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BRISTOL, Tenn., Dec. 9, 2015 – King University is sponsoring a foreign studies trip
from May 6 through May 20, 2016, to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. The Yucatán Peninsula
is an area in Southeastern Mexico that separates the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of
Mexico. It is home to the Mayan civilization, known as one of the most advanced indigenous
cultures of the ancient Americas.
The Yucatán Peninsula study abroad trip will be led by Dr. Alexander Brumlik, assistant
professor of Economics at King University’s School of Business and Economics. Dr.
Han Chuan Ong, dean of the King College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as a co-leader
for the excursion.
“There are numerous reasons for selecting the Yucatán for this summer study abroad
trip,” says Ong. “The Yucatán Peninsula is a great cultural contrast to students living
in [Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia]. It is easily accessible and affordable.
The American currency is relatively strong in Mexico, so students won’t feel they
have to conserve too heavily in their spending. Culturally, it is the area where they
Mayan civilization created [many] structures that are interesting. It is also biologically
After more than 100 million votes were cast, the new Seven Wonders of the World were
announced by the New7Wonders Foundation on July 7, 2007. Included in the new Seven
Wonders of the World is one of the locations students will visit on their trip to
the Yucatán – the pyramid at Chichén Itzá. Chichén Itzá was the most famous Mayan
“Chichén Itzá is the closest [of the Seven Wonders of the World] to us in the United
States,” says Brumlik. “It is one of the places you have to see before you die.”
The first half of the two-week trip will be based out of Cancún and Tulum while the
second half of the trip will be based out of Merida, which is designated as the City
of Peace by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Students will explore the Mesoamerican Reef, which is the largest barrier reef in
the Western Hemisphere. They will enjoy swimming in underwater caves called cenotes.
“Astronomical activity in this region created a lot of subterranean caves. One of
the exciting things we are going to do is to snorkel in these partially submerged
caves,” says Ong. “It would be good for students to have somewhat strong swimming
skills because we are going to snorkel not only in open ocean estuaries but also inside
In addition to visiting Chichén Itzá and snorkeling, other activities include hiking
and interacting with locals to gain further understanding of the culture, as well
as visiting local businesses such as open air markets and a world class glass factory.
“It will be an insightful experience for students to see the vast range of the Mexican
industry,” says Brumlik. There will also be a service component during the trip.
“[Our] aim is to help these students in the future to move the conversation about
Mexico and its people beyond the issues of immigration, so that when you talk about
the people of Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind is not immigration. Rather,
the thought is, ‘Wow, Mexicans are so friendly and kind; wow, the food is delicious;
wow, it is so beautiful here,’” says Ong.
Currently, 12 King students are signed up for the trip to the Yucatán Peninsula. Students
interested in participating are asked to sign up no later than the first week of spring
2016 classes (Jan. 11-15). The cost of the trip is $3,000.
For more information on the Yucatán trip, contact Dr. Alexander Brumlik at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 423.652.4806 or Dr. Han Chuan Ong at email@example.com or 423.652.6007.
King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in
1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional
degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health
sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business
administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning
opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA
Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information
about King University, visit www.king.edu. King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of
any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University
is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV
certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community
College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.