Fall 2020 Europe Semester
What is Europe Semester?
Europe Semester couples intensive study with first-hand experience of the places and people that have shaped European history and cultures. You will travel widely, read, research, and write extensively, and learn from experts and everyday people from across Europe. Your courses will fulfill Common Inquiries requirements from Westmont's General Education program, but your academic experience will be much more than meeting requirements. You will discover new perspectives, wrestle with challenging questions, and see abstract ideas embodied in real people's lives, all while being a part of a small, Christian learning community.
Learning from books and lectures is important, but a study abroad program allows you to also learn on site. World War II comes alive when you are standing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, or in the Churchill war Rooms, or in Auschwitz. Imaging talking with living veterans of the Warsaw uprising. Learn about art, not just from pictures in a book but from standing in the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum or the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. Understand the impacts of technology in Europe as you see cathedrals, bridges, and museums.
And Fall 2020's version of Europe Semester will also include time in Israel/Palestine, where you can see Scriptures come alive as you walk the places biblical events happened and perhaps just begin to see the complexity of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by talking directly with people of both communities.
Europe Semester can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Travel is exciting, but can also be tedious. A close community is supportive in hard times, but can also test our patience. Study deepens our experience, but can also limit our freedom to see iconic sites. These very challenges, however, often bring the greatest growth-- personally, intellectually, and spiritually. We hope you'll share these opportunities and challenges with us.
We begin in England, a foreign country but with a familiar language, so as to acclimate being abroad. Our ten days there will focus on London and Oxford.
We then go on to France for both the Normandy Beach region as well as Paris.
After time in the Netherlands, we move on to Germany and begin the central European portion of the program that will include time in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Austria.
Then we head south into Italy (Venice, Florence and Rome) with a brief stopover in Athens, Greece.
Our final 2 1/2 weeks will be in Israel/Palestine, with Jerusalem University College as home base. Intense day-trips throughout the region will hopefully allow us to get a brief glimpse into the complex history and conflict there.
Anticipated to satisfy GE Understanding Society .
Anticipated to satisfy GE Working Artistically .
Anticipated to satisfy GE Thinking Historically .
Anticipated to satisfy GE Thinking Globally.
Kenneth Kihlstrom has taught at Westmont for 35 years, led three previous Europe Semesters ('08, '11, '15), and been named NBS Division Teacher of the Year three times. He has a passion for World War II as well as the role technology has played in improving the lives of people world-wide and impacting the flow of history. But his real love is to see a community of students grow and learn together as they travel across Europe and Israel/Palestine forming a tight-knit group while their hearts and minds are changed by what they see and who they meet.
Gabriel Fawcett is a 1998 Oxford History grad, then worked for the BBC news in London, and has since spent 15 years as a cultural and historical guide throughout Europe, teaching art and history courses. He has been a consultant for film-makers and authors, and never stops discovering beautiful places and collections, nor garnering material for his historical sense of humor. There are few professional guides in Europe who can match his breadth of experience and preparation for making each excursion a genuine adventure.
Cyndi Parker holds a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies from the University of Gloucestershire, and teaches in churches, universities, and seminaries around the world. Cyndi lived in Jerusalem for five years teaching at Jerusalem University College about the geographical, cultural, religious, and political context of the Bible. Cyndi continues to develop innovative educational programs to the Middle East, seeking to inspire students of all ages through experiential education. With connections to people in the Israeli, Palestinian, Bedouin, and Druze communities, she uses conversations and experiences to shed light on the complicated issues embedded in the Israel/Palestine conflict.
Westmont 2020-21 semester tuition, room, board, and a program surcharge no greater than $4000, plus round trip airfare.
Faculty leaders take into consideration all of the following:
- Class standing
- GPA (minimum 2.3 GPA for eligibility) and no student life sanctions
- Application essays
- Faculty and personal recommendations