Nearly 200 George Fox students study abroad this spring

Nearly 200 George Fox University students and 15 faculty members will embark on nine international study trips all over the world – including Africa, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East – for three weeks during the month of May.

The trips are part of the university’s Juniors Abroad program, which, since 1987, has annually sent third- and fourth-year students on overseas study trips led by professors. George Fox pays transportation and program costs; students pay room and board. Each trip holds preparation classes during the spring semester.

The Juniors Abroad program is one reason George Fox ranks high nationally for study abroad participation. With nearly half of the university’s traditional undergraduates experiencing an overseas study experience before graduation, George Fox ranks among the top 50 schools in the nation in the percentage of students who study abroad, according to data compiled by U.S. News & World Report magazine for its 2013-14 “America’s Best Colleges” issue. George Fox also was among the top five Christian colleges in study abroad participation.

The following are brief descriptions of this year’s nine Juniors Abroad trips. All are scheduled for three weeks, embarking during the first week of May.

Central America, Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador: The study tour to Central America will focus on the Christianity and culture of Central America. Students will compare and contrast the different cultures and religious beliefs they encounter in the various regions they visit as well as their development through a historical study. Stops include the ancient Mayan site of Copan, Honduras; the Basilica of Esquipulas, Guatemala; and the Basilica of Los Angeles in Costa Rica. Outdoor activities are also planned, including hiking, climbing pyramids and temples, and horseback riding.

East Africa: This trip will focus on the endangered wildlife of East Africa. Students will have opportunities to explore a variety of rich and distinctive ecosystems, such as jungles, tropical rainforests, tea plantations, savannas and marine habitats. Visits to Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, the Ngorongoro Crater National Park in Tanzania and Mt. Kilimanjaro are planned.

Ecuador: This study tour will explore the natural and cultural diversity of Ecuador. The biodiversity of Ecuador encompasses the Galapagos Islands, the Amazonian rainforest, and the Andean Peaks. Students will experience each of these, as travels will include visits to the modern city of Quito, the islands of the Galapagos, the highland villages of the Andes, and the remote settlements of the Amazon.

Juniors Abroad at CollesseumItaly: The purpose of this trip is to enhance the student’s appreciation of the richness found in the history, arts, land and people of Italy, with a special emphasis given to the art produced during Medieval and Renaissance periods in the country. Students will take a nine-city tour that includes visits to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, catacombs, Pompeii, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo, St. Mark’s Square and the Trevi Fountain.

Greece/Turkey: Students on this tour will explore the history and cultures of the civilizations that border the Aegean Sea. Of special interest will be visits to Athens (the Acropolis and Parthenon), Istanbul (the Topkapi Palace), Delphi (site of the ancient Greek oracle), Greek islands and Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Iceland to France: This panoramic European study trip begins in Iceland with visits to Reykjavik, geysers, cascades and volcanoes in Iceland and continues with travels to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and several points of interest in France, including Dijon, Avignon and the country’s Arles, Alpilles and Luberon regions. A final stop in Paris completes the trip.

Rome to Paris: This European study tour will begin in Rome and focus on the art, history and architecture of ancient and current Rome to set the stage for the trip’s major focus, which will be the influence of early church and Renaissance history and its effect on our culture today. From Rome, students will travel south to Pompeii and experience not only a tragic day in the life of an Italian city, but glimpse a stoppage of time preserved for the ages. The trip also stops in Assisi, Florence and Mediterranean beaches.

Israel/Jordan: Students on this trip will visit ruined Roman cities, Crusader castles, and desert citadels as well as the biblical sites that are around every corner: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the brook where Jesus was baptized, the fortress where Herod beheaded John the Baptist, and the mountaintop where Moses cast eyes on the Promised Land.

Vietnam, Hong Kong and South Korea: This tour will study the history, culture and influence of western values and religion in Asian cultures by visiting South Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Students will have opportunity to visit several religious temples and historical sites, including the Changgyeonggung Palace, Namdaemun, the DMZ and Hanoi in Vietnam.

For more information on the Juniors Abroad program, visit juniorsabroad.georgefox.edu.

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