Alumni Travel: The World as Classroom

The Washington University Travel Program continues to offer a broad array of international and national destinations, along with a cohort of lifelong lovers of learning.

The Alumni Travel Program offers Burma & the Golden Land, Jan. 20–Feb. 1, 2014. See fascinating Buddhist monasteries, glide over Inle Lake in a private long boat, and meet warm Myanmar people during visits to traditional markets and artisans’ workshops. (Courtesy photo)

“I remember one walk through fresh snow along a mountain ridge, where spring flowers were beginning to peek through,” says Peter Brazy, MD ’72. Brazy and his wife, Jane Brazy, MD ’72, toured Switzerland with fellow alumni for two weeks last year through the Washington University Travel Program.

“The best part was being in the midst of such breathtaking scenery,” Brazy recalls, though he cites “talking with other Washington University folks” as a close second. “It was a wonderful common connection. The other alumni were all interesting people who were equally interested in everything we learned,” Brazy adds.

Each year, the Alumni Association offers an array of international and domestic tours, inviting alumni, parents and friends to join in the excitement of discovering new places and cultures. In 2014, alumni participating in the Wash. U. Travel Program will journey to such far-flung destinations as Myanmar, Tahiti, Croatia and Russia; tour the heart of Europe; and experience some of the U.S.’s most dramatic scenery out West and in Alaska.

Washington University faculty members often accompany the groups, and many trips include short, informative presentations and other learning opportunities.

Travelers also appreciate the plan and schedule of the tours: “We had a perfect balance of organized touring and free time,” Rogers says.



Jan. 20–Feb. 1
Burma & the Golden Land
See fascinating Buddhist monasteries, glide over Inle Lake in a private long boat, and meet warm Myanmar people during visits to traditional markets and artisans’ workshops.

Feb. 20–March 2
Tahiti & French Polynesia
Cruise for seven nights aboard the Five-Star Plus M.S. Paul Gauguin and spend two in Papeete, Tahiti.
Faculty host: Ray Arvidson, PhD, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and director of the Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory. Arvidson currently directs the Mars Rover project.

April 4–12
Waterways of Holland & Belgium
Cruise Amsterdam’s picturesque canals, stroll through an 80-acre floral display in Keukenhof Gardens, and admire the paintings of the Dutch masters.

May 6–14
Visit the Apulian coast in southern Italy, roaming medieval Trani, admiring Lecce’s baroque architecture, and savoring the region’s vintages on a winery tour.

May 14–22
Drive along the Amalfi Coast, visit beautiful seaside Sorrento, and explore Herculaneum and Pompeii.

June 6–17
Mediterranean Inspiration
Sail to ports in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece aboard the elegant Oceania Cruises’ Nautica.

June 7–16
National Parks & Lodges of the Old West
Experience the historic paths and natural splendors of the Old West.

June 17–29
Picasso & Friends: On the Trail of Genius
Trace Picasso’s life from Barcelona to Paris, stopping along the way to admire his masterpieces.
Faculty host: John Klein, PhD, associate professor of art history and archaeology

June 12–27
Jewels of Antiquity (Rome to Venice)
Hear the echoing whispers of bygone civilizations as you chart a course for some of the most powerful cities of the ancient world.

June 29–July 9
The Baltic’s Amber Coast
Discover the unspoiled Danish island of Christianso, stroll through Stockholm’s picturesque Old Town, explore historic Lithuania and Estonia, and admire Helsinki’s modern architecture.
Faculty host: Peter MacKeith, MArch, associate dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

July 12–Aug. 5
Lifestyles Explorations in Spain
Reside in your private apartment for three weeks in Salamanca, enjoying language instruction and immersion in Spanish culture.

July 30–Aug. 14
See the majesty of Switzerland’s landscape unfold before your eyes as you journey through its idyllic alpine meadows, crystal lakes and broad vistas.

Aug. 16–25
Discover Southeast Alaska by Small Ship
Witness Alaskan wildlife up close, learn about the region’s ancient cultures, and marvel at spectacular scenery.

Sept. 8–16
From Paris to Provence
Cruise the Burgundy wine region, visit the Roman amphitheater in Arles, and enjoy a day in Lyon, one of France’s culinary centers.
Faculty host: Liz Childs, PhD, the Etta and Mark Steinberg Professor of Art History and chair of the Department of Art History and Archaeology

Sept. 9–17
70th Anniversary of D-Day — Normandy
Walk through history on this exclusive journey through Normandy, featuring two full days of exploration that highlight this important victory during the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Sept. 14–26
Symphony of the Blue Danube
Experience the musical heritage of Europe’s accomplished composers as you cruise from Budapest, Hungary, to Passau, Germany.

Oct. 1–9
Enjoy the charm and romance of Tuscany, discovering the architectural treasures of Renaissance Florence and Siena, exploring unspoiled San Galgano and Massa Marittima, and savoring local wines and olive oil.

For more information on the Washington University Travel Program, visit, send an email to, or call (314) 935-7378 or (866) WUTRIPS.

Rachel Wisdom is a writer of development communications, Alumni & Development Programs.

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