Middle East

Dome and wire.JPG

Westmont in Jerusalem --running again Spring 2015 (Open to all majors)

Your home for spring semester will be the Middle East. You will study and explore the culture, traditions and history of the region, with a home base in the ancient and conflicted city of Jerusalem. In addition to field trips in the Jerusalem area, you will spend substantial time exploring the rest of Israel and the West Bank (Palestine), as well as three neighboring countries: Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Off-campus learning will include classroom lectures, field trips and site visits. We will benefit from the expertise of local guides, and enjoy official briefings, small-group discussions, field work, readings and always conversations—conversations with host families, professors, locals, in the street, in the marketplace. Whether you are in class, traveling, worshiping, playing, eating, you willl always be learning. The program will also include a number of service learning opportunities in cooperation with local agencies and organizations.

Courses: 16 units

RS104: Jesus in the Gospels and the Land (4 units) (plus elective for RS majors)
IS121: The Israel-Palestine Conflict (4 units)
PSY150: Cultural/Narrative Psychology (4 units) (plus elective for Psychology majors)
IS003: Introductory Arabic (3 units)
PEA034: Outdoor Education (1 unit)
AP191: Service Learning (0 units)
ANTICIPATED GE: Thinking Historically, Thinking Globally, Foreign
Language, Physical Education Activity, Serving Society

Westmont in Jerusalem Homepage

Middle East

WESTMONT in ISTANBUL: Spring Semester 2016


You can debate with your roommate whether Islam poses a global threat - or you can go to the heart of the Islamic world and find out.  You can wonder whether people in the Middle East want to live in a democracy - or you can ask them.  You can pray for peace in Israel and Palestine - or you can find out how to work for peace.  You can walk to chapel - or you can walk the Via Dolorosa. 

Hagia sophiaDuring this semester you will live in Istanbul, aka Constantinople, a city that is of the past and of the future, of grace and grit, of culture and politics, of faith and skepticism.  It is Eastern and Western, a modern megalopolis of 15 million people and one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  It is both cultural capital of a developing Asian country and Europe’s “city of culture” in 2010.  Istanbul’s skyline is punctuated by medieval mosques and minarets while swish modern cafes and bars dominate its street life. 

You will be encouraged to experience another culture from the inside, learning enough Turkish to navigate your way around the city and interact with Turks on a daily basis.  You will develop relationships with your neighbors and Turkish university students.   You will for a season become an urban person, and learn to be comfortable negotiating a foreign metropolitan landscape. 

You will also experience what it means to live in community in a new way.  Removed from familiar social, relational and religious support systems, all the while being confronted with some of the most challenging issues facing the world today, you will need to rely on each other.

You will travel extensively inside Turkey and take trips to Israel/Palestine and Cairo, Egypt. Westmont in Istanbul Homepage