Study-Abroad program ‘El Camino’ Concludes

by Aaron Santini

On August 18, 2017, a handful of students packed their bags, said goodbye to their families and hello to the adventure of a life time.

The Camino is a semester long study-abroad program run by Franklin Pierce University. The Camino is a unique from most other study abroad program. The students have to hike and backpack approximately 900 kilometers, or 559 miles.

The students started their journey in Navarrenx, France, and walked an average of 10-15 miles per day, throughout the French and Spanish countryside, until they concluded the trip in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

(Photo: Matthew Maher)

However, there was a lot of hard work involved to make the trip happen in the first place. There were meetings that everyone was required to attend, as well as practice walks to help get their bodies into proper condition.

The trip was almost cancelled due to there almost not being enough participants.

The potential cancellation made the students who did go, like sophomore Matthew Maher, savor every moment of the experience,”The Camino experience is different. It’s not just traveling, it’s about gaining the ability to let things go; the bad things that drag people down. It’s about a fresh start.”

The Camino turned out to be a very positive experience for Maher.“As a health sciences major, the camino provided the perfect opportunity for me to take a break, to travel and experience the world, and learn a bit more about myself before i fully being my career. Being in Spain also provided a perfect opportunity to put my Spanish minor to use,” he said.

As much fun as something like this can be, he realizes that with everything else that this trip has to end eventually, and school needs to return to the top priority for him. But he will never forget his experience. “Definitely excited to get back into the routine, but perhaps with a new, different kind of perspective.”

The Camino only runs every two years, meaning the next time it will be available for students will be in the 2019/2020 fall semester.

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