Grace College Study Abroad Program Opens World to Student
Monday, February 13, 2017
Ian Ross, resident of Oswego, Ill., is a junior at Grace College studying world languages including biblical Hebrew, French and Spanish. He is currently studying in Dijon, France, for the spring semester where he will complete his bachelor degree immersed in French culture. “I am taking some language courses along with culture and civic classes, which include a contemporary history and French philosophy,” Ross said.
This is Ross’s second trip studying overseas while pursuing his bachelor degree at Grace College. Last fall, he was hosted by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) as he studied Spanish and cultural adaption in Costa Rica for 12 weeks. Grace has partnered with the CCCU to provide a broader selection of study abroad programs for its students.
Students studying languages, international business and international studies at Grace most often take advantage of study abroad programs. The opportunity to live and study immersed in another culture significantly adds to the depth and impact of their education. For Ross, study abroad experiences have refined and guided his decision on the career path to pursue after college. “I hope to work for a sustainably minded NGO [non-governmental organization], a non-profit or Christian ministry overseas. Long term, landing a job as an interpreter or translator between two or more languages is my ‘end game,’” he said. “I believe this to be a way I can serve the Lord and be part of the Church during my time on earth.”
Ross strongly encourages prospective students interested in languages to attend Grace. “You are never short of willing and helpful professors,” he said. “They prepare you for the experiences you will have abroad by encouraging self-initiative, creative problem-solving and humility.”
In addition to study abroad opportunities, all undergraduate programs at Grace include a mandatory cross-cultural field experience. Many students choose to fulfill this requirement through a Go Encounter trip to a variety of destinations including Brazil, Fiji, France, England, Germany, Japan, Romania, South Korea, Cambodia, Uganda, Ireland and many more. Grace’s faculty lead these seven-to-10-day trips on which students explore native cultures and serve the community.