Some of our students returning this spring are processing the most life-changing experience they have had. They’ve been exposed to people, places, and thoughts that they hadn’t ever imagined through studying abroad. The number of students who do this at Bethel is significant and it is a distinctive trait that enriches our community– especially if we engage in their stories.
Maybe you have been on some of those trips or know students who have come back transformed and understand what is happening. Maybe you haven’t and you want to better understand their experience.
What if you want to share these experiences with your class? What if you want to encourage more students to do this? Here are some ways to hear those voices:
Invite one of the Global Ambassadors, a group of eight Bethel students in the Office of Off-Campus Programs/International Studies who share their experiences of study abroad, to speak to your class.
Kelly Russell, who went to Europe Term-Communication in Fall 2013, explains that she and her fellow ambassadors “are passionate about helping other students take advantage of the study abroad opportunities available to them. We know first-hand that studying abroad enhances one’s global perspective, spiritual maturity, cultural understanding, life skills, and career calling.”
The other global ambassadors are:
- Jordan Bardwell (Business) – Rome, Italy (Spring 2014)
- Taylor Bothun (Spanish Education) – Segovia, Spain (Fall 2013)
- Katie Chapin (Sociocultural Studies) – Pune, India (Spring 2014)
- Megan Hallstrom (Elementary Ed/TESL) – Quito, Ecuador (Spring 2014)
- Billie Ingalls (Communication) – Europe Term-Communication (Fall 2013)
- Jocelyn Johnson (Youth Ministry) – Mukono, Uganda (Spring 2014)
- Lauren Underland (Biokinetics) – Nicosia, Cyprus (Spring 2014)
Ambassadors can be contacted to come to your class at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study Abroad Photo Contest Award Winners
Two of the global ambassadors (Katie Chapin and Megan Hallstrom) were awarded the Study Abroad Photo Award, and the entire collection of entries can be viewed in the Beyond Bethel collection. The student photographs are all beautiful and interesting, and some of the reflections reveal significant moments of growth.
Study Abroad Presentations in the Library
Students also share poignant, compelling , and funny stories while presenting their study abroad experiences in the University Library. Their stories of learning about new cultures, meeting new friends and finding new insights on their faiths, countries and families are touching, encouraging and challenging. All the previous Study Abroad Spotlight presentations are available to watch in the Community Video Collection.
What are some ways you have found to engage the stories from study abroad experiences? How have these experiences supported service learning or learning in general in your courses?