By Brittany Carlson, Study Abroad Programs Assistant; Debbie Crouch, Associate Director for Academic Counseling
U.S. students are studying abroad in record numbers, and Seattle Pacific University students aren't missing the boat. From China to Belize to the Galapagos Islands, SPU students are taking their learning overseas. Though experiences vary, returning students consider study abroad a valuable educational investment. And most agree that it's also a significant part of their college experience — an opportunity they will remember and draw on for the rest of their lives.
During the 2011–12 academic year, SPU's Study Abroad office will add two programs to its growing list of options: Go Guatemala, a quarter-long program that takes place Autumn Quarter 2011; and the Philippines, a short-term program that takes place during Christmas break 2011. There is also a new program to India that SPU students may attend through a partnership with Counsel of Christian Colleges & Universities institutions.
Go Guatemala is a cross-disciplinary program designed for students majoring or minoring in Spanish, global development studies, engineering, business, education, sociology, and nursing. The program helps students improve their ability to communicate in Spanish, provides opportunities to participate in the Guatemalan culture, and develops an understanding of the connections between community ministry and community development. Along with a focus on Spanish language instruction, geography, or physical science, Go Guatemala requires students to complete an internship in fields such as agriculture, engineering, education, health care, and microfinance. Internships occur in collaboration with staff at Students International (SPU's partner organization in Guatemala) and local Guatemalans. The Go Guatemala trip promises to be a journey of service, growth, and adventure.
The Philippines study abroad program, which takes place December 8–18, 2011, is an exciting opportunity for students majoring or minoring in family and consumer sciences, Christian ministries, education, global development studies, or sociology to gain service-learning experience while working with children and families in a cross-cultural environment. However, any student who has an interest in serving abroad and in focusing on the basic needs of children living in orphanages or extreme poverty, and on community service projects and community feeding programs will find this program beneficial. The Philippines program will no doubt be a rewarding experience of learning, service, and discovery for SPU students.
Beginning this Autumn Quarter, the India Studies Program gives SPU students an opportunity to experience India's world of ancient ruins, modern commerce, pluralistic beliefs, diverse cultures, and deep needs firsthand. All students enroll in core classes about India's history, culture, society, and diverse religious landscape, and can choose elective courses in Indian literature, social work intervention, Indian costumes and textiles, Indian cuisine as an expression of cultures, and business in India. The India Studies Program is a grand sweep of a rich and complex nation, and will equip students to effectively relate to India and its people in an informed, constructive, and Christ-centered manner.
The world is truly a classroom, and now is the time for students to immerse themselves. If you have a student who might benefit from studying abroad, contact the Study Abroad Center at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.