For the 20th Anniversary of the Belen Jesuit Social Studies Department’s Overseas Study Program (OSP), Mr. Patrick Collins along with other faculty members including alumnus Jesuit Father Christian Saenz’95 led 43 students, alumni, family members to experience the best of Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Lucerne, Heidelberg and Cologne in eleven days in June.
“The Overseas Study Program had to have been one of the most memorable experiences of my time at Belen,” said Ricardo Azee, Belen Jesuit 11th-grade student. “The OSP trip became a much larger experience as I mingled with other cultures, saw new places, and especially, made new friends.”
“The opportunity to travel with my grandson and his school was truly a blessing from God; I cherished every moment,” said Mrs. Lucia Morales, OSP participant and grandmother of Eric Labrado, Belen Jesuit 8th-grade student. “We created memories that we can share over and over again. Only yesterday, I was able to point out to him that the music we were listening on the radio was Wagner. We discussed Neuschwanstein castle and how Ludwig had built it as a tribute to the musician.”
The OSP experiences included: standing in Dachau Concentration Camp; checking out the BMW headquarters; doing the wave at the Hofbrauhaus; riding down a 2.5 mile Alpine Coaster; engaging in a snowball fight on Mt. Pilatus; sliding into a salt mine; ascending the Cologne Cathedral; taste testing the Schocoladenmuseum chocolates; and sharing reflections during the final night in Heidelberg.
The Overseas Study Program was created in 1994 to broaden the cultural, political, spiritual, and personal perspective of students by traveling to distant lands in the summer. Through exploration, experience and reflection, participants encounter insights into God’s good Earth and people that are instrumental in the formation of Christian men.