Off-campus Programs

The following off-campus programs of study are available to Bluffton students:

Peace and Conflict Resolution Program in Northern Ireland
This program is offered through Bluffton College at Magee College of the University of Ulster in London-derry, Northern Ireland. This 15-week residential program seeks to increase understanding of the complexities of the conflict in Northern Ireland and to use the knowledge gained to analyze and understand conflict in other societies. The program has academic, experiential and service components, including housing with local families; meetings with community leaders, church groups, constitutional political parties, community youth workers and security forces; and cross-community projects.

Students successfully completing the Northern Ireland study program have their course requirements for the cross-cultural experience (LAS 341) and the cross-cultural course (LAS 340) waived. Students may have other general education credits met in the humanities and social sciences. Students should consult with their advisers and the registrar.

Below is a listing of courses offered. Contact the director of cross-cultural programs for more information.

LAS 220 Northern Ireland Program Orientation (1)
HIS 271/PCS 271 History of Northern Ireland and Background to the Troubles (3)
LAS 225 Peace Building through Reconciliation (3)
LAS 226 Northern Ireland Culture: Literature, Politics and Religion (3)
LAS 300 Practical Work Placement - Northern Ireland (2)
PCS 301 International Conflict Resolution: Northern Ireland - A Case Study (3)
PLS 260 Government and Politics of Northern Ireland (3)

LAS 220 Northern Ireland Program Orientation (1)
This required orientation will prepare students for the Ireland experience. The course includes meetings during spring semester before the fall semester of the trip and an intensive two-day session prior to departure for Northern Ireland. Background readings and cultural information are offered to ease "culture shock," facilitate cross-cultural communication and prepare students for study in a different academic system. Facilitated by the on-campus director of the Northern Ireland program and co-led by students who have returned from the study program in Northern Ireland.

LAS 225 Peace Building through Reconciliation (3)
This course covers a general introduction and discussion on the different meanings of reconciliation, defining some important terms, e.g. stereotyping, prejudice, scapegoating, alienation, polarization, conflict and violence, conflict resolution and conciliation. The class includes seminar meetings with speakers from all of the political parties in Northern Ireland, a field trip to meet the security forces and meetings with religious and community leaders. As an example, the 1995 group met with senior politicians from all of the four constitutional parties and speakers from the Sinn Fein and the Loyalist fringe parties to explain their party positions and to discuss their current and future role in Northern Ireland.

LAS 226 Northern Ireland Culture: Literature, Politics and Religion (3)
This course will introduce students to the cultural, religious and political context of Northern Ireland through Irish literature, drama, role-play and use of video. It is designed to help students become familiar with the cultural nuances of Northern Irelandís divided communities. Much of the cultural expression of the Northern Irish is either an affirmation of who they think themselves to be, or it is used to demonize the Ďother side.í Questions of identity are pertinent to Nationalists and Loyalists and, as such, are refracted through a whole host of mediums. The growing number of wall murals over the last 30 years is a good example of this desire to propagate an ideological understanding of what it is to be Irish (Nationalist) or British (Loyalist).

LAS 300 Practical Work Placement - Northern Ireland (2)
Students will be placed in community service agencies involved in community building and conflict resolution in a cross-cultural context. The placement contains elements of observation as well as the student practicing within the agency, under supervision. The overall aim of the placement is to try to help the student identify some of the problems and understand more clearly the difficulties and complexities of living in a society in the midst of violent conflict and to determine the everyday problems of people using the agency and how the violence has an impact on their lives. Criteria for evaluation include: attendance, comprehension of agency goals, successful completion of a range of tasks agreed upon in writing, daily journaling, written reflection of the placement and written evaluation by agency supervisor. Students living in home-stays with Roman Catholic families will be placed in Protestant agencies and vice versa.

Non-credit Course on Basic Irish Language, Music and Dance
There is an extra-mural evening class opportunity for students to study basic Irish language, music and dance. Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a certificate. The basic Irish Language course can only take place if there are enough students interested (usually a minimum of eight).

Polish Exchange Program
Every other year, Bluffton College students study abroad at the University of Marie Curie Sklodowska in Lublin, Poland. On the alternate years, students from UMCS come to BC for a semester of study. Course offerings vary, but include:

LAS 215 Polish Language and Culture (6)
The course offers: 1) an overview of the significant developments in the history of Polish culture, with special attention to formation of the Polish character; and 2) an introduction to the Polish language, designed to help the students with basic communication skills in Polish while they are in Lublin, Poland.

LAS 300 Practical Work Placement - Poland (3)
Students gain experience through work/service assignments such as in classrooms, on farms and as English language tutors. These experiences provide opportunities for interaction in the community and for observation of organizational and cultural practices.

Off-campus semester programs through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Off-campus, interdisciplinary learning opportunities are available to upper-class students at Bluffton College and offer 16 semester hours of credit. For further information, contact the director of cross-cultural programs or the registrar. All programs except the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and the Summer Institute of Journalism meet the cross-cultural/service learning experience requirement.

American Studies Program (ASP)
Founded in 1976, the American Studies Program has served hundreds of students from Council member institutions as a "Washington, D.C., campus." ASP uses Washington as a stimulating educational laboratory where collegians gain hands-on experience with an internship in their chosen field and explore pressing national and international issues in public policy seminars which are issue-oriented, interdisciplinary and led by ASP faculty and Washington professionals. Internships are tailored to fit the studentís talents and aspirations and are available in a wide range of fields. ASP bridges classroom and marketplace, combining biblical reflection, policy analysis and real-world experience. Students are exposed to on-the-job learning that helps them build for their future and gain perspective on the calling of God for their lives. They are challenged in a rigorous course of study to discover for themselves the meaning of Christís lordship in putting their beliefs into practice. The aim of the program is to help Council schools prepare their students to live faithfully in contemporary society as followers of Christ.

China Studies Program (CSP)
The China Studies Program allows students to engage this large and intriguing country from the inside. While living and experiencing Chinese civilization firsthand, students participate in seminar courses on historical, cultural, religious, geographic and economic realities of this strategic and populous nation. In addition to the study of standard Chinese, students will assist Chinese students learning English, allowing for one-on-one interaction. The program seeks to introduce students to the diversity of China, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiían. This interdisciplinary, cross-cultural program of study enables Christian students to deal with this increasingly important part of the world in an informed, Christ-centered way.

Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC)
The Los Angeles Film Studies Center is designed to train students of Council member institutions to serve in various aspects of the film industry with both professional skill and Christian integrity. Students live, learn and work in the Los Angeles area near major studios. The curriculum consists of two required seminars focusing on the role of film in culture and the relationship of faith to work in this very important industry. In addition, students choose two elective courses from a variety of offerings in film studies. Internships in various segments of the film industry provide students with hands on experience. The combination of the internship and seminars allow students to explore the film industry within a Christian context and from a liberal arts perspective.

Latin American Studies Program (LASP)
An opportunity to live in Latin America is available to students from Council member colleges through the Latin American Studies Program. Located in San Jose, Costa Rica, the program seeks to introduce students to as wide a range of Latin American experiences as possible through the study of language, literature, culture, politics, history, economics, ecology and religion of the region. Living with a Costa Rican family, students experience and become a part of the day-to-day lives of typical Latin Americans. Students also participate in a service opportunity and travel for three weeks to nearby Latin American nations. In addition to the regular program of interdisciplinary offerings, three specialized academic tracks are available to qualified students: advanced language and literature studies (limited to Spanish majors and offered both fall and spring terms), international business and management (offered only in fall term) and tropical sciences (offered in spring term).

Middle East Studies Program (MESP)
The Middle East Studies Program, based in Cairo, Egypt, allows Council students to explore and interact with the complex and strategic world of the modern Middle East. The interdisciplinary seminars give students the opportunity to explore the diverse religious, social, cultural and literary traditions of Middle Eastern people. In addition to seminars, students study the Arabic language and work as volunteers with various organizations in Cairo. Through travel to Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey, students are exposed to the diversity and dynamism of the religion. The MESP encourages and equips students to relate to the Muslim world in an informed, constructive and Christ-centered manner at a time of tension and change.

Russian Studies Program (RSP)
RSP students are exposed to the depth and diversity of Russian culture during a semester spent in Russiaís three largest cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Nizhnii Novgorod. In addition to three seminar courses (History and Sociology of Religion in Russia; Russian Peoples, Cultures and Literature; and Russia in Transition), students receive instruction in the Russian language, choosing four to six semester hours of language course work. For those opting for four hours of Russian, a seminar course titled International Relations and Business in Russia is available. The RSP strives to give students as wide an experience as possible in this complex nation, beginning with time in Moscow, the heart of both medieval and modern Russia. Students then spend 12 weeks in Nizhnii Novgorod, a strategic city on the Volga River. After six weeks of language instruction, students live with a Russian family for the remainder of their stay in this city. Students also participate in a service opportunity in Nizhnii Novgorod. The program concludes with a week spent in the complex and intriguing city of St. Petersburg, the Russian "window to the west."

Oxford Honors Program (OHP)
Honors and other highly qualified students of Council member institutions have the exciting opportunity to study in England through an interdisciplinary semester at Oxford University. The rigorous academic program, aimed at increasing critical thinking skills and scholarship from an integrated Christian perspective, allows participants to choose from a wide variety of tutorial study programs in numerous disciplines, including the arts, religion, history, literature and philosophy. In addition to two Oxford tutorials, students participate in a seminar and an integrative course through which they produce a scholarly project or term paper. Field trips provide opportunities for experimental learning in Englandís rich historical setting.

Summer programs
Oxford Summer School Program

The summer equivalent of the Oxford Honors Program allows students of Council member institutions to spend a summer term studying at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) of Keble College at Oxford University. The program includes multi-disciplinary study of the Renaissance and reformation through examination of philosophy, art, literature, science, music, politics and religion of early modern Europe in a choice of lectures, seminars and field trips. Students earn 6-9 semester credits, which are administered directly to member institutions by CMRS.

Summer Institute of Journalism (SIJ)
Council campuses are invited to choose two student journalists to apply for this four-week, all-expenses-paid experience in Washington, D.C. Fifteen students are selected to participate in the institute, which lasts from mid-May to mid-June. The institute blends classroom experience with hands-on work and is an excellent opportunity to learn through lectures and panels with leading journalists who share a strong Christian commitment. Participants also participate in seminars taught by communications professors from Council member institutions, take part in field trips and complete workshop projects for local newspapers. The course provides valuable insight and training in gathering and writing news, editing copy and designing layout. The institute seeks to develop students as Christian journalists exhibiting both professionalism and legal/ethical integrity. Students generally earn 4 semester hours of credit.

Modified 10/27/00