Cultural immersion trips grow in 2009

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Thirty-six escorts and 284 cadets, including 24 ROTC cadet candidates, are participating in Cadet Summer and Language Immersion Program trips this year. 

Some of the four-week programs departed May 23 and will and return around June 19. Two groups participating in six-week programs featuring Chinese and Arabic visits departed May 26 and are scheduled to return July 11. 

In 2008, 196 cadets participated in CSLIP. This year, 260 are in the program. Thirteen trips were made in 2008, compared to 19 planned trips this year. 

The Olmstead Foundation funded this year embrace 155 cadets, up from 85 last year. Twenty-eight countries will be visited compared to 18 in 2008. 

"We are able to offer cadets some incredible international programs, allowing them to develop language and cultural ties that will be important in their careers in our very internationally engaged Air Force," said Lt. Col. Scot Allen, Academy director of international programs. 

"We are also looking for opportunities abroad for technical majors at foreign civilian universities," Colonel Allen said. 

Cadets are scheduled to visit Spain, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina, Panama, Brazil, Germany, France, Morocco, China, Japan, Egypt, Jordan, and Ukraine, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Japan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Morocco, Ethiopia, Rwanda, India, Israel, Mongolia, Peru, Poland, Russia, Senegal, France, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam. 

Portugal is participating in CSLIP for the first time.