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MUDEC inspires love for international travel

a middle-aged man wears an orange hazard vest and sits on a bicycle in front of a sign that says LuxembourgWhen Bob Eckert studied at MUDEC in the summer of 1989, he spent his time hopping from country to country, trying to see as much of Europe as he could in the six weeks he was there.

He had class on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday until noon. He said he and his friends would pass notes in class to decide where they wanted to go that weekend. As soon as school was over, they would head to the train station, and before they knew it, they would be in Paris or Munich or Venice.

They would spend a few days there and then hop back on a train to make it back for class on Monday morning.

This experience gave Eckert a yearning for traveling.

“What I got most out of MUDEC was simply inspiration,” Eckert said. “It inspired me to travel, take chances, and have adventures.”

Eckert spent the first 10 years after graduation traveling around Asia, but after awhile, he began to miss his MUDEC days and wanted to go back to Europe.

He applied for a Fulbright grant and ended up in Minsk, Belarus. He thought he would use this as a home base, like when he was in Luxembourg, to travel all around Eastern Europe. Yet when he arrived, he immediately fell in love with the city.

He lived behind a ballet and would get tickets multiple nights a week, and he said he found his people in Belarus.

Now, Eckert teaches English at Ohio State University. He still makes traveling a priority, though, and spends much of his time abroad.

Throughout his career, Eckert has traveled across the world many times over. He’s been to China almost 40 times.

“[I] think the world would be a better place,” he said, “if we all had the desire — and opportunity — to travel more.”

Lifetime Network

Over 11,000 Miamians have been a part of the 50 year tradition at the Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg (MUDEC). There’s a network of alumni ready to help connect students with internships and careers upon return.

Want to study abroad at MUDEC?

Registration for fall 2020 ends April 1.

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