European Study Tour Summer 2019 - Central Baptist College

European Study Tour Summer 2019


On June 15, 2019 eleven members of the CBC community embarked upon a ten-day journey-of-a-lifetime across Western Europe that included stops in some of the world’s most iconic cities.  As the coordinator of the trip, I, Dr. Blake Duffield, had the great privilege to guide our students through culturally and historically important sites in London, Paris, Florence, and Rome.

International Travel Made Easy

To facilitate the logistics of our travels, we partnered with EF College Study Tours, an organization that specializes in international travel with an academic focus.  By employing the services of EF, our students were able to enjoy a virtually effortless travel experience without being bothered to stress over the minute details that can sometimes make international travel cumbersome. EF arranged all airfare, local transportation, hotel accommodations, and made preparations for the majority of our meals while we were on the ground in Europe.  Additionally, EF also assigned a professionally trained, multi-lingual tour guide to our group who managed our itinerary, all reservations, and ticketing during our visit, which left us with the freedom to enjoy our experiences and learn with minimal stress or distractions.


With EF managing the details, we arrived in London, our first city of the tour.  Here, we enjoyed some truly memorable experiences. On the first full day of the tour alone, our students strolled along the banks of the River Thames, marveled at the majesty of Buckingham Palace, and viewed the historic treasures hidden inside Westminster Abbey and the British Library.  The highlights of our time in London also included our tour through the infamous Tower of London, a walk around Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, and a night at the theater for Lin Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece, Hamilton.


Our next stop brought us to Paris—the “City of Lights.”  Over the course of three days our group had the opportunity to take in stunning views of the city from the peaks of Montmarte—the favorite hangout of iconic Parisians like Renior; we gazed into the eyes of the Mona Lisa all the while viewing countless other treasures in the Musée du Louvre; and we ventured outside the city to the Le Parc des Princes for a World Cup Soccer Match.  Another of the most memorable moments from our time in Paris occurred when one of our travelers, Cobi Johnson, celebrated his 21st birthday atop the Eiffel Tower.  Can you imagine a better site for a birthday party?


When our time in Paris had come to an end, we packed our bags and set our sights on the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance—Florence.  The old saying, “sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination,” certainly rang true on this occasion as we made our way to our third country aboard an overnight train which took us across the Alps and through the historic city of Turin.  Arriving in Florence, the group journeyed through the city-center, ate Florentine steak in the local market, stood amazed before the Duomo, and ended the day watching the sunset above the city in Michelangelo’s plaza.


During our final days, we concluded our trip with guided tours of virtually all of the treasures Rome has to offer—the Vatican museum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Spanish Steps, Roman Forum and Colosseum, Pantheon, and some of the very best food (in my humble opinion) in the world.  As fate would have it, European Study Tour 2019 ended in the best way possible—with the engagement of two of our travelers, Melody Siebenmann and Tyler Turner, in front of Trevi Fountain.  Congratulations, Melody and Tyler!

This Trip Had It All

Historic sites, unique cultural experiences, phenomenal food, world-class theater, birthday celebrations, and even a marriage proposal—this trip absolutely had it all! It marks the inauguration of what I hope will become a sustained and consistent Study Abroad Program at Central Baptist College that will provide current and future students with a variety of opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment.

CBC Study Abroad Program

CBC Study Abroad is open to all members of the CBC family—both current students and alumni—as well as members of our community.  If you have interest in international travel tours led by Central Baptist College, please contact Blake Duffield ( and stay tuned for plans for a summer 2020 trip with an all-new itinerary.

About the Author

Written by Blake Duffield is an Assistant Professor of History at Central Baptist College who specializes in 19th and 20th century British imperial history.  His first wide-ranging international travel experience came in 2012 when he, his wife, and their two best friends, planned and executed a two-week-long excursion across Europe. The trip took them to Italy, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom during the heart of the Christmas season. Over the next two years, he sojourned to Europe twice more. Although these occasions were a bit different from the first journey (they were work related, as opposed to pure holiday) they still afforded him the opportunity to spend more time visiting new cities in the United Kingdom, and he was able to visit additional countries, like France and Spain. Later, he and his wife spent two months in Europe while he conducted research for his dissertation! A long-time lover of travel, Blake has visited fifteen countries.

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