NGU’s Study Abroad Experiences Offer Hands-on Learning
The BestSemester program is just one of the many ways that North Greenville University realizes its goal of providing students with an environment where they can realize their fullest potential as complete persons, developing intellectually, physically, socially, culturally, morally, and spiritually.
NGU believes that offering students an exceptional transformative Christian education occurs not only in the classroom, but also through a rich interaction of ideas, experiences, reflective practices, and relationships.
In other words, students learn not just by acquiring information, but by being immersed in new settings that create changed practices. And through its relationship with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), NGU is able to offer experiences likes these.
Much of the work of the CCCU consists of advancing Christian higher education through advocacy, professional development, and collaboration; however, it most directly transforms lives through its off-campus student programs.
CCCU’s BestSemester program offers member schools an affordable semester-abroad program for students who desire adventure and travels during their college experience.
“In all our programs, students are not only applying what they have already learned on campus in a new setting, but they [are also] exploring a new culture, meeting life-long friends, and gaining experiences that will help prepare them for their future career,” says Hannah Wasco, a representative for BestSemester.
Kelsey Rexroad, senior theatre major at NGU, recently completed a literature-focused study abroad program at Oxford through BestSemester. During summer 2016, Rexroad took two courses and received a total of six credits towards her degree.
“I have learned more about Austen and Gothic literature than I ever felt possible, and I am loving it,” Rexroad says. “This program is amazing.”
She chose Oxford, in particular, for a couple of reasons. Rexroad says that she needed a summer program and she always wanted to live in England.
“I think it’s important to broaden your horizons and see how other countries experience life. I have not only learned a lot [about literature], but also learned things about myself that I didn’t know,” she says. “Oxford is an incredible place, full of history and charm, and I’ve learned so much about our Christian heritage.”
Rexroad recommends that students interested in traveling abroad to begin planning for it early.
“I would start the process as soon as possible. Honestly, the sooner the better. The more time you have to prepare, the better off you will be,” she says.
When asked if she would recommend the BestSemester program to other students, here’s what Rexroad had to say:
“I definitely think they should take advantage of it. It is scary being on your own in a foreign country, but it’s also incredible! [I studied] at one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world,” says Rexroad.
In addition to the six-credit summer program, BestSemester provides a full credited semester experience (13 to 21 credit hours) in several programs and locations, based on each student’s major and interests.
Wasco says that the large selection of locations and course offerings are catered to fit almost any major. Some are very individualized, while other programs offer a larger variety of course options and complement a larger variety of majors.
Highlights of the program include the variety of programs, full academic credit, and internship and travel opportunities. The cost to students is even comparable to the cost of a semester on campus, with the option of financial aid.
BestSemester’s nine programs in eight locations all over the world include the following:
Australia – Christian Heritage College - The Australian Studies program offers students the opportunity to study in the urban environment of Brisbane, Australia.
China – Xiamen University - The BestSemester location in China gives students the chance to focus on China Studies or International Business.
Costa Rica – Latin American Studies Program - The Latin American Studies Program takes BestSemester students to Costa Rica, where they live with a host family and study Latin American cultures.
Jordan – Middle East Studies Program - The Middle East Studies program immerses students into the rich, ancient culture of Jordan. BestSemester students have the opportunity to learn about the roots of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
Los Angeles – L.A. Film Studies Center - The Los Angeles Film Studies Center is the location for BestSemester students interested in the film industry in Hollywood. Students have the opportunity to intern with agencies, write screenplays, act, produce, and direct.
Nashville – Contemporary Music Center – BestSemester gives students of faith looking to contribute to the music industry the chance to attend the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville.
Oxford – The University of Oxford – BestSemester in Oxford gives students the opportunity to experience Western European culture, while also studying at one of the most prestigious higher-education institutions in the world.
Uganda – Uganda Christian University – BestSemester offers students the chance to encounter the study of a unique culture with the Uganda Studies program.
Washington, D.C. – American Studies Program – The American Studies program gives students traveling with BestSemester the chance to study public policy and government first-hand.
NGU students interested in taking advantage of this life-transforming educational opportunity need to coordinate it into their academic schedule with their academic advisor. New students entering NGU in the fall should already be making plans now to integrate this experience into their college career.
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