportunity to peer into a life that was completely unlike my own yet I was welcomed with open arms to do so. And in the words of the refugee that shared her testimony with us, learning about the lives and experiences of others helped my peers and I to become “a little more human”.

So uhm yeah … all in all … just go on a study trip if you’re hip !!!!!

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