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Earn credits abroad in the steps of Apostle Paul

Students with a penchant for travel can utilize a semester of their university career to create an indelible academic, personal and spiritual experience. The study abroad department can help arrange a semester abroad in more than 25 countries and 40 cities.

“Students get the opportunity to really come into their own, you really get closer to God because you’re away from influences that might distract you,” said Study Abroad Director Joann Allen.

Allen said 35 students will study overseas this summer, some earning up to 15 hours of transfer credit. The department offers programs during the fall and spring semesters as well.

Students can choose to journey through the footsteps of the Apostle Paul. This fall Edward Watson, Professor of Biblical Literature and Practical Theology, will take students on a trip from Athens to Rome.

“It will make all of these places that Paul wrote letters to come alive,” Watson said. “When you read the Bible you’ll be able to think about those places where Paul was, what he was dealing with, and what it was like. It will just change people’s lives; you’ll never read the Bible the same if you go.”

The trip takes students from Athens where Paul preached as recorded in Acts, to Corinth, Thessalonica and Philippi, eventually making their way to Rome, where Paul spent two years of his life in prison and wrote Romans. The trip also ventures to the ancient city of Pompeii, the Vatican, the catacombs and the Coliseum of Rome.

Twenty students are going on an Israel travel-study trip led by professor of Theological and Historical Studies Eric Newburg, among the many others traveling this summer.

Newburg said he organizes the Israel trip every other year. Students can earn up to six transfer credits through a three-week study arranged by Jerusalem University College.

Students who go to Israel come away with first-hand knowledge of the Bible and the cultures of Israel. Among other sites, students see the Jordan River, Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea.

Students often get to see more of the world than the specific country they are officially traveling to.

“Students come back and say it’s the best thing they ever did, because it’s easy to travel among the different countries, especially in Europe,” Allen said. “So it’s not like you just go to England and never leave England, you can leave on the weekends. Many of the programs are designed to run Monday through Thursday and they encourage you to travel.”

Finances can pose a challenge for students hoping to study abroad. Scholarships such as Whole Person don’t apply but most financial aid and government loans do apply to the programs.

The option to study elsewhere in America is also available for students.

“We don’t organize just study abroad, we send people to places here in the United States,” Allen said. “We have two people at the film institute in Los Angeles right now, and we send people to a program in Washington D.C., and for music majors we have a program in Nashville.”

For more information about the study abroad programs, visit Allen in the English and Modern Languages Department on GC 5, or email her at joallen@oru.edu.

Story by Jenny Young, Graphic by Xavier Gonzalez and Jesse Turner

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