Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ongoing Transformation—Global Education

They’ve just returned from places like Italy, Peru and Uganda. Their eyes have been opened to the needs of people in Kampala and the politics of communities as far away as Beijing. Coming back to campus after studying abroad brings much value to our student body. From the insights students add to the classroom discussion, to praying for people and nations in bread groups, to a clear increase in maturity of their worldview, study abroad is central to Gordon’s mission of preparing leaders—which is another reason Gordon allows financial aid packages to travel with our students. “Through this wide variety of exploration, Gordon students experience significant transformation in their spiritual, intellectual and theological understandings of the world,” said Cheryl DeLuca, a student care and recruitment administrator in Gordon’s Global Education Office.

The Office of Global Education prepared a reentry program recently for all students returning from global study and summer missions projects. The program encourages students to engage with the student body and faculty about their travel abroad experiences. From small resident hall gatherings to a special global education panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, associate professor of political science, students have many opportunities to discuss where they studied and how it’s impacted them as Christians and scholars. Returning students from study abroad will also attend a president’s reception hosted by D. Michael Lindsay later in the semester.

Gordon’s global education program assists around 150 students a year on semester abroad programs and another 100 on shorter, faculty-led, academic, international seminars. Alumni, fellow students and parents can follow comments and updates from students abroad on the Global Education Facebook page, offering encouragement and praying for students as they share their journey.

Our alumni repeatedly comment on the significant impact global study had on their undergraduate experience. To view a few of these reflections, the Office of Global Education invites you to watch a video featuring some recent graduates.

Photo: Gordon students at the recent reentry program held annually at the Rolling Ridge Conference Center. Students from year-long, semester-long and short-term study abroad programs, as well as some students back from summer missions, attended the two-day course as part of the Global Understanding core.

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