Western to Host International Summer Tours

Western to Host International Summer Tours

An informational meeting about Western's cultural tours will take place this Thursday at 7 p.m. in Room 1408 or via Zoom.

ROCK SPRNGS — Western Wyoming Community College (Western) will host two international tours this summer and will travel to Italy in 2024.

Western’s 2023 tours will individually explore Iceland for seven days and Japan for 11 days. The tour to Italy will be for nine days with the option to extend on for eleven days total.

Western is hosting an informational meeting for those interested in participating in a trip on Thursday, February 16 at 7 PM, in room 1408 or via Zoom. 

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This year’s tours will be led by Michelle Schutten, a seven-time cultural tour group leader.

“It’s time to join Western and start checking off those bucket-list travel items. COVID has held us back the past few years, but we are finally able to travel again,” said Shutten when asked about 2023’s tours.


“First, Iceland. This tour is all about the country (and a little city). We will visit a national park, see several waterfalls and geothermal active sites, and become culturally engaged in the Icelandic nation,” she added.  

The Icelandic tour is a seven-day journey around the Reykjavik and Hvolsvöllur areas as participants experience a land with midnight sun. Travelers can take advantage of round-the-clock daylight during the summer in this otherworldly place of dramatic beauty.

The tour also features the geothermal wonders of Iceland, including Blue Lagoon hot springs, volcanic craters, and subarctic fauna.

The dates for the tour are May 28 through June 3, 2023, but may be subject to a slight change.


Those who join the Japan Tour will spend 11 days in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Osaka. Tokyo is a place with cutting-edge technology, but there is a polite order to this urbanization that is defined by the ancient world that remains.

The Osaka Castle is seemingly unfazed by the neighboring sea of skyscrapers and is a living testimony of Japan’s unique journey into modernization.

Japan is a microcosm of civilization at heart.

“Japan is now open for visitors. The country was closed to visitors for three years, but our patience has paid off because now we will visit this amazing country,” Shutten said. “The tour will truly illustrate the culture, history and landscape of Japan. We will visit castles, the countryside, and city as we become immersed in the Japanese culture.”

Tour dates for Japan are June 5 through June 15, 2023.  


Western will visit Italy from June 1-9, 2024. Get caught up in the energetic pace of Naples and uncover the incredible history of Pompeii, the legendary town frozen in time.

The tour also includes the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento before ending your tour in legendary Rome. Whether it’s for Neapolitan pizza, stunning seascapes, or ancient ruins, come hungry for all that this region has to offer. Travelers can add to their your adventure by adding two more days and stay until June 11.  

Community members and students are all welcome to participate in these tours/study abroad opportunities. For individuals who wish to explore either Iceland and Japan, or both, trips can be booked for only one or both. Those planning to travel to Iceland and or Japan must have their confirmation in by Wednesday, February 22, 2023.  

The Italy tour for 2024 is almost full. Community members or students who are interested should plan to attend the session or contact Michelle Schutten as soon as possible.

 How to Participate

All of Western’s cultural tours include roundtrip airfare, land transportation, hotels with private bathrooms, breakfast and select meals, a full-time tour director, sightseeing tours, select entry fees, and free time.   

To participate in the meeting via Zoom, see westernwyoming.edu/calendar for login information.  

EF College Study Tours is cosponsoring the trips. More details can be found on their website at https://www.efcollegestudytours.com/enroll-wwcc-schutten (Japan and Iceland) and https://www.grouptoursite.com/michelle-schutten (Italy). To contact the tour group leader, Michelle Schutten, email mschutten@westernwyoming.edu or call 307-382-1829.