Study Abroad in Uruguay, Oxford and Germany
How do the British Museum, Paris and Barcelona sound for a field trip?Study Abroad opportunities available to ACU students offer that and much, much more, depending on what part of the world you choose.
The location might be England, Latin America or - beginning in spring 2010 - Germany. Whatever the location, "it will change your life," as one ACU student put it.
Full semester, summer and Maymester programs are offered, so that any student who wants to go can find a plan to fit. For Emily Saller, a senior from Columbus, Ga., that meant a Maymester course in Oxford with others from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.
She found that the shorter session was perfect for her. "Not too long, not too short," she said. "It was a great amount of time!"
Students - and their parents - can put any worries aside when considering signing up for a Study Aboard session. All programs are staffed by an on-site director and a visiting faculty member.
Students get mentoring from onsite directors
Ron and Janine Morgan are beginning their seventh year as directors in Oxford. "It just keeps getting better," Janine said.
The couple are ACU alumni and spent a number of years in mission work in Brazil. They'll get a change in scenery in the spring of 2010, leading a pilot program in Germany.
In their absence, Cole Bennett, also a veteran of the ACU Study Abroad program, will be the director in Oxford. Wimon and Rosalinda Walker are the longtime directors of the program in Latin America.
Living accommodations allow for 36 students at Oxford, 22 in Latin America, and 10-15 in Germany. Students live in the same facility as the on-site director.
In Oxford, that happens to be two side-by-side 1880s "slightly quirky" Victorian houses. Each house has four floors, with six to 10 beds on each floor. One house contains a common room, and the other has a classroom and computer lab.
In all the countries where programs are held, much of the studying comes during planned - and free-time - travel excursions.
Bonding while serving
Students also put in 20 hours of service in the local communities, which serves as a bonding and enrichment experience. In England, they have served as docents at Christ Church cathedral, volunteered at schools, and cleared out hedges and trails at national parks.
"Students often say that it is these experiences of working in the community that have shaped them most," Janine said.
Travel and community service are part of the deal, but classroom instruction is a must, too. Courses are offered in the humanities, international studies, and the native language in Latin America and Germany. Other courses will be offered, too, depending on the visiting faculty member.
"We try to make all our programs accessible for sophomore level classes," said Rachel Brown, Study Abroad coordinator.
A new world view
Students invariably come back from Study Abroad sessions with a new view of the world around them. Rachel can offer her own insight. A graduate of Hope College in Holland, Mich., Rachel spent a semester at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Like the students she works with now, she had no idea what was in store.
"It's hard to express how living in another place four months can have such an impact on your life," she said.
That was the same experience that Emily Saller had after her Maymester trip to Oxford. She had been to Germany as a child on a trip with her parents to visit relatives. She jumped at the opportunity to go back to Europe as an adult.
"I learned a lot about myself during this experience," she said. "It was a wake-up call to how big the world really is."
Study in Leipzig
Want to hike the Alps, visit Bach's hometown, and see where Martin Luther hung the 95 Theses?
Study in Montevideo
Want to stroll the beaches of Uruguay, visit Machu Picchu, and attend a real fútbol game?
Study in Oxford
Ready to see where Lewis and Tolkien hung out, visit the Tower of London, and drink a proper British tea?
Get a Passport
About 25% of a graduating class will have had the adventure of a lifetime through an ACU study abroad program.
ACU in Oxford resident director Dr. Ron Morgan documents a faith-based study abroad experience in his new book. Learn more >>