By Sarah Carlson, Staff Writer
Students studying abroad this semester are getting an interactive take on learning.
Kevin Kehl, associate director of the Center for International and Intercultural Education, said the students are taking planned excursions as part of the curriculum, with the destinations usually tying in with their course work.
Josh Harris, sophomore Bible major from Parker, is studying abroad in Oxford and said in an e-mail the hours he is taking are the most interactive he has ever had.
“Just this week,” Harris said, “we discussed in class Bede, the formation of the English Church and Caedmon – and on Thursday and Friday went to the places where Bede wrote, Caedmon sang and the earliest roots of the English Church took shape.”
Kehl said the Oxford students recently went to York, England, and other trips are usually taken to Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath.
The Montevideo students recently traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will go to Iguazo Falls in March.
Kehl said the semester is going well in both locations.
ACU currently has 35 students in Oxford, England, the largest number ever in one semester, and eight students in Montevideo, Uruguay. Lipscomb University has five students in Montevideo through the program as well.
Harris said everyone in Oxford is “getting along famously.”
“There is a heart of worship in our group that has made this trip one that I will always remember,” Harris said. “There is a general attitude of thankfulness that everyone who is here has come, for we know that each person contributes something to the group.”
Harris said studying abroad has had a large impact on his life and the way he views the world, helping him grow as a person.
“The way I think about things has changed dramatically,” Harris said. “Living in Europe is great, and it makes me wonder if the United States is, in fact, the only place worth inhabiting in this wide, wide world. I don’t think it is.”
Harris encourages students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.
“This is a once in a lifetime chance you don’t want to miss,” he said.
Harris said the “communal nature” of the Study Abroad Program has been a main contributor to his personal growth. He said living in two houses with forty students and faculty while sharing 10 computers and two phones is a challenge that “teaches you what dying to yourself is.”
“Living with my teachers is certainly a different experience,” Harris said. “I don’t think I can say that one of my teachers [at school] has ever seen me in my boxers one day and graded one of my papers the next.”