Western, TraveLearn offering learning trips to Australia, Italy, other countries

CULLOWHEE — Western Carolina University and TraveLearn Inc. will offer a vacation experience in 2003 for adults that combines education and world travel to exotic destinations such as Australia and Italy.

Participants will study the history, art, culture and customs of the location under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Faculty escorts and in-country specialists will present on-site lectures, seminars and field trips. The program is designed to help participants gain an insight and understanding of other cultures.

The “Australia Yesterday and Today” program will be held Jan. 26 through Feb. 12, May 18 through June 4, and Oct. 5-22. Participants will travel throughout the continent to learn about the flora and fauna of the interior desert, as well as the history and culture of the indigenous aboriginal people. Stops in Melbourne and Sydney include seminars on the history of the cities.

“Italy Yesterday and Today” will be held April 26 through May 10, July 12-26, and Oct. 25 through Nov. 8. The trip will feature the canals of Venice and the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, as well as the history and architecture of Pisa and Rome. Participants also will travel to view Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper,” Michelangelo’s “David” and the Sistine Chapel.

Other 2003 programs will travel to Alaska, Belize, China, Central Europe, Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco, Spain, Peru, Turkey and Antarctica.

Programs start around $2,000 per person and last from 10 to 19 days. All trips include meals, first-class accommodations, and all learning experiences. Most packages include round-trip airfare.

For more information or to register, call WCU’s Division of Continuing Education and Summer School at (828) 227-7397 or toll free (800) 928-4968.