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March 27, 2008

ULM history students tour Paris with professor; next trip planned for Athens, Greece

Dr. Monica Bontty led a group of 11 individuals, including seven ULM students and two recent ULM graduates, to Paris, France, during the 2007 Wintersession.

The excursion was also organized by the Ancient World Association’s Laurie Walker, a ULM alumnus and instructor at Grambling University, and the trip spanned eight days, from Dec. 26, 2007 through Jan. 4, 2008.

Bontty has now led two student groups in educational travels abroad through ULM and the Ancient World Association. In 2006, she led a group of ULM students to Egypt.

Bontty and Walker are planning a new trip for the 2008 Wintersession. This time, they will be leading a group on an educational tour of Athens, Greece. For more information about joining the trip, contact Bontty at: (318) 342-1542 or at

More about the Parisian trip:

Seeking to immerse themselves in French history in the ancient city of Paris, ULM undergraduate and graduate students Nicholas Adams (Crossett, Ark.), Randy Markland (West Monroe), Stephanie Markland (West Monroe), Lisa Peterson (Monroe), Andrew Price (Monroe), Joshua Beckham (Monroe), Kristen Sanders (Monroe), recent alumnus Coreatha Chisley (Monroe), and Dan Matraia (Anaheim, Calif.) each participated in this opportunity. Participating students received academic credit for the educational trip.

After traveling, students started out with a bus tour of the city on Dec. 29. In this manner, they were able to get an overall understanding of Paris’ layout. After stopping for pictures at the Eiffel Tower, the group continued on to Versailles Palace and Gardens. For many, the highlight of the palace visit was that they got the chance to stand in the famed Hall of Mirrors and tour the Versailles Gardens, including the Apollo Fountain.

On Dec. 30, the students had the option of heading to Bayeux to view the Bayeux Tapestry. Bontty, Walker, Matraia, and Adams participated in this excursion and also viewed the French countryside during the train ride. The remainder of the group visited the Eiffel Tower, took a boat ride down the River Seine, toured the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile, and walked along the Champs-Elysées and Place de la Concorde.

Dec. 31 started out with a tour of the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Gardens, and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Inside the Louvre, students got to see such famous pieces as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory, and the crown jewels. Afterwards there was a walking tour of the Latin District, which included a tour of Notre Dame. Randy and Stephanie Markland also toured the Invalides, where they got to see the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Most of the students then saw the New Year in on the Champs-Elysées.

On Jan. 1, Bontty and Walker toured Rouen, the town where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Matraia and Adams traveled to Normandy, where they received a guided tour of the beaches and cemeteries. Other students remained in Paris and toured the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the final resting place of men and women such as Frederic Chopin, Molière, David, Oscar Wilde, and Edith Piaf. Afterwards, they toured Place de la Bastille.

Jan. 2 began with another tour of the Latin District and Notre Dame, and some students toured the Panthéon. Peterson, Price, and Beckham toured the Salvador Dali museum as well.

On Jan. 3, the ULM group departed Paris and arrived home on Jan. 4.

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