Nicolet Students Set to Depart for Guatemala

Dec 26, 2013

A Nicolet College group is heading to Guatemala Friday.  Most of the ten travelers are students at Nicolet - but not all.  The age range of those going is between 18 and 66. 

This is the fourth trip Ocie Kilgus has led at Nicolet.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Trip leader Ocie Kilgus teaches Spanish and English classes at Nicolet Area Technical College.  She says they’ll spend 16 days in Guatemala’s second largest city.

"It’s called Quetzaltenango, and it’s in the Western Highlands.  It’s about three hours away from the capital city."

Each student stays with a host family and spends every morning in class at a language school.  Afternoons and evenings will be excursions and exploring the city. 

“It’s not that kind of – easy kind of trip that students often expect when they go abroad, because it forces them to communicate, it forces them to interact because of the language barrier.” 

Kilgus says traveling to Guatemala is often an eye-opening experience for students, many of whom have never left the country.  And she says for some past students, the trip was their first time on a plane.  But Kilgus says…that adventure and challenge is what it’s all about.

“I hope that they discover their strengths, and are determined to come back and share those strengths with the Northwoods as community members.  I hope that they broaden their perspective…in order to become passionate and global citizens.” 

Nicolet College students receive academic credit for the trip, which meets their language requirement.