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T.R.A.V.E.L. Program

  • Transforming Residents Abroad Via Engaged Learning

    Gannon Students in front of the Eifel Tower and Sydney, Austrailia

    The T.R.A.V.E.L. Program provides transformative learning experiences rooted in community, intercultural competence development, and domestic and international travel experiences. Through a variety of program options, from affinity housing to mini-trips to the flagship T.R.A.V.E.L. program, students can explore within, discover the world around them, and build meaningful relationships with other Gannon students, faculty, and staff.

    Discover your pathway into our T.R.A.V.E.L. family!

    1. Mini-T.R.A.V.E.L. experiences - Get a taste for the T.R.A.V.E.L. program through a mini-trip experience. Small groups of 8-14 students and 2 faculty/staff facilitators meet 4-6 times during the semester to get to know each other and learn about their destination then travel together on a short term experience (usually a day trip) to a regional location in the United States and Canada.
    2. Affinity Housing T.R.A.V.E.L. Community - Live on campus in intentional community with other students interested in traveling the world and engaging global topics.
    3. T.R.A.V.E.L. Program - Small groups of 8-14 students and 2 faculty/staff facilitators meet on a regular basis throughout the academic year to get to know one another, to develop their intercultural competence, and to study topics about an international destination prior to traveling to that destination (usually for 10-14 days in May or June).  During the yearlong experience and the international trip, each group explores identity, engages diverse perspectives, learns about and builds confidence traveling, and cultivates meaningful relationships. Students also gain valuable leadership experience and better understand their role as engaged global citizens.
    GU Possibilities
    • In 2016-2017, our 106 student TRAVEL participants were awarded over $83,500 in scholarships and fundraised over $33,500 towards their trip costs!

     Gannon Students with a Camel and the Gannon University Flag


    How much do the international T.R.A.V.E.L. programs cost?

    Trips range in cost depending on location, length of stay, and other trip specific factors. Trips usually cost between $1,500 and $3,500 before any scholarships or fundraising are applied. This overall cost includes flights, accommodations, most meals, ground transportation, tours/excursions, tips for guides/drivers, trip insurance, and other miscellaneous costs. The average out of pocket cost per student after scholarships and fundraising is $1,390, but some students have paid as low as $100 out of pocket.

    What are the benefits of participating?

    See the world, immerse yourself in a new culture, enhance your academic learning, develop your language skills, discover new interests, make lifelong friends, experience personal growth, advance your career and academic opportunities, develop your leadership skills, gain meaningful life experience, and much more!

    How does the small group experience work?

    The learning and engagement that occurs in each small group is at the heart of the experience.  Students can also tailor their experience by exploring the many opportunities for meaningful personal and professional development through the program – including organizing trip fundraisers, presenting on topics that interest you around your destination, helping to build the trip itinerary, or taking on a leadership role in your group.

    What countries have T.R.A.V.E.L. trips visited?

    Germany, England, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Israel, Costa Rica, Japan, Iceland, New Zealand

    How do I apply?

    Applications are available on our EngageU page!

    Student Testimonials

    Scott Conrad, '16 BS Computer and Information Science - Germany 2015

    "Throughout my yearlong experience, I was able to develop leadership skills to further my professional competencies and highlight these experiences to obtain a full time job. I was told that my international travel experience was one of the reasons that I got the job!  Leading various meetings, coordinating fundraisers, and connecting with the Erie community were all a part of the yearlong commitment. During my time abroad, intrinsically valuable experiences just happened, things that I grew from, just from living day to day in a foreign country."

    Janna Pizarchik, MS Occupational Therapy ’18 – France and Poland 2016

    When I said yes to the World Youth Day trip to France and Poland, it was essentially a leap of faith. Going into it, I only knew a couple of the group members well. However, once the group started meeting, I realized that we all had one main thing in common: we all were ready to commit 100% to whatever adventures were ahead of us. We grew deeper in our faith and as a family, so that when we finally made our pilgrimage, the experiences and time spent together were all the more meaningful. I've learned there is no limit to where a leap of faith can take you; sometimes it's even halfway around the world!

    Megan Bessel, Physician Assistant ’20 – New Zealand 2017

    When I joined the T.R.A.V.E.L. New Zealand group, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never traveled abroad and didn't know a single person in the group. Throughout the year, I grew closer to everyone through our meetings and fundraisers and I was able to take on new leadership roles in researching the country and planning our trip itinerary. In this process, I was able to delve deeper and gain a new appreciation for the culture and natural beauty of New Zealand. The trip itself was absolutely incredible and it helped me grow as an individual and form friendships I know are going to last a lifetime. Between cruising in the Milford Sound, hiking on ancient rainforest floors, driving through volcanic craters, and bungee jumping at the first commercial bungee site in the world, there was not one thing I wish I had done differently. The T.R.A.V.E.L. program helps you learn so much about yourself and opens your eyes to how vast and beautiful life is outside your comfort zone. It helped me find a piece of myself that I never knew was missing and has inspired me to travel abroad again.

    Leigh Tischler, ’17 BA English – Spain and Portugal 2016

    I learned flexibility from my Spain and Portugal T.R.A.V.E.L. experience. In Madrid, they have a saying: "No pasa nada." It means "no worries" or "no big deal," and it's an embodiment not only of the relaxed Spanish culture, but also of our yearlong experience. There were plenty of times when we had to think on our feet, make decisions on the go, invite new people into our experience, and say farewell to some who could not join us...all of these times formed an experience rooted in adaptability and a willingness to encounter and embrace challenges with a smile and a jovial "No pasa nada."

    Gannon Students Traveling Abroad

    Learn More

    • Students: Visit the T.R.A.V.E.L. page on EngageU for more information about past and future trips, applications, deadlines, and other forms.
    • Faculty/Staff: Visit the T.R.A.V.E.L. page on the Gannon portal:
    • We invite students, faculty, and staff to propose a T.R.A.V.E.L. Program experience or destination using the proposal form that can be found in EngageU!
    • For more information, please contact Becky Perry, Assistant Director for T.R.A.V.E.L. and Student Development and Engagement Global Initiatives, at or call 814-871-7237.