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Credit: Son Nguyen

Many student-athletes go home over spring break to see their families. For some international student-athletes, though, flights are too expensive and time-consuming to make this a reality. Fortunately for football offensive lineman Travis Wang, Penn Athletics is picking up his travel tab. 

Earlier this season, Penn football announced that it would take a week-long trip to China, where the team will go sightseeing and square off against a Chinese all-star team. 

Wang hails from Taipei but went to high school in Connecticut. Although he has never been to mainland China, the freshman is excited to see some of the historic sites that the country has to offer.

“I’m from Taiwan, and I’ve actually never gotten the chance to make a trip to mainland China. I’m really looking forward to seeing the [Great] Wall among all the historic things that China has to offer,” Wang said. “It’s going to be really cool to see a whole new part of the country.” 

Wang, who walked on to the team in August, thinks that this trip will help his teammates bond more in preparation for next season.

“The trip is definitely going to be a big chance for us to really bond as a team. All of us are required to go except the seniors, but I know a lot of seniors are going to ‘chaperone’ us,” Wang said with a smile. “I know when I was in high school, we took a team trip to Hawaii and had a really great time bonding and seeing sights, so I’m hoping for something that brings along a similar experience.”

Without a team trip ahead of them, field hockey freshman goalie Sarah Lavers and women’s squash junior Jessica Davis have found other ways of spending their spring break. 

Davis was born in Manchester, England, but her travels abroad this break do not include a trip home. She is enrolled this semester in a Penn Global Seminar, "The Image of the City of Haifa: Literature, Architecture, Film." Part of the class requires students to travel to Israel over spring break, so Davis will be flying to Haifa this Saturday instead of going to the College Squash Association Individual Championships. 

“I’m really excited to go to Israel over break. My professor, Dr. Nili Gold, has been great this year and she’s going to show us some of the Haifa architecture and literature,” Davis said. “We’re going to be visiting a lot of things in Israel like the Old Technion Building, the Sail Tower, and the City Hall. We’re gonna be reading a kind of autobiography by Dr. Gold during the trip.” 

Lavers grew up 181 miles south of Davis in Harpenden, England. Instead of traveling home over break, Lavers' family is coming to her.

“My mom’s coming over for a couple of days, so it will be great to see her. We’re just going to stay here in Philly, and I’ll get to stay in the hotel with her which will be amazing,” Lavers said. 

“I actually haven’t gotten the chance to really explore Philly while I’ve been here, so we are going to go see the Liberty Bell and some other stuff before going up to New York later in the week. I’m also going to visit all my teammates who live close by, which will also be great.” 

Wang, Davis, and Lavers may not be going home for break, but they will still be spending time with those they are close with.

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