Middle East

Jerusalem

WESTMONT IN JERUSALEM: Spring 2019

Why not make Jerusalem your home for spring semester, 2019? Why not become so familiar with the Holy City that you have your own hangouts and favorite foods, know shopkeepers by name, and anticipate the city’s rhythms—on Friday (Muslims), Saturday(Jews) and Sunday (Christians)? Why not experience the city’s many cultures, study its tangled history and marvel at its rich traditions? Why not let “Israel” and “Palestine” become for you real places full of real people? Why not let your eyes be opened to see, and to understand, the painful struggle between Jews and Palestinians?

Westmont in Jerusalem 2019 willl use Jerusalem as home base, but we will explore the rest of Israel and the West Bank as well, and journey to nearby Jordan, Egypt and Southern Spain. We will make discoveries in the classroom but also during field trips and site visits. We will learn from local guides and official briefings; we will dive into small-group discussion, conduct fieldwork, and pour over books; and we will delight in rich conversation—with host families, professors, and locals in the street, the café, the marketplace. Whether we are in class, traveling, worshiping, playing, eating, serving local agencies—we will always be learning. Westmont in Jerusalem 2019 will be rich in challenges and rewards. Travel will be exciting but sometimes exhausting. Our close community will be supportive but may test your patience. Readings and lectures will enrich our travels but they will also limit personal freedoms. The very things that challenge us also cause the greatest growth—personally, intellectually, and spiritually. So. . . why not?

VISIT the Westmont in Jerusalem for more detailed information or continue below for answers to the most commonly asked questions.

ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS

1. What countries will we visit?

The program will focus on Israel/Palestine, with a substantial excursion to Jordan, Egypt and Southern Spain.

2. Will the program include cultural immersion?

Yes! As much as possible during our travels, we will find ways to get to know people from various cultures. We will stay in small, family-run hotels, hostels, family homes, agricultural communities, and even Bedouin tents. We will meet people in churches, mosques, synagogues, shops, universities, a theater, the marketplace. Our study of conversational Arabic will help us listen and speak wherever we travel.

Jesus Road

 

3. How many credits will I earn?

16 units, divided between Religious Studies,Interdisciplinary Studies, Foreign Language and PE.

4. What courses will I take?

  • RS104: Jesus in the Gospels and the Land (4 units) (This can count as an elective for RS majors/minors.)
  • IS129: Culture and Society: Israel and Palestine (4 units) (This can count as an elective for Political Science)
  • RS 165: Religions in Context: Judaism & Islam (4 units) (This can count as an elective for RS majors/minors.)
  • IS003: Introductory Arabic (3 units)
  • PEA034: Outdoor Education (1 unit)
  • AP191: Service Learning (0 units)

5. What General Education requirements does the program fulfill?

The program will satisfy six GE requirements: Thinking Historically; Understanding Society; Thinking Globally; Foreign Language; Physical Education Activity; and Serving Society.

6. Who are the program leaders?

Professor Bruce Fisk, Religious Studies. As leader of six previous Middle East programs (between 2004 and 2017) and many months of travel in the region, Professor Fisk is eager to introduce students to Jesus in the Gospels and in the world of 1st century Roman Judea. Author of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus (2011), he thinks the Land works like a Fifth Gospel that sheds valuable light on the other Four. He also thinks Western Christians won’t understand the modern Middle East until they meet Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, for themselves, listen to their stories and share their lives. He loves hiking, late night conversations, lively debate, music and sweet Arab tea.

Alessandra Abusada, Assistant Director. After a business career in Peru, Alessandra moved to Bethlehem, her grandparents’ hometown, where she learned Hebrew and Arabic, studied the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict, earned a graduate degree from Hebrew University, and met her husband, Bruce. She is a gifted polyglot (7 languages so far) who loves Palestinian cuisine, long walks, and even longer documentaries. farmer in Israel

7. Will the program be physically demanding?

We are excited about cultural and geographical immersion, not mere surface exposure. This will mean not only home stays but also close-to-the-ground experiences: lots of outdoor learning, walking tours, short hikes, a multi-day hike in the Galilee, another one in the West Bank, camel-riding in the Jordanian desert, and (water-level permitting) a day of rafting on the Jordan River. We use public transportation whenever possible ( more authentic but less comfortable than tourist buses) and encourage you to travel light. (Backpacks only.) We build in rest days, of course, but the program will probably be more physically demanding than most off-campus programs.

Galilee

8. Who should apply?

You, if you are passionate about learning, eager for adventure, and ready to move outside your comfort zone. The program won't privilege a particular major.Juniors and seniors rank above sophomores BUT this is not the only consideration. (We’d prefer a hard-working sophomore to a lazy senior!) The ideal student for this program is curious (eager to learn, adventurous, full of questions, open to other perspectives), hard-working (willing to join a learning community, share your experiences, pull your weight), and flexible (willing to adapt and flex for the group, and to the cultures where we are living). If all this gets you excited, Westmont in Jerusalem may be fore you. But please read the following warning from the Surgeon General.

WARNING: This Semester Includes Experiences Known To Cause Deep Thought, Meaningful Debate, And Substantial Damage to Unfounded Assumptions and Pat Answers.

9. When should I apply?

Applications are available here or from the Off Campus Programs office. They are due back to the Off Campus Programs office by Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 5pm. You will hear word of your acceptance by spring break, on Friday, March 9. You will need to confirm by submitting a form with a $500.00 deposit by Tuesday, April 2.

10. How much will it cost?

The cost of the program matches the cost of a semester on Westmont’s campus (tuition, fees, room and board). This includes all program expenses (flights, transportation, accommodation, courses, admissions, tours, supplemental insurance), with one exception: students are separately responsible for travel costs from the U.S. to Madrid, and home from Madrid after the program is over.

jerusalem

WESTMONT IN CAIRO: Spring 2018

MAKE YOUR WORLD BIGGER. 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 also find out how to work for peace.

CairoDuring this semester you will live in Cairo, a developing world megalopolis, pulsating with energy, people and life. Heart of the Arab World, Cairo is, in the words of the medieval traveler Ibn Battuta, um al dunya, mother of the world.

You will be encouraged to experience another culture from the inside, studying Arabic, navigating your way around the city and interacting with Egyptians on a daily basis. You will develop relationships with your neighbors and Egyptian 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. Destionations include Cairo, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine.

Formore details and information, visit Westmont In Cairo homepage


WESTMONT IN ISTANBUL: Spring Semester 2016 (2020 tentative)

EAST MEETS WESTMONT. 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

Middle East Studies Program, Jordan (CCCU)

Located in Amman, Jordan, the Middle East Studies Program (MESP) will immerse you in 6,000 years of history. You’ll study the region’s diverse religious, social, cultural and political landscape while engaging with the people, values and traditions of the Middle East. In addition to studies, home stays, service projects, site activities, and cultural experiences are included. This program iis an affiliate prgram and requires that you first sumbit an application to the office of Off Campus Programs. For full information and answers to common questons, please visit the program website at www.bestsemester.com/locations-and-programs/middle-east.