Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cultural Immersion Experiences—Gordon in Orvieto

Gordon in Orvieto is a flagship study abroad program for students at Christian colleges and universities across the country. It offers a rich experience in the arts and culture of premodern Europe. John Skillen, director of the program, recently contributed to a new book that explores programs “from globally engaged Christians through cultural immersion experiences.” The book is called Transformations at the Edge of the World: Forming Global Christians through the Study Abroad Experience. “I have so appreciated John’s careful and philosophical approach to crafting the Orvieto program so that every experience there—from classroom to living situation to sharing meal-points—works toward an important cultural learning experience,” said Cliff Hersey, dean for global education. “Students in Orvieto are never allowed to be merely ‘tourists’ looking in from the outside of community, but are invited (maybe forced at times) to become part of the Italian community itself, representing the best of what we mean by global understanding. Gordon in Orvieto’s enrollment averages 15–18 students each semester. The spring 2010 semester was full—with 24 students applied, seven from schools at other Christian colleges and universities.

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