Features

Students have an opportunity to live in the Dominican Republic for semester

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One of the scenic beach sights last year's DR trip got to enjoy. (Photo by Rachel Embry)
On the morning of Wed. Aug. 31, 13 Bethel students will be saying goodbye to their friends and family as they head to the airport to make their way to the Dominican Republic for a semester abroad. “I have felt very excited about this trip ever since I signed up to go,” said senior Garrett Penn. “However, I felt very nervous about a week before our departure. I think this was due to several unknowns about the trip. But now that the trip is only a few days away I am extremely excited and am anticipating God to do great things.” According to junior Krissy Hershberger, although the group hasn’t had a chance to get together because of summer break they have done a few devotionals and sent prayer requests to one another via email in order to get to know each other better. “I am both excited and nervous,” said Hershberger. “I am excited for this opportunity and look forward to all that God has in store, but at the same time I am nervous about being in a new and different place and all that comes with that.” Once they arrive in the Dominican the students will spend the first half of the semester living with one host family and taking classes. “I'm currently really excited to go, but that only comes in waves,” said junior Courtney Hemminger. “Most of the time I'm nervous about the culture change and being away from home for so long.” Junior Sarah Mattingly says although she is excited to go study abroad she is also nervous because she’s “not even close to being fluent in Spanish.” Mattingly also said, “At this point, I am looking forward to what God has in store for me.” Once the first half of the semester is gone students will move in with a different host family and work at various ministry sites. Hemminger and Mattingly will both be working in preschools although they will be in different locations. Hershberger will be working at the Microfinance ministry site. “I will be working with local women that have a store and help them learn to run them efficiently, take out loans, etc.,” she said. Penn will be at a social work site for school-aged boys. “This will be a great opportunity to just hang out and get to know boys who aren't privileged enough to go to school,” said Penn.
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