Suddenly I beheld the figure of a man...

During J-Term 2018, 286 students and 29 program leaders will participate in one of Luther's 17 courses around the globe. Although it's impossible to keep up with everyone, these blogs are designed to provide glimpses into our students' adventures.

Take a look at the course descriptions, itineraries, and leaders to learn the details of each exciting trip. Most importantly, read the blogs to experience life alongside our traveling students.

J-Term Highlights

Check out these highlighted posts about unforgettable moments, lessons learned, and life-changing experiences!

Dear M.W.S.,

Our time in Geneva was short, but enjoyable. We only spent two days in the area, visiting three cities - one of which was unplanned, but which was deeply rewarding. We began in Geneva itself, where we got to walk around the city and the lake to Villa Diodati, where Lord Byron spent the summer of 1816. This was also where Mary Shelley was challenged to a ghost story writing contest which inspired her novel Frankenstein. The view from the villa was sublime; we could see the city and the alps reflected in Lake Geneva.

The next day we crossed into France to visit Chamonix. In addition to being the site of the first Winter Olympics, it offers access to La Mer de Glace. It is on this glacier that (in the aforementioned novel) Victor first meets his creation. Unfortunately, conditions on the glacier were deemed unsafe due to excessive wind. This forced us to improvise, so we backtracked to Les Houches where we could safely take a lift to the top of a different mountain. Upon arrival, we spent several minutes staring into the white void. No really, it was a white void. We could not see more than a few inches in front of our face as flecks of ice pelted our cheeks. We made the treacherous journey to the chalet. There we enjoyed warm drinks over Frankenstein and Percy Shelley’s poetry. We discussed the way that this harsh landscape inspired the Shelleys--the legends surrounding mountains, the sublime, and furthermore the ethics of science both today and in the novel.

Afterward, we made our way back to the lift and back down the mountain. We all ate lunch in Chamonix (many of us had fondue, it was wonderful), and turned in for an early night. The next morning we left for Venice by train. It was a 7 hour long train ride, but quite enjoyable. If you have the chance to ride a train through the Alps, we highly recommend. We left the station at 6:49 a.m. and arrived in Venice at 2:40 p.m. We left the snow behind and arrived in absolutely gorgeous Venetian weather. We’ll spend the next few days in Venice visiting St. Marks, the Fenice Opera house, the Lido beach, and exploring this beautiful and historic city.

Until next time,

Jonathan, Emma, and Grant

A view from afar of the Villa Diodati-the house Lord Byron and the Shelley's lived in when Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein
Our group at the summit of Les Houches, nearby Mount Blanc. As you can tell from our faces, it was quite windy (photo by James Garcia-Prats).
Emma and Olivia drinking hot cocoa and studying Frankenstein (photo by Isaac Heins).