CentreTerm abroad trips offer students unique learning opportunity
December 12, 2013 By Mariel Smith
44,721 miles—the equivalent of nearly two trips around the
entire globe—to take part in Centre's uniquely immersive and
intense CentreTerm abroad experience. These students
are celebrating their alma mater in the Bahamas.
"I'm addicted to traveling now, and I hope to do it regularly in my
future," says Cody Cook ’14, pictured here in Mérida, Mexico,
during his sophomore year. He will be returning there this CentreTerm.
This January, nearly 200 Centre students will travel more than 44,721 miles—the equivalent of nearly two trips around the entire globe—to take part in Centre's uniquely immersive and intense CentreTerm abroad experience.
CentreTerm is a three-week January term designed to let students and faculty dive headlong into subjects that interest and intrigue them. The intensive three-week sessions explore the interesting and offbeat in ways not possible during a long semester.
Participating students will be traveling to the Bahamas with Dr. Brian Storz to study marine biology; Strasbourg, France, to study the art of walking with Dr. Ken Keffer; New Zealand to study volcanoes with Drs. Joe Workman and Kerry Paumi; India to study Indian religions with Dr. Christian Haskett; Shanghai and Thailand with Drs. Kyle Anderson and Chris Paskewich to study Buddhist religion and culture; Uganda and Rwanda with Dr. Jonathan Earle to study African religion and politics; England to study English regional theater with Dr. Tony Haigh; and Guatemala to study human rights with Dr. Stephen Dove, to name a few.
Director of International Programs and J. Rice Cowan Professor of English Milton Reigelman explains the allure of CentreTerm abroad trips.
"Not all students want to be away from campus for an entire semester," he says. "A targeted, specific academic experience abroad has the same appeal as a targeted, specific academic experience on campus, with the advantage of getting to study it in the most ideal place—learning about Uganda in Uganda, Guatemala in Guatemala and volcanoes in an actual volcano."
Students are not the only ones who get an incredible experience abroad during CentreTerm.
"Each CentreTerm course is a particular passion of its professor," Reigelman explains. "For example, Christian Haskett has lived in India, Stephen Dove has lived in Guatemala and Jonathan Earle has lived in Uganda.
"What excites me is that these three courses are all being taught abroad by professors who were new last year and who were attracted to Centre in part because of this opportunity," he adds.
For Cody Cook ’14, CentreTerm is just a continuation of other related semester-long travels.
"I went to Mérida, Mexico, for a spring term of my sophomore year," he explains. "Since then, I've been on one CentreTerm trip to Ghana, Africa, and I'm preparing for my third trip this CentreTerm back to Mérida."
Cook's decision to return to Mérida was an easy one.
"I absolutely fell in love with it during my sophomore year," he says. "I loved the culture, the city and the people. It just felt like home.
"This CentreTerm, there is a class being offered that fulfills a requirement for my Spanish major and gives me another opportunity to go abroad and return to my 'home away from home,'" he continues. "I'll be staying with the same host-family from before and will hopefully get to catch up with my students and friends that I made when I was last there."
Cook is most looking forward to immersing himself in the Mérida community again.
"Their culture is amazing," he says. "It's low-stress, very family oriented and all about living in the moment. I hope to learn more about the rich traditions and culture of Mérida and other parts of the Yucatan while I'm there this January.
"I'm addicted to traveling now," he adds, "and I hope to do it regularly in my future."
Learn more about CentreTerm abroad.
Centre College, founded in 1819, offers its students a world of opportunities, highlighted by one of the nation's premier study abroad programs and a faculty ranked #5 in the nation for "Best Undergraduate Teaching" at a liberal arts college by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. Centre graduates enjoy extraordinary success, with entrance to top graduate and professional schools, prestigious fellowships for further study abroad (Rhodes, Rotary, Fulbright), and rewarding jobs (on average, 97 percent are employed or in advanced study within 10 months of graduation).