By Anna Meyer
College is known to be the best time in one’s life to travel and experience the world. There is nothing to tie one down and the opportunities are endless.
Next year Bethany professors will be leading three different international trips to help strengthen those student horizons.
Professor Dr. Jennifer Wosmek will be leading a trip to China and Professor Bill Bukowski will take a group to Italy during spring break of 2018, while Professor Adie Harstad and Dr. William Kessel will host a trip to Greece and Norway in May/June of 2018.
The trip to China led by Dr. Wosmek is part of a three-credit (overload exempt) class.
This trip was taken just last year and is highly encouraged by student Olivia Lippert who had an amazing experience.
Some of her personal highlights of the trip included tobogganing down the Great Wall of China, visiting a Wu-Mart (their form of Wal-Mart) in Beijing, a full-day train ride across the country, new kinds of food, drinks and spontaneously dancing with the Chinese women in a plaza in Zhuhai.
“I learned there really isn’t a “right way” and a “wrong way” to do most things,” Lippert said. “Just different ways, and those differences make the world a very interesting place. I learned that when you embrace differences, try strange things and are open to new ideas, you have a ton of fun.”
The art department is hosting the trip to Italy as a part of a three-credit course called “Masterpieces of the Western Tradition.” Stops include Venice, Florence, Rome, and side trips to Ravenna, Orvieto, Assisi and Pompeii.
Students will be expected to keep a journal, write a reflection paper and for eight weeks before the trip attend a night class with writings and tests. It is open to all Bethany students, not just artists or art majors.
Professor Bukowski and his wife will serve as the chaperones and tour guides. This will be the 11th BLC art department trip that was started in 1997.
“Italy is kind of a magical country with ancient stones and amazing spaces,” Bukowski said. “We study and see “in person” masterpieces of Greek, Roman, Early Christian, Renaissance and Baroque art, Italian culture and how they influenced Western culture. It also includes the history and development of art in the Christian Church.”
Professor Harstad and Dr. Kessel’s trip to Greece and Norway will highlight Athens, Delphi and Olympia in Greece and Oslo, Haugesund and Bergen in Norway.
“We want all our fellow travelers, be they clergy or lay, young or old, to visit biblical sites and review the sacred history that took place in those locales,” Kessel said. “In addition to spiritual growth, we try to instill in our fellow travelers a love of lifelong learning.”
Not only will Bethany and seminary students get the opportunity to travel with this group, but they will also be joined by pastors, laymen and people from all walks of life.
This is the seventh trip that Bethany will take to Greece, but Kessel says seeing the travelers and students experience everything for the first time makes it worthwhile.
“If you ask just about any of our fellow travelers about their experience,” Kessel said, “they will tell you the Bible came alive and they came to know the Savior better than before.”
Each of these trips will serve as a learning experience for students not only in their life here on earth, but their spiritual life as well. These trips will encourage students in their faith and try to bring them closer to their Savior through the opportunities they’ll enjoy.
Why not sign up for one of the adventures Bethany has to offer? There’s college credit to take advantage of, foreign places to explore and memories to be made that will last a lifetime.