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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Study abroad programs return after pandemic hiatus


Bethel’s Study Abroad Fair Wednesday highlighted local and international study opportunities for students.

By Julia Van Geest | Contributing Writer

Bethel University’s study abroad program is back this year with new locations, COVID-19 safety measures and academic experiences that were all highlighted at the Study Abroad Fair Wednesday.

Along with its pre-existing study abroad opportunities, Bethel is launching two new programs this year: excursions to North Africa and Europe focused on medieval worlds and a summer program in Taiwan focused on contemporary wellbeing and traditional therapies in partnership with Tunghai University. Associate Professor of History Charlie Goldberg discussed the upcoming medieval cultures program he will be leading in locations such as Morocco, France and Spain. 

Available study abroad destinations include England, North Africa and Taiwan. | Photo by Kadance Gordon

Senior Emily Roddel studied abroad with the Spain term program in 2019 and described how COVID will be a factor in the upcoming trip. 

“It’s definitely going to be different just because COVID is a thing,” she said, “but I’d say that there’s still going to be a lot of the same opportunities.” She encouraged all Bethel students to expand their academic experience by studying abroad at some point. “You come out of your shell so much more … exploring another culture is priceless.”

Although study abroad has started back up this year, not all students are interested in traveling during a pandemic. Academic Programs International, a third-party provider of study abroad and experiential learning programs, offers a unique opportunity for students to attend virtual classes taught by professors from various countries across the globe along with their Bethel courses. Another third-party group, the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, offers experiential learning programs within the Twin Cities, such as a Minneapolis-based art for social change semester-long program.

HECUA representative Andi Cheney presents Minnesota-based experiential learning opportunities. | Photo by Julia Van Geest

Regardless of whether Bethel students want to learn locally, virtually or internationally, the study abroad program is ready to reboot. 

“So far, we’ve been really lucky,” Wilcox said. “A lot of programs and locations are doing great in terms of vaccination rates … things are coming back slowly, but there are a lot of protocols that we need to consider before we send folks out.”

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    Amanda JSep 23, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Glad to see study abroad opportunities are returning! Great article!