Westmont Magazine Westmont Goes South of the Boarder
When Westmont in Mexico (WIM) debuts next fall, students will immerse themselves in Mexican culture through home stays, coursework and field trips. At the same time, they will experience the benefits of a supportive Christian community, as a Westmont professor will lead the program. Participants will gain skills for effective cross-cultural living, experience ministry, and improve their Spanish language abilities. Since the program fulfills general education requirements, students from all majors may apply. Located in the beautiful, colonial city of Querétaro, WIM also includes integrated pre-departure, in-country, and re-entry training.
Mary Docter, professor of Spanish, is leading the inaugural program in 2004. Her husband, Eric, and their two children, Gabriel (8) and Isabel (3) will accompany her.
“I decided to take a risk and spend my junior year in college in Mexico City,” Docter says. “It was easily the best decision I ever made. That year abroad literally changed my life. I was forced to grow up fast, meet new people, experience a new culture, participate in a different type of worship, and I loved it!
“So much so, in fact, that upon graduation I moved back to Mexico (with only $300 and a bus ticket) and taught for a year in a bilingual elementary school. I think how different my life would be if I had missed that opportunity to study abroad.
“As leader of WIM, I want to help students discover for themselves the beauty of Mexico and its people. When we think of our neighbor to the south, many of us first envision impoverished border towns or Potter’s Clay ministries. My goal is to help students delve deeper and experience a more complex Mexico.”