Moving forward: Research trips, study abroad, student exchange
ELIZABETH ALDERFER Staff Writer
With the end of the Spring 2021 semester nearing into sight, students, faculty and administration are starting to examine what Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters will look like. After several semesters of navigating college through a pandemic, Bethel is eager and determined to make things as normal as feasible.
Tricia Clark, director for institutional communications and marketing, has been monitoring the status and was able to inform the Thresher community about plans for the future. “We will be offering all in-person classes and in-person events, such as Fall Fest and athletic competitions. May term and RN to BSN will be online class offerings,” Clark said. With being online and hybrid for several semesters the college has had to make changes such as going paperless and upgrading technology. These changes made will still apply in future semesters. Zoom and other video conferencing technology will still be an instructional resource but in-person classes will not be offered via video conferencing.
“We are hopeful to resume a more "normal" rhythm of campus life,” Clark said. Bethel will continue to follow CDC and KDHE guidelines as they change and evolve as more people receive the vaccination.
Back in the days before Covid was a concern, Bethel offered research trips, study abroad, and student exchange opportunities. Most research trips are still pending due to the status of other countries; however, the Jerusalem Seminar trip is scheduled to happen. Peter Goerzen, Bible and Religion Professor and coordinator of the trip, is hopeful the U.S. and Palestine regulations allow for the trip to occur this coming winter. The trip includes visiting villages of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth among others and learning about religions and cultures of the Middle East, particularly Judaism, Islam, and Eastern Christianity. If interested contact Professor Goerzen as he can offer more information and enrollment details. “It's an incredible experience!” Goerzen said.
Dan Quinlin, professor of languages who works with coordinating study abroad and student exchange, is hopeful these will occur in spring and summer of 2022. While things are looking promising there are still a few factors to take into consideration “[Student exchange] is dependent upon the decision of the individual Study Abroad programs with whom we have partnerships and the countries in which the programs are located,” Quinlin said.
Student exchange programs are also on the radar for the coming semesters. “We are hopeful about our exchange program with the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal, Germany,” Quinlin said. With this said, the administrator in Germany will not announce any further information until April. International students are still welcome to attend Bethel, it is just uncertain at the moment if Bethel students will be able to study in Germany.
New information in regards to the coming semesters will continue to change in regards to Covid and other variables. Keep a vigilant eye out for announcements about the coming semesters and opportunities that may arise. If interested in a research trip or if you are considering studying abroad or participating in student exchange, reach out to the contacts above to take advantage of Bethel's fine learning opportunities!