There are seemingly endless opportunities for students at Wesleyan to travel abroad and visit foreign countries.

Wesleyan Students have an opportunity to study abroad, many programs across the disciplines offer students with an overseas travel component to travel to foreign countries with courses in religion, humanities, languages, music, fine art, and business. Offering students with a global and an eye-opening experience for both graduate and undergraduate students, study abroad trips dates may vary, but they occur every semester.

In the last five years Wesleyan has offered these trips to India, Ireland, England, France, Spain, Nepal, Guatemala, Brazil, China, Australia, Dubai, Greece. and Turkey.

Taking one of these trips  is a life-changing experience, according to several students who have made the trip.

. Traveling to another country, students are able to see and learn about cultures in ways they could not learn from a book, and their view of the world will be expanded.

“Students will have monumental moments in their life, the way they will look at the world will never be the same again.” said Dr. Kendra Irons, associate professor of religion and philosophy.

Students often make friendships with other students in the way they could not in a classroom. Students traveling do not lose sight of their values but will expand them in most international settings.

Traveling to another country will not just give students a perspective of a country, but it will help some of them with their language acquisition. In many cases, it makes students appreciate what they have and they can enjoy life more after visiting such countries as Costa Rica.

“It will also open up the way you see the world, you appreciate what you have, but you miss aspects of the culture that you visited,” said Dr. Amy Bell, associate professor of Spanish

As students travel to another country they may learn more about their own cultures as well as the ones they are interacting with abroad.

Many students want to travel abroad, but they sometimes back out and try to duplicate this trip on their own when they have a little more money. Doing that in some cases will be more expensive than going on a college trip.

“It really is not a life-shaping experience,” said Dr. Mark Hanshaw, associate professor of religious studies who has traveled to more than 50 countries, “but it is an experience that cannot be duplicated by an individual. It’s a valuable experience.”

Because these trips have specialized experiences that people often cannot do on their own.

One example is when Hanshaw had a group in 2010 who got invited to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday in Dharamsala, India. This is not something that any individual on the street can enter, and students had to have an invitation to enter, so it was a very unique experience in Wesleyan studies abroad.

This spring there is a group of students who are going to France and Spain and another group going to Ireland. For the summer trips are planned for Ecuador, Costa Rica, and London, England. In spring 2015 are not yet formally approved, but the trips could go to Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia.

For those interested in taking a trip, information is available at the Wesleyan International Office. The front desk has updates about any available trips, signing up for the classes on the trips and costs.

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1 Comment

  1. Ms. Kevynsinead Eowyn Michiru Keathley
    April 26, 2014 at 8:24 am — Reply

    I went with Dr. Hanshaw to India in 2010. Unfortunately, it was raining hard and I wasn’t able to see the Dalai Lama’s birthday. But I did meet the Karmapa, and that was enlightening. He’s right when he said it wasn’t a life-shaping experience to go there. It’s a beautiful country. But I had studied Hinduism from tenth grade to his classes much later on. Thus, going to India was more interesting insofar as I met people and took pictures of nature. That was transcendental. But it was no different from America. Both are transcendental countries, albeit with different cultures. But as a Hindu I love both. Culture, gender, race, etc. are social constructions. The beauty is when Americans and Indians and all peoples interact and learn about each other. 🙂

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