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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Globally expanding the Aggie Network

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Photo by Courtesy of Nick Poole

A group of students show their Aggie pride in front of the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. 

For 50 years now, Traveling Aggies, a program through The Association of Former Students, has allowed graduates of Texas A&M to travel the world.
With almost 70 trips planned every year, former students have a number of options, whether it be a quick getaway to the Kentucky Derby or an exciting trip to Tanzania.
Jennifer Bohac, director of the program, said she goes on about 15 trips a year, an equivalent of traveling 250 days.
“These trips are always fun,” Bohac said. “We make it easy for you. The details of the trip, such as planning the itinerary, booking a hotel or planning transportation are all taken care of when you sign up. And it’s such an amazing experience to meet Aggies anywhere you go.”
Bohac said many times former students have extended their kindness to these travel groups, such as hosting a fiesta at their home in Acapulco, singing the Aggie War Hymn with fellow Aggies on the Spanish Steps in Rome or when Bill Flores, U.S. Congressman and former Aggie, gave a tour of Washington D.C.
“That’s what makes trips memorable,” Bohac said. “People cherish those times.”
Joshua Fuller, Class of 2017, said he remembers the time when he and a friend met a group of old Ags and their families on the excursion at Machu Picchu in Peru.
“We ran into the group and were greeted with a loud ‘Gig ‘Em,’ walking back to the main site, we shared stories about A&M, talked about our lives and contemplated how awesome it was that we were both bonded by the tie of the Aggie Network,” Fuller said. “It was such an incredible experience and one I’ll always cherish.”
Traveling Aggies doesn’t only offer trips for older former students; it also hosts an Essential Europe trip for recent Aggie graduates. The Essential Europe trip allows for graduating seniors to visit nine countries in Europe, including Germany, England, France, Italy and Greece, during the summer before they settle into their new jobs or go off to graduate school.
Rebekah Josefy, communications specialist for the Association of Former Students, has been a host for the Essential Europe trip since 2014. Josefy said the trip is a chance for recent grads to celebrate their accomplishments as well as meet new people.
“We have students that come from every corner of campus,” Josefy said. “Whether you’re engineering or liberal arts, you feel the connection of being an Aggie. We become a family.”
The Essentials European trips allows students, whether they are well traveled or a first time traveler, to experience the many different sights Europe has to offer within a three week span.
“I always tell students to sign up [for] this trip as it’s such an incredible opportunity,” Josefy said. “There are so many benefits, you get to experience new cultures and expand your perspective of the world as well as make memories for a lifetime.”
Not only are well-known sights like Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower included, but students can also visit historical villages in Germany or the Dachau concentration camp, go wine tasting in Tuscany, white water rafting in Austria, paragliding on a small island in Greece or visiting the famous Moulin Rouge.
“The schedule of the trip allows for students to have a good mix of free time as well as scheduled activities and sights,” Josefy said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
Josefy remembers that on a particular trip, a group of students went to visit the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City during their free time and met astronaut Mike Fossum, Class of 1980, who recognized them by their rings.
 “They were able to share stories and take pictures with him. It’s always nice to see Aggies when traveling abroad,” Josefy said. “This trip really is an amazing experience.”

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