Students take advantage of global opportunities to study abroad.
Students at Olivet Nazarene University have traveled across the globe to study this semester. After two years with limited study abroad opportunities, students are experiencing life abroad in far-off locales including Ecuador and Jordan.
Opportunities like these allow students to travel internationally, as they apply what they learned at Olivet and engage in new cultures. Preparing for traveling across the world, especially in a pandemic, can be intimidating, but Olivet students are equipped for their journeys.
Ecua-door of Opportunity
Claire Mountain, a junior, Spanish major, heard about studying abroad in Ecuador from other students in her program. This program partners with the Nazarene International Language Institute (NILI). One of six students traveling and living within the culture they learned about in the classroom, Claire is experiencing life with locals, while celebrating daily opportunities offered in this program.
“I heard about this program from the Spanish department at Olivet because I am majoring in Spanish,” she reflected. “The Spanish department prepared me for this with all of the classes and outside information about culture in a Latin American country.”
Not only has Claire been able to use her education daily, but she has also explored Ecuador while sharing God’s love.
“Since the program we are with is a part of the Nazarene Church, I have had many opportunities to bring Olivet with me. We attend Carcelén Church of the Nazarene where our professor is the pastor. We get to be a part of the young adult group at the church and get to know the people there. I also have the chance to serve with the youth group and lead games and lessons for them which is a great experience!”
Although she has experienced some familiarity with her daily activities she has experienced unfamiliar opportunities and has been able to explore. “We have gone to the beach, markets, the Amazon Rainforest, Galápagos Islands, and more!”
Through the NILI program, the purpose is to grow in ministry through cross-cultural opportunities. Claire and her peers live with host families, while attending their local church and share daily life together.
“My host family is incredible and every night is a new adventure while living their normal lives.”
Olivet to Ecuador is a drastic location change, also involving cultural differences. When these differences arise, Claire found this as an exciting opportunity for growth.
“Leaving the Olivet bubble and living on a different continent was definitely a culture shock, but in a good way. I had the chance to view life from a different perspective and have a greater appreciation for many things I took for granted.”
Praise and Amen in Amman, Jordan
From her research about the Middle East, Hania Diggory knew she wanted to study abroad in Jordan.The Middle East Studies Program (MESP) immediately captivated her attention back in 2019. MESP, a program under CCCU GlobalEd, provides students with an opportunity to fully immerse themselves with daily life in Amman, Jordan.
Hania wanted to be a part of this experience, but she had a separate journey to begin before her new adventure studying abroad across the world.
Although she had multiple years of delays in taking the trip, she took that time to better prepare herself for the journey – including teaching herself Arabic in anticipation and faith, hoping she would return to the Middle East.
“Although my participation in this program had to be delayed, the commitment I made to language learning kept my desire to return alive and safe from burning out,” Hania reflected. “Praise be to God!”
Like Olivet’s campus, MESP is focused on community. She traveled to Jordan as the only Olivet student a part of the program, and is thankful to have found a strong system of support with the other students.
“This semester the program consists of all women, and I’m ever thankful that the seven of us get to share life together. We regularly get to hear the devotional thoughts of each other, share how we are all processing class material differently, and mutually establish relationships with the people we meet both here in Amman and in neighboring cities.”
Living in a different country has been challenging at times, but Hania found it fulfilling.
“Fumbling through conversations about both the meaningless and meaningful with local people, who are frequently excited by and gracious toward my attempt to speak the language, allows me to acutely experience the deep joy of Christ, and living in the city of Amman means I get to participate in this type of interaction nearly every day!”
To learn more about Study Abroad opportunities at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at email@example.com or 800-648-1463.