Whether itâ€™s swimming in the Red Sea or laying poolside in Arizona, many CSU students are parting ways with Fort Collins and finding adventure abroad during their precious, three-month summer breaks.
Last year, about 6,000 CSU students attended summer session classes, meaning approximately 77 percent of the student body was free to explore life outside of the city. And 2012 is expected to be no different.
Some, like junior cultural anthropology major Aidan Levy, will need a passport for the places to which theyâ€™re going.
â€œA couple years ago, I went on a trip from Egypt to Poland â€” just everything in between. But Iâ€™ve never stayed in a place, lived in a country for a couple months or anything â€” just backpacking,â€ he said.
Levy will depart on a birthright trip to Israel in early July and return just before the beginning of fall semester.
â€œItâ€™s hard to say no to a free trip,â€ he said.
Multiple nonprofit organizations exist in the U.S. and abroad to fully fund young Jewish studentsâ€™ voyages to the nation, as many in Jewish and Gentile communities commonly consider it a birthright.
After he tours Tel Aviv and visits the 2,000-year-old fortress of Masada by the Red Sea, Levy said he plans to stay at a kibbutz for a few weeks. Kibbutzim are collective living arrangements traditionally based on agriculture, but they have been known to specialize in other economic sectors as well.
â€œGrowing up, I was sort of detached from my heritage. Itâ€™s just a way of connecting back into that,â€ Levy said.
For other CSU students, staying connected with what makes them who they are means staying stateside.
Cassidy Bible, a freshman business administration student, is one of them. Sheâ€™s going on a road trip with three of her best friends to Glendale, Ariz., to her parentsâ€™ home in the city.
â€œWe did it last summer, so itâ€™s kind of become a tradition,â€ she said.
Their friendship dates back to middle school days and runs just as deep, too. Bible explained that spending a week laying poolside in Arizona is how the group stays together despite being far apart during the school year.
â€œI think itâ€™s just getting away from everything and being about to spend time with friends from high school,â€ she said. â€œâ€¦ Itâ€™s a time for us to just be together and not worry about anything else.â€
Brandon McAllister is also looking to stay in touch with those heâ€™s close with during the summer. But where heâ€™s going, there wonâ€™t be a man-made pool.
â€œEvery single summer my family goes out to camp somewhere,â€ said the undeclared freshman, recalling trips to Nevada, California and parts of Colorado.
This year, theyâ€™re going to Idaho.
â€œWe pretty much just hang out,â€ he said. â€œWe donâ€™t typically have set schedules for the week.â€
While his family is centralized in the west â€” living in California, Nevada, Texas and Colorado â€” getting everyone together for a week is a rare occasion.
â€œI really think that family camp helps me keep with my cousins and everything,â€ McAllister said. â€œI feel like it betters my relationship with them a lot.â€
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.