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Travel guru Rick Steves to share tips and tales

By Margeaux Leakas
On November 8, 2012

Monday, Miami University will welcome travel writer Rick Steves as part of the Miami University Lecture Series for his lecture titled "Europe Through the Back Door."

According to communications professor Howard Kleiman, who is on the lecture series committee, the committee decided to bring Steves for many reasons. In the past, the committee realized that it is difficult to fill the seats when the guest did not have name recognition. Since Steves is well known for all of his published work, Kleiman said that Miami could easily fill the seats.

"It's hard to get students involved if they don't know who the speaker is," Kleiman said. "Steves is well-known because students travel with their family, and he speaks to their academic interest as well as their personal interest."

Students who are involved in study abroad programs are encouraged to go see Rick Steves speak on Monday, especially the spring 2013 Luxembourg cohort, according to Alyssa Klein, coordinator of the Luxembourg Program. The program will have 130 students participating in its spring 2013 Luxembourg Program and many of them have expressed enthusiasm about the Rick Steves lecture.

"Students will likely be interested in learning more about Rick's practical, affordable and perspective-broadening travel tips," Klein said. "The lecture will also encourage students to travel in more intentional and culturally authentic ways than those of average tourists."

About 100 tickets have been blocked off for Luxembourg alumnus and students traveling there in the spring.

"We are giving the students the option to attend the lecture," Klein said. "We advertised it to the spring group but also to the current Miami alumni."

Junior Kelly Florence, who is currently studying abroad in Barcelona, said she recommends all of Steves' books to anyone who is looking for traveling information and interesting-yet-different tourist spots.

"Since I have been abroad I have used his Barcelona and Florence book, and his French Riviera Blog online," Florence said. "I also check his website before I go on every trip to figure out the best places to see while I am there."

Rick Steves does not just write travel books, Klein said.

"Not only is he an expert on all things Europe, but he is also an incredible travel writer, radio and television host, entrepreneur and social justice advocate," Klein said. "I am delighted that Steves is part of the 2012-2013 Miami University Lecture Series."

If students attend the "Europe Through the Back Door" lecture they are bound to get a sense of spirit of adventure, according to Kleiman.

"Students will be more adventuresome in how they travel," Kleiman said. "They will have the desire to leave group tours, and not go to common restaurants such as Hard Rock Café."

Klein also said Steves' lecture can help students studying abroad grasp the bigger picture.

"His lecture provides an ideal context for all student abroad students to begin critically reflecting on how their future international travel experiences can become a catalyst for meaningful intercultural understanding and social change," Klein said.

Steves will be presenting "Europe Through the Back Door" 8 p.m. in Hall Auditorium. Students can attend his lecture at no cost, but must pick up a ticket at the Shriver Box Office due to limited seating.


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