MISHAWAKA - One of the many opportunities that students have while attending Bethel University is to take a semester abroad. These trips allow students to learn about and experience new cultures while they study. At the start of spring semester, five Bethel students left the United States for their study abroad trips. Four of the students were on a team that went to South Africa while the other student traveled to the United Kingdom.
In South Africa, the team took a class where they learned about ministry and the life of Jesus. The class helped to prepare the students for the second half of their trip where they traveled to different ministries to put into action the things they learned, according to student Allison Nicholas. A few of the team members said that they decided to go on this trip for broadened perspective and experience with new cultures and people.
Italy Kokonaing (aka, ZZ) said that for him a big part of the trip was learning the value of being stripped of your own comforts and culture and bonding with other cultures. He also said he experienced personal growth through this trip specifically in areas of culture and racial identity. Kokaning and Abbie Suiter said they struggled with the racial segregation they saw. Both students also said they dealt with culture shock when they returned to the United States and were thankful for their teammates.
Unlike the students who went to South Africa, Hannah Mihut went on her semester abroad by herself. She traveled to the United Kingdom to study philosophy and English at Oxford. Mihut said this opportunity to study abroad played a large part in her choice to attend Bethel University. She was able to choose what she studied, and her experience was focused on personal learning. Mihut did not just study during her time abroad; she was also able to sightsee and travel.
All the students spoke highly of their experiences abroad and they highly recommended that every student who can study abroad should take the opportunity.