Tales From Abroad: Germany Nov28

Tales From Abroad: Germany...

My experience abroad was a truly unforgettable experience. I had the enriching opportunity to venture to Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, and England all in one amazing 7 week experience. While I was in England, I even had the awesome chance to spend a couple days with one of my best friends from high school whom I haven’t seen in 3 years.  Although the trip was a total blast, it wasn’t all fun and games.  I took two 3 credit hour classes in those 7 weeks, Global Healthcare and Christianity in Culture.  Global Healthcare opened my eyes to the  several different ways in which countries have set up their healthcare systems.  It was an important educational experience for me as I pl an to plunge into the US healthcare system. I enjoyed working in many different types of clinics.  The doctors made many comments about how impressed they were with our attitudes and helpfulness.  I also believe it was a wonderful experience due to the fact that I may, one day, venture out into other healthcare systems as a missionary doctor. Christianity in Culture was an enlightening Bible course where we discussed many current issues and how we can apply the Bible to these issues.  It was a very interesting course that challenged me and my thought process on many of the main topics of today. One of my favorite experiences from the time was when we were privileged to attend a missionary house church there in Leipzig.  We were blessed to be able to sit down and worship with several Germans and the missionary family there.  They expressed to us how encouraging it was for them to be able to fellowship with Americans after spending so much time in a culture different from their own.  It was truly a blessing to be with them and be able to learn from their...

Tales From Abroad: A Summer in Germany Nov22

Tales From Abroad: A Summer in Germany...

This past summer I studied abroad in Leipzig, Germany and traveled to other nearby countries over a period of two months. During this time I experienced a culture that was much different from my own. Besides the obvious language barriers that I encountered, I immersed myself in a culture that was much quieter and more relaxed. When you approach people in Germany it is not customary to engage in any type of “small talk” as we would in Texas. It would be considered irritating and impersonal. I thought this was interesting, because this way of talking to strangers is common in the Lone Star State. It made me think about what it actually meant for a person to ask another how they were doing. If a German were to ask you how you were, it would be because they truly wanted to know. This experience made me realize that being intentional about your conversations is something that should be treasured by Americans. This is not to say that “small talk” should not exist, but that we should have true interest in the people we talk with whether they are a stranger or not. One of the more interesting opportunities I had in Leipzig was being able to shadow medical professionals in a hospital and other private practices. Here I was able to observe the differences between the German healthcare system and the healthcare system of the United States. With higher taxes than the United States, the Germans are provided “free” healthcare by the government; this is not the only difference, but one of the major ones. The German hospitals seemed to be more technologically advanced compared to hospitals in America as well. Doctors use ultrasound technology for almost anything, which is not as common here....

Tales From Abroad: Germany Nov03

Tales From Abroad: Germany...

My trip to Germany has taught me much about German culture, but also about teaching ESL children. Teaching in the German schools was a difficult experience! I could hardly communicate with them while teaching the lesson because of the language barrier. The best thing to do was learn key words to my lesson and to use hand signals to get my point across. I’ve learned that teaching ESL children can be difficult, but there are benefits! The children learned vocabulary very quickly, and they would incorporate the English words into their day. Through teaching these German children I’ve gained experience and knowledge with teaching ELL. In the Education program, we often talk about how the American education program can improve. I agree, especially after visiting the German schools. The children are responsible for themselves and their own learning! The students can talk in the halls, travel from class to class on their own, have lunch and recess without much supervision. The children have short days and many recess breaks. Less stress is put on the teachers, which I believe allows them to teach to their full potential. I think that if the American schools adapted some of the German schools’ ideas that the American schools could thrive! Traveling around Germany and France showed me how different European culture is from American culture! I loved the different architecture, and the unique food. I, as well as our group, struggled with following all the German “rules”. Germans are quiet in public places, yet we were used to talking loud and laughing! That was a hard part of the culture to follow in to. I have heard that Europeans are rude people, but I did not experience this while abroad. Most people I encountered were kind and...

Honors College Masquerade Oct31

Honors College Masquerade...

To celebrate the Halloween season, honor students attended the annual Honors College Masquerade. At this event, students enjoyed a special showing of the Adams Family at the historic Paramount Theater, a costume contest, and free refreshments. This unique event allowed students to show off their creativity, enjoy time with friends and honors faculty, and and take a much needed break from the busy semester!...

Tales From Abroad: The Christian and the Slave Oct25

Tales From Abroad: The Christian and the Slave...

“During my time on the streets of New York I was abused, shot, stabbed, raped, kidnapped, trafficked, beaten, addicted to drugs, jailed, and more all before I was 18 years old” (Smith, 2012). This was the brutal reality of eight years of Barba Amaya’s life and, unfortunately, she is far from being alone. Approximately 4.5 million people are victims of sexual exploitation, accounting for 22% of all human trafficking victims (“21 million people,” 2012) That leaves over 16 million other people who are victims of forced labor exploitation (“21 million people,” 2012). Sex and labor trafficking are the two categories of human trafficking, which is defined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation” (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, n.d.). Many Americans believe that human trafficking is only in other countries, but Barba’s story reveals that is simply untrue and the issue is closer to home than we may think. The Polaris Project estimates that the total number of victims in the United States ranks in the hundreds of thousands (“The Facts,” 2015). I believe if more people knew how many victims were in the same country, state, and even city, they would be more likely to rise to action. While I think we should always be looking to care for those overseas, it seems we are more likely to act when the issue is occurring in our own backyard. Even more crucial to the call to action is hearing personal testimonies. Some of the most sobering focus on what happens when the victim does not...

Tales From Abroad: Leipzig Oct14

Tales From Abroad: Leipzig...

Over the corse of the last 7 weeks, I had one of the most unforgettable times of my life. During this time, I had the wonderful opportunity of participating in ACU’s Study Abroad program in Leipzig, Germany. Through this program, I traveled through numerous cities in Germany and through various countries including Hungary, Slovakia, The Czech Republic, and England. I got to see an unbelievable number of things and experience some of the most incredible food and people this world has to offer. In addition to this, I took two courses over in Germany which were Christianity in Culture and Global Healthcare. Not only did these courses further allow me to expand my understanding of Christianity and healthcare systems, I was able to do so in an environment that enabled me to learn and understand more than I could elsewhere. Some of the most incredible experiences in my life were had through this program. I had the opportunity to attend the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London and stand in the famous queue to enter the tournament grounds. I also got to go to Budapest in Hungary and embrace the deep and rich history of that city. Aside from all of this, every place I went I had a new experience in the form of food. No matter where I traveled, the food stood out as one of the most unique and memorable experiences over the course of the whole trip. From the schnitzel in Germany, to the lángos in Hungary, each meal presented a new opportunity to be immersed in an unfamiliar culture. However, the ability to travel abroad would not have been possible without the travel grant offered from the honors college. I would like to thank them for the opportunity to have...

Tales From Abroad: Summer in Germany Oct10

Tales From Abroad: Summer in Germany...

This summer I spent seven weeks in Leipzig, Germany learning through course work and being fully engaged in a foreign culture. I learned how to travel with a group of girls, how to interact with people who don’t speak the same language as me, and how important it is to love on all people, regardless of their background, ethnicity, or race. One of the most meaningful experiences I had while in Germany was our group trip to a concentration camp, Buchenwald. Going into this trip I knew it was going to be difficult, but it honestly blew me away. Being in the midst of one of the most heartbreaking and cruel things that has ever happened in this broken world gave me a new perspective on the suffering that took place not all that long age. I was able to see the pain and torture that happened durig this time in a way that my imagination had not previously allowed me to. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but walking through the place where the blood and tears of thousands and thousands of people fell is an experience that cannot be replicated. One of the most beautiful things about Germany is the way they are honoring the devastation that happened here during the Holocaust. Everywhere you look in this country you are met with beauty and sorrow. You might see a beautiful field of flowers only to be reminded that you are in the middle of one of the biggest concentration camps of World War II. The old, beautiful buildings with architecture that will never be seen again are only halfway intact because of the bombings during the war. But in the midst of the juxtaposition of beauty and sorrow, there is a sense...

Tales From Abroad: Oxford Sep30

Tales From Abroad: Oxford...

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Oxford, England for a month! It was my first time overseas and it could not have been better! It was amazing to be able to experience another culture. They talk differently, dress differently, and eat differently. One of the coolest experiences I had was at St. Aldates church in Oxford. It was really moving to see people on the other side of the world worshiping the same God. I was also fortunate enough to make some new friends on the trip. I will forever cherish the late nights and the early flights. We took a group excursion to France, and we got to see Paris and Normandy. This was my first time in a country where the people don’t speak English. It was a challenge, but a fun one. I will remember Paris for the rest of my life. The amount of history and beauty that is there is unmatched. My friends and I wanted to see everything, so we walked 18 miles in one day to explore as much of the city as we could. Normandy was also very extraordinary. It was amazing to hear about the battles that the young men of WWII fought. After hearing the heroic stories, we went on to see the cemetery, and it almost moved me to tears.   Despite all the travelling, we also took 2 classes while we were over there. We didn’t have a whole lot of time in the classroom, I was learning a whole lot outside of the classroom. I took International Business which was very appropriate because we were doused into a new culture, and we got to see how things run over there compared to America. We toured ASDA,...

Tales from Abroad: Leipzig Sep20

Tales from Abroad: Leipzig...

Summer 2016: Kylie Wilson With a father in the Air Force, I grew up with a world map on our dinner table. Every night, Dad would quiz my siblings and I on far off cities and countries. We’d have a mad dash to move bowls of food and be the first one to find the obscure place he named. However, it wasn’t until college that I had the opportunity to visit international places – Budapest, Hungary; London, England; Berlin, Germany… the list goes on. When I heard about study abroad at ACU, I was both elated and discouraged. While I desperately wanted to participate in one of the programs, I was sure that my biochemistry, pre-med schedule would never allow a semester off. Luckily, I found a middle-ground: ACU sponsors a pre-health summer study abroad every two years. It gave me both class credit and a chance to see parts of the world I had only dreamed about. It seemed perfect. I was in Europe a total of eight weeks; simultaneously, they seemed to go by so quickly and yet so slowly. We were based out of Leipzig, Germany, but many weekends were spent traveling: during those two months, I traveled to seven different countries and countless cities. Each weekend was a new region or country. For some reason, many of my favorite memories center around the different meals we ate. No stew will ever rival the goulash we had the first night in Budapest; if I ever travel back to London, bangers and mash is a definite must at Mother Mash in Oxford Circus. Even the odd plates (for example, raw meat in the Netherlands, or beef drowning in a brown sauce in the Czech Republic) still easily bring back the memories. While...

Fall 16 Labor Day Cookout! Sep09

Fall 16 Labor Day Cookout!...

We had a great time this year celebrating Labor Day with a cookout! About 100 students came out to eat hot dogs, play games, and take a break from the school...

Tales From Abroad: U.K. and Oxford Adventures Sep05

Tales From Abroad: U.K. and Oxford Adventures...

I once heard someone say “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I have adopted this as a foundational truth in my life. While there are obviously price tags on plane tickets, hostels, and gelato, there is no price tag on the perspective and richness that is added to your life when you travel. The lessons I learned on my month-long study abroad trip to Oxford, England, are lessons I could not have learned any other way than to immerse myself in a new setting and embrace a culture that (although still speaks English) is not quite the same as my own. Throughout my month in the Europe, there were many highs and lows. From having my phone pick-pocketed right out of my purse in Paris, to road tripping through the unbelievable alps of Switzerland, this experience was unforgettable.   FRANCE: Our day started at 4 a.m. in Oxford. Our group of 36 headed out to catch a train to Paris out of London. It was the opening day of the Eurocup, which was hosted by Paris this year. Needless to say, the city was pretty chaotic. Security was unbelievably tight—I even had to let security guards look through my bag in order to go inside McDonald’s. We spent the afternoon exploring Paris and then took a group bike tour in the evening. As we were getting closer to the bike shop at the end of our tour, the streets were less crowded and we ended up driving right through the middle of the road as a group of close to 40 bicycles. All of the sudden, people sitting out on the patios of café’s that lined the road started shouting and cheering for us. It was as if we...

Tales From Abroad: The Ginger Pilgrim Jul29

Tales From Abroad: The Ginger Pilgrim...

Check out Mckinley Terry’s blog, “The Ginger Pilgrim“. We are proud of all of the work this student has put into designing this blog!