Eight tables showcased interim 2021 abroad options. 

By Elizabeth Szilagyi

“Your life will change!”

“It will be the best semester of your life!”

“You get to see so much of the world in such a short period of time!”

These were few of the many sentences shared during the study abroad fair Wednesday from Bethel students, faculty and study abroad staff. As students passed through the Brushaber Commons between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., returning study abroad students stood behind long, foldable plastic tables and shared about unique experiences they had.

Junior communications student Eleanor Schutte stood near the study abroad merchandise, smiling and ready to share stories from time abroad.

“I always tell people I feel like I was put in New Zealand, then I got home,” Schutte said. “I was put in a blender, and I’m in a million pieces.”

Schutte, along with many others, described their study abroad experiences as “must-dos” and “incredibly influential.”

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Students stop by the Europe abroad table at the study abroad fair Wednesday, March 11. | Photo by Savannah Romero

Students and faculty gather amongst several tables representing eight different interim trips. These programs include Contemporary Wellbeing and Traditional Therapies in Taiwan, Ecology in the Tropics: Natural History & Future Prospects in Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, Psychology Pioneers in Europe, History of Science in Europe, Integrative Medicine in a Cross-Cultural Setting in Belize, Introduction to International Business in Europe, Science and Technology in New Zealand. A brand new program, Medieval Worlds: Cultures and Beliefs in North Africa & Europe, is launching interim 2021.

While many of the semester-long study abroad students spoke of personal growth, cultural differences and various challenges, the experiences of interim students were more focused on surface-level culture.

“Another big difference is the food,” said Tynan Grospe, a student who returned from the interim 2020 trip to Belize. “The food is a lot different there. Lots of chicken. Fresh fruit.”

Wade Neiwert, faculty co-leader of the History of Science in Europe interim course, discussed possible reasons students would want to take the course.

“If they want to see a variety of places within Europe and get a taste of things, they might want to go back someday,” Neiwert said.

Additional reporting by Anna Dickman

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