Westmont in Northern Europe 2016
First-year students are ecouraged to apply.
Applications are available here
You'll learn like you never have before
Our learning will be active, integrated and experiential. Every activity and every encounter--from museum visits to shopping for groceries--will be an opportunity for learning. And expect your learning to touch all areas of your lives: your friendships, your spiritual growth, your recreation, as well as your intellectual lives.
We will explore issues of conflict and peacemaking and deepen our encounters with the places and cultures we visit through these courses:
- Studies in World Literature (4 units, Cheri Larsen Hoeckley)
- Philosophical Reflections on Conflict and Peacemaking in Modern Europe (4 units, Chris Hoeckley)
- Encountering the Cultures of England, Ireland and Germany (2 units, team taught)
- German Language (4 units)
- Exploring Wellness (1 unit PE)
These courses fulfill six General Education requirements: Thinking Globally; Reading Imaginative Literature; Philosophical Reflections on Reality, Knowledge and Value; Foreign Language; Communicating Cross-Culturally; Physical Education (one semester).
You will prepare for their semester abroad with a 1-unit seminar in spring 2016, and will have the chance to integrate their study-abroad experience into your on-campus experience with a 1-unit re-entry seminar in spring 2017.
You'll love our two fantastic extended-stay locations
Rostrevor, Northern Ireland. We will open and close the program with two several-week stays in the beautiful Northern Ireland countryside. Ireland--and especially Northern Ireland--has a long history of conflict, but peace has come in the last two decades, and reconciliation, though slow, is underway. We'll discover the beauty, the painful history and the emerging hope of this fascinating place.
Berlin, Germany. From its complete destruction at the close of WWII, through its rebuilding as a divided city symbolizing the cold-war conflict, Berlin has become one of Europe's most vibrant and beautiful cities and is unmatched addressing our themes of conflict and peacemaking.
In the midst of these extended stays, we will also travel to other locations that will broaden our learning: First World War battlegrounds in Belgium; Desden and Bratislava in Central Europe; Dublin, Belfast and the Irish coast in Ireland. You'll also have the chance for independent travel.
You'll discover how rich a Christian learning community can be.
We will eat, sleep, travel, learn, play and pray together for 15 weeks. We are bound to get close. That closeness can have its challenges. We're all very imperfect people and living and traveling cross-culturally can make those imperfections very obvious. But that closeness will also be an opportunity for new and deepened friendship, support, fun and spiritual growth.
You can expect to be stretched
Travel can be challenging, cross-cultural encounters can be challenging, language learning can be challenging, community can be challenging, academics can be challenging. But all of these will be opportunities to deepen your character. Most challenging of all, but also most exciting, might be the ways in which your faith is stretched as you encounter evangelical Christians from other cultures, Christians from outside the evangelical tradition, and people of other faiths. These encounters can be hard, as they raise questions about one's own faith. But time and again we have seen students come away with a wider vision of God's work in the world and of the breadth of God's love.
Dr. Cheri Larsen Hoeckley and Dr. Christian Hoeckley are veterans of five semester-abroad programs in Europe and the UK. Dr. Larsen Hoeckley teaches English, and specializes in Victorian literature and women writers. The influx of global voices, especially female voices, into literature in English in the 19th and 20th Centuries has led her to an increasing interest in global literature. Dr. Hoeckley directs the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts at Westmont and teaches philosophy. He has interests in philosophy of science and philosophy of religion, but more recently has turned his attention to exploring the possibility of just warfare in both secular and Christian thought.
Here's what they say motivates them for this semester:
We love leading semester-abroad programs especially for the close learning communities they foster. Our greatest pleasure in teaching is to see our students integrate their learning, faith and engagement with the world. We look forward to reading, games, lots of good conversation, worshipping with other Christians, and long walks to discover beautiful places.
We look forward to exploring with you Christ's call to be peacemakers.
Photo courtesy of Skydive Coastal California
Application deadline is October 22, 2015.
The program is aimed at sophomore-level students, so students who are in their first semester of college in fall 2015 are encouraged to apply. The program is also open to students who will be juniors and seniors in fall 2016, but priority in the selection process will not be determined by class standing.