BY KARA NONNEMACHER
February quickly approaches, students may be starting to develop a plan for the summer. However, if they are clueless or desiring an experience that will expand their world view, but don’t know how to go about it, the Global Education Office may be able to point them in the right direction.
Northwestern is offering summer study abroad (SSA) programs in seven locations around the globe. Students have the opportunity to study in Greece, Great Britain, Palestine/Israel, Ecuador, China, Austria and Tanzania. Applications are due on February 1 and are available on the Global Education page on MyNorthwestern.
Programs range from three to four weeks in length and focus on a variety of subjects. For example, if a person is interested in faith and justice, Palestine/Israel is the trip to go on, but if someone prefers arts and theater, Great Britain will better suit his or her interests.
Justine Jakovich, the coordinator of global education programs, knows that any student on campus can find a program that fits.
“Because there are seven program locations this year and each program has its own unique focus, Summer Study Abroad 2014, as a whole, highlights many academic interests,”Jackovich said.
Students may be wondering if these programs are missional or touristic in nature, and the answer to that is no. SSA programs are educational and for-credit; however, participants will learn in a much less conventional manner than they do at NW. The classroom will expand and become ancient ruins, renowned landmarks, museums or rural villages.
Perhaps the most valuable lessons that can be learned on a study abroad are cultural. “Being able to travel while earning college credit and seeing the world around you through new eyes — that’s a valuable experience,” Jackovich said. “You may also come back to your home culture and see new things about it.”
Meeting people who come from different backgrounds, trying new foods, seeing alternate styles of living or participating in cultural traditions are all ways that one’s worldview can be expanded through any one of these study abroad programs.
“One will be able to learn about a different culture by being immersed in it rather than reading about it in a book,” Jakovich said.
These experiences are valuable as they allow one to be more understanding of differences as well as many other real life applications. NW offered one SSA last summer to the Czech Republic. Lindsey Remein, a senior athletic training major, was one of seven students who went.
“Even though our trip was mainly about physical culture, the best part was definitely being out of your element and in a new place experiencing a new culture and not knowing the language so you have to rely on your people skills,” Remein said.
If interested in a SSA or in more information about the programs, contact Justine Jakovich in the Global Education office or email her at email@example.com.