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Join JCCC faculty on this study-abroad opportunity to visit significant battle sites from what was to be “the war to end all wars.” You will immerse yourself in world history as you discuss the battles that changed the political and economic landscape of western Europe at the dawn of the 20th century.

World War I was a global conflict that lasted from July 28, 1914 to Nov. 11, 1918. The battles involved unprecedented technological advancements, including the first use of military aircraft, tanks, long-range artillery and chemical weapons. The resulting carnage was also unprecedented, with over 9 million combatants and 7 million civilian lives lost.

In recognition of the end of World War I, JCCC faculty will lead a group of students and members of the community on a short-term study-abroad opportunity to visit significant battlefields and memorials in Belgium and France.

In addition, we’ll visit Normandy to see some of the beaches and cemeteries of the World War II D-Day Landing. The leaders of this excursion felt we couldn’t be in France and not include that for our participants, particularly since we know that unresolved animosities from World War I in many ways led to World War II. There will be time to see Brussels and Paris.

Note: There will be considerable walking and no guarantee that the sites we visit will be ADA accessible. Please strongly consider your level of mobility before you sign up.



  • June 11-21, 2019

Pre-tour meetings

  • Saturday, Mar. 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – noon
  • Saturday, Apr. 6, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – noon
  • Saturday, May 4, 2019, 9:30 a.m. – noon


To participate in the trip, you must enroll in GIST 101 for one credit hour once the spring class schedule is published.

Cost per person:

  • $3,300 per person, double occupancy
  • $4,000 single occupancy

Limited to 20 participants

Degree-seeking students can apply for a study abroad scholarship. Contact:

Janette Jasperson, Study Abroad Coordinator
913-469-8500, ext. 3470
COM 220

Cost includes:

  • Round trip international airfare: Kansas City – Brussels, Paris – Kansas City
  • Three pre-departure meetings for orientation and background
  • Ground transportation in air-conditioned coach throughout Belgium and France (except in Paris)
  • Twin occupancy rooms (clean, compact lodging), including breakfast
  • Admission fees to tour sites (except in Paris)
  • Travel accident insurance

Not included in cost:

  • Passport fee, if you don’t already have one (no visa is required for U.S. citizens travel to Belgium or France)
  • Some meals (breakfast is included)
  • Tuition for GIST 101 (1 credit hour)
  • Personal spending, some admission fees
  • Personal transportation in Paris

Tentative Itinerary

June 11
Depart from Kansas City (lose a day crossing the Atlantic)

June 12
Arrive in Brussels (Belgium)

We will tour the city that afternoon. Most of central Brussels is not accessible by coach, so expect to walk for a significant time.

June 13
Travel to Liege and Bastogne (Belgium)

If there is time, we will visit the World War II site of Battle of the Bulge. Then we will travel on to Sedan, where we will visit the memorial which shows the location of the U.S. 1st Division on Nov. 11, 1918. (The 1st Division advanced the farthest of all American divisions.)

June 14
Travel to Verdun (France)

Verdun was the location of the largest and longest battle on the Western Front. It is home to Meuse-Argonne Cemetery, the largest American cemetery in Europe.

June 15
Travel to Belleau Woods (France)

We’ll stop at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery and then head to Peronne, the site where the Americans breached the Hindenburg Line at the St. Quentin Canal. We’ll also tour associated memorials and the American cemetery at Bony, then spend the night at Peronne.

June 16
Tour the Somme Battlefields (France)

The Battle of the Somme, fought over the course of four and a half months by the British and French against the Germans, took place on the upper reaches of the Somme River, and was intended to hasten victory by the Allies. Additionally, if we have time, we will visit the site where the first American Medal of Honor was earned. Then we will travel to Normandy, with an overnight stay in Honfleur.

June 17
Tour Normandy Battlefields (France)

That night we’ll stay in Bayeux.

June 18
See more of Normandy and view the Bayeux Tapestry, thought to be woven in the 11th century and depicting the events that led up to the Norman conquest of England, culminating in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Then travel to Paris.

June 19
Arrive in Paris late afternoon

June 20
You are free to explore Paris on your own, or you may tag along with the group leaders if you're feeling unsure. Paris has a fine public transportation system as well as taxis.

June 21
Depart for Kansas City