Immersion Trips Provide Exciting Learning Opportunitiesby Jim Amidon • March 18, 2003
Ben Faraone traveled through Turkey with his religion class
The initial stories have provided concrete proof that these excursions – which immerse students and teachers in a culture – add enormous value to a student’s liberal arts education.
From Western Turkey we’ve heard several wonderful stories. While on a guided tour of an archeological site in Ephesus closed to the general public, the tour guide actually discovered some Roman coins a couple of thousand years old.
Not be outdone, Wabash senior Chris Buresh shocked his classmates and the tour guide when he unearthed the hand of a statue believed to be 2,000 years old. He promptly turned it over to officials at the site of the dig. Certainly no classroom experience in Crawfordsville could equal the excitement of making such a rare find.
Wabash senior Ron Kelsey was part of the religion class that studied ancient Christian sites in Turkey. Kelsey, who last week was profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education, is one of a growing number of undergraduates who are reservists prepared to be called up if war breaks out in the Middle East.
Kelsey and some of his classmates were at a Turkish bar, where a group of Turkish men approached the young Americans to inquire if any were members of the U.S. Army. Kelsey proudly stood up, showed his military ID, and was quickly cheered and high-fived by the Turks. It turns out that all Turkish men are required to serve in the army, and so they admired and respected Kelsey for his fighting spirit.
The two groups then got into a lively debate on American foreign policy, conversations and opinions that will stay with the Little Giants long after their return to campus.
|Wabash students witnessed a protest by angry dockworkers in Strasbourg|
It’s hard to imagine how students studying the politics and economics of the European Union could have a better learning opportunity than this: standing as witnesses to policies that have real impact on the lives of workers on the docks.
Finally, we’ve heard that the Wabash Glee Club’s tour of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas has been a smashing success. The group performed for alumni functions, at schools, and at churches.
Jason Morales and his temporary dentist Dr. Conrad Casler
Indeed, these trips – whether Immersion Learning trips as a part of a class or the tour of the Glee Club – provide incredible opportunities to extend Wabash’s mission, which is to educate young men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.