The 2012 Pacific Rim study abroad team has been selected and the group is already making preparations for when they leave in January. Last week the group met as a whole for the first time and there will be a few more meetings throughout the semester to get the eight girls prepared for what is ahead of them. “They're mostly to give us an idea of what the trip will be like and kind of what we'll be doing in each of the countries we visit on Pac Rim,” said junior Jill Focht. “We haven't done any bonding yet since we've only had one meeting, but I imagine we'll have plenty of that coming up.” With it being such a small group of girls Focht is excited. “Getting to know people I've never even talked to before will be challenging and take me out of my comfort zone,” said Focht. “I honestly don't have personal relationships with any of the girls outside of class or in passing so I'm so excited to get to know each of them and know their hearts and their stories.” Besides meeting as a group the girls have started preparing on their own as well. “(I am) mostly preparing myself to be so far away from home for so long,” said junior Ali Douglas. On Pac Rim the students under the leadership of Brent Reimer, director of study abroad, will be taking several classes, bonding as a group, making connections with people in the various countries, and have opportunities to volunteer. “As an intercultural studies major I am required to have a cross-cultural experience while attending Bethel College,” said junior Rachelle Telsworth. “I love traveling and take every opportunity put in my path. I believe the more one expands their worldview from these types of experience the better they understand God's mission for all people. I definitely believe every person, if given the opportunity and it's a part of God's plan, should have at least one cross-cultural experience.” Focht said she is looking forward to experiencing the cultures of each country. “I’m excited to eat. As silly as that sounds, I've always loved the Travel Channel and those types of shows because the food always intrigues me. Also getting to know the people in each country will be amazing,” she said. Although the girls are excited about experiencing new cultures and food, and forming new relationships with each other they are also eager for outreach opportunities that will present themselves. Reimer believes this will be the best year yet for that. He said he doesn’t say that to knock on any of the previous groups but he believes with each group that goes beforehand they pave a way for future groups. “God is moving in Asia,” said Reimer.