After 30 years of traveling the planet, whether to beaches for well-deserved vacations or to new cities and countries to see the sights. I eventually came to the conclusion that a love of travel is just pointless wandering. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with a well-deserved vacation – renting some sunshine after many months of hard work in some dark northern climate where the sun never shines, rejuvenating body and soul – but it seems that so much of what we call tourism is a waste of time. Worse yet, it is extremely damaging to the planet and to many of the people who depend on tourism for their livelihood.
Does this mean we should all stay home to save the world from ruination by carbon pollution and exploitation? Not at all. What it means is that if we are going to spend a lot of time and money wandering the world we ought to think a little more deeply about where we go, what we do and what impact we have upon the people we meet. If your journey has no purpose, why do it?
- Michael McCarthy, Transitions Abroad Magazine
What is the purpose of your interim trip or semester abroad? How will you differentiate your class or semester off-campus from simply traveling or being a tourist? How can we find ways to challenge students to integrate their faith with their travels. These are all important questions to assure that our off-campus programs are impactful experiences for our students. Providing resources to help you answer these questions is one goal of the Off-Campus Programs Office. It is our hope that the resources found on the sidebar of this page will help you be intentional in planning your upcoming off-campus experience.
Your involvement as faculty in our interims and semester program is an important distinctive that contributes to the overall success of Calvin’s Off-campus experiences. We greatly appreciate your willingness to make the extra effort needed to plan and implement a successful off-campus class or semester program. If you have additional resources you would like to share or include on this page, please send it to Julia Smilde in the Off-Campus Programs Office.