Thirty-nine Grace College and Seminary students and faculty are traveling this summer on three international cross-cultural education trips.
Students are visiting Fiji, Turkey and Italy. Each trip includes an educational component, such as visiting the Haga Sophia and Blue Mosque in Turkey, and a cultural discovery component, such as staying in the homes with Indo-Fijian families in Fiji.
The Fiji team has 14 participants and is working on community projects for part of the trip. The rest of the time they will be working with women who have come out of difficult home situations through an organization called Homes of Hope. This team will be led by Dr. Tammy Schultz, chair of Graduate Department of Counseling and Interpersonal Relations, and Dr. Nate Bosch, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science.
The Turkey team has eight participants and is traveling to Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. They will be visiting the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi palace, Cappadocia, Laodicea, and many more sites that date back to historical and Biblical times. They will also be attending the National Youth Day activities at a Turkish school. This team will be lead by Carlos Tellez, Cultural Liaison, and Dr. Jared Burkholder, Assistant Professor of American and World History.
The Italy team is an exploration of the art history of Italy. There are 17 who are traveling to Italy including leaders Kim Reiff, chair of the Art Department, and JD Woods, associate professor of Art. Reiff says, “Art, architecture, and art history will come alive as Grace students journey through the vast legacies of Italy.”
Upon arriving back home, student artwork created from the Italy cross-cultural experience will be featured in the Mount Memorial Art Gallery in the Fall 2011 exhibition entitled Italy: A Student’s Perspective. The exhibit will run November 14-December 16, 2011.
Grace’s Global Perspectives class requires that each student fulfill a one-week minimum cross-cultural experience, designed to broaden students’ knowledge about the world and provide them with unique opportunities to learn in a different context than their own. Global Perspectives is part of the “Grace Core,” a set of foundational, general-education classes required for every student, regardless of major area of study.
“About 50 percent of our students come from the Midwest, and many of the students going on these trips have never been out of the country, or even on an airplane before,” said Carlos Tellez. “Our students get the opportunity to be involved in different service and educational experiences,” he said.
Interested individuals may follow the groups via blog posts on the Grace College news site.