June 10, 2015
Susquehanna University students will embark on several new Global Opportunities programs this winter that will take them to vastly different corners of the world. Upon their return, they will each take a credit-bearing reflection course to consider how their cross-cultural experience informed their view of the world and themselves.
Over winter break
GO Jerusalem: Interfaith Encounters (Jan. 1-16, 2016)
Primarily based in the Old City of Jerusalem, students will meet, study, pray, socialize and engage in community service with groups from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and other religious organizations.
In addition to living in the Old City, students will also stay in a traditional kibbutz in Galilee and end their travel in Tel Aviv. Special attention will be paid to monitoring security situations to ensure the safety of all of participants.
"Our encounters will help students develop an understanding of the fundamental challenges and opportunities of interfaith engagement and the importance of tolerance and respect for divergent views," said Scott Kershner, program director and Susquehanna University chaplain.
Programs are expected to include:
- Meeting with the Parents Circle-a group of Jewish and Arab Israeli families who have lost loved ones in the ongoing conflict, but are using their faith to create a support group.
- In-depth exploration of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem.
- A tour of the city of Jaffa led by a Jewish and Arab resident, each speaking from their own cultural perspective.
- A day of learning at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Education Center, including a meeting with a Holocaust survivor and a Muslim family that helped protect Jews during World War II.
Service and Culture in Puerto Rico (Jan. 1-15, 2016)
This service-learning program, led by Michaeline Shuman, assistant provost of post-graduate outcomes and director of the Career Development Center, will focus on themes of land rights, environmental justice, Puerto Rico-U.S. relationships, social change and international development.
Students will travel throughout the island, meeting with local community leaders; serving 30-plus hours for local organizations on the frontline of community development; and exploring the country and culture through field trips and events. Those will include the famous San Sebastian Street Festival in Old San Juan, a visit to the historic island of Culebra and a series of hikes through El Yunque National Forest.
The Office of Cross-Cultural Programs continues to add new programs to its roster of opportunities.
Under consideration through site visits this year are Iceland, Italy and Turkey.