ACU Study Abroad in Germany opens with challenging lessons, exotic sitesPosted April 01, 2010
Reconciliation. Justice. In the inaugural semester of ACU's Study Abroad program in Leipzig, Germany, students are learning about those concepts first hand. They're doing so amid the exotic sites of a recent conflict zone, the Balkans, as part of a week-long group excursion.
For nine days, eight students will travel through Zagreb and Split in Croatia and Sarajevo, Bosnia, with Drs. Ron and Janine Morgan, the on-site directors of ACU in Germany.
"My goal in bringing students to Croatia and Bosnia has been to introduce them to the problems of nationalism and ethnic division," says Morgan. "My hope is that ACU students will recognize the dangers that arise when Christians confuse religious identity with national, ethnic or patriotic identities. Students need to see how Christians of various backgrounds are hearing the call of God to be agents of reconciliation among peoples."
On the trip, students have an opportunity to fellowship with young Christians in Bosnia; to visit a trauma center run by the Franciscans; and to walk the footsteps of Vedran Smailović, a musician known as the "Cellist of Sarajevo." Smailović risked his life playing a lament for 22 massacre victims during the Siege of Sarajevo.
For students participating in the pilot Study Abroad program in Germany, the dialogue with people from the other side of the world has been the most important part of the experience.
"One of the highlights of the trip has been a discussion of Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermon titled 'Loving our Enemies' with Bosnian Christian students," says Morgan. "We got to hear an ethnic 'Bosniak' talk about her process of learning to forgive ethnic Serbs after the war."
Visit the Web site to learn more about ACU's Study Abroad program in Germany.
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