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Study Abroad

One of the side projects I have is to help science students study abroad in Europe. I am passionate about it because of my study abroad experience as a student spending the summer in the former Soviet Union as it transitioned to become Russia and the former Soviet republics. In addition to being a study abroad trip, I took a bunch of Russian New Testaments and other literature in Russian with me, making it into a summer missions trip as well.

As faculty we have the opportunity to encourage our Christian students to take advantage of similar opportunities, both as undergrads and graduate students. One way to do this is to model it in our international travel as well. Ministries such as Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) and others like to work with faculty so that when they are travelling abroad, they have opportunities to speak about their faith in addition to their research. It turns out that many foreign countries, even ‘closed’ ones are far more open to such discussions from American faculty than American universities are.

So when you travel for conferences or as a visiting scholar, contact campus ministries with whom you have relationships at your home campus to find out what activity and people they have at or near your host campus(es) and they will help you make contact. When you have a Christian student in your classes or research area, encourage them to do the same and even join you on your trips as an assistant. It will be an incredible mentoring time, and great encouragement for the both of you.


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