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  • Northern Ireland
  • options through Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
  • more about our cross-cultural program

    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 Londonderry, 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).

    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. All programs offered through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities meet the cross-culutural service learning experience requirement, except the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, the Contemporary Music Program and the Summer Institute of Journalism.

    American Studies Program (ASP)
    Founded in 1976, the American Studies Program has served hundreds of students from 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. Internships are tailored to fit the studentís talents and aspirations and are available in a wide range of fields. They also explore pressing national and international issues in public policy seminars which are issue-oriented, interdisciplinary and led by ASP faculty and Washington professionals. 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 enables students to engage this large and intriguing country from the inside. While living in, and experiencing Chinese civilization firsthand, students participate in seminar courses on the historical, cultural, religious, geographical and economic realities of this strategic and populous nation. In addition to the study of standard Chinese, students are given opportunities such as assisting Chinese students learning English or working in an orphanage, allowing for one-on-one interaction. The program introduces students to the diversity of China, including Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiían and Xiamen. This interdisciplinary, cross-cultural program enables students to deal with this increasingly important part of the world in an informed, Christ-centered way.

    Contemporary Music Program (CMP)
    The Contemporary Music Program provides students the opportunity to live and work in community while seeking to understand how God will have them integrate music, faith and business. Both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature, the CMP offers two tracks: the Artist Track and the Executive Track. The Artist Track is tailored to students considering careers as vocalists, musicians, songwriters, recording artists, performers, producers and recording engineers. The Executive Track is designed for business, arts management, marketing, communications, and other majors interested in possible careers as artist managers, agents, record company executives, music publishers, concert promoters and entertainment industry entrepreneurs.Both Artist and Executive track students receive instruction, experience and a uniquely Christian perspective on creativity and the marketplace, while working together to create and market a recording of original music. Both tracks include course work, labs, directed study and a practicum.

    Latin American Studies Program (LASP)
    Students of CCCU colleges have the opportunity to live and learn in Latin America through the Latin American Studies Program based in San Jose, Costa Rica. The program introduces students to a wide range of experiences through the study of the 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 take part in a service opportunity and travel for three weeks to nearby Central American nations. Students participate in one of four concentrations: Latin American Studies (offered both fall and spring terms); Advanced Language and Literature (limited to Spanish majors and offered both fall and spring terms); International Business and Management (offered only in fall terms); and Tropical Sciences (offered only during spring terms).

    Los Angeles Film Studies Center (LAFSC)
    The Los Angeles Film Studies Center is designed to train students of Council institutions to serve in various aspects of the film industry with both professional skill and Christian integrity. Students live, learn and work in the LA 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 influential 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.

    Middle East Studies Program (MESP)
    This 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 political 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, Syria and Turkey, students are exposed to the diversity and dynamism of the region. 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.

    Honors Program-CMRS, Oxford (HP-O)
    Honors and other highly qualified students have the exciting opportunity to study in England through this interdisciplinary semester in Oxford. 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 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.

    Russian Studies Program (RSP)
    RSP students are exposed to the depth and diversity of the culture during a semester spent in Russiaís three largest cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Nizhni Novgorod. In addition to three seminar courses entitled History and Sociology of Religion in Russia; Russian Peoples, Cultures and Literature; and Russia in Transition, students receive instruction in the Russian language, choosing either four or six semester hours of language coursework. For those choosing four hours of Russian, a seminar course, International Relations and Business in Russia, is available. 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 Nizhni 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 Nizhni Novgorod. The program concludes with time in the complex and intriguing city of St. Petersburg, the Russian "window to the West."

    Summer Program-CMRS Oxford
    This program allows students to spend a summer term studying at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) in Oxford, England. This program includes multi-disciplinary study of the Renaissance and Reformation through examination of philosophy, art, literature, science, music, politics and religion of early and 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 provides excellent opportunity to learn through lectures and panels with leading journalists who share a strong Christian commitment. Students also participate in seminars taught by communications professors from council member institutions, take part in field trips and complete workshop projects for hometown newspapers. SIJ provides valuable insight and training in gathering and writing news, editing copy and designing layout. The institute develops students as Christian journalists-exhibiting both professionalism and legal/ethical integrity. Students earn 4 semester hours of credit.

    Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA)
    Brethren Colleges Abroad operates 11 academic study centers in 10 countries for students from U.S. institutions of higher education. BCA Study Centers offer semester and year-long programs in the liberal arts tradition at universities in the following locations: Dalian, China; Quito, Ecuador; Cheltenham, England; Strasbourg and Nancy, France; Marburg, Germany; Athens, Greece; Cochin, India; Sapporo, Japan; Xalapa, Mexico; and Barcelona, Spain. For further information, contact the director of cross-cultural/service learning experience requirement.

    Central American Study and Service (CASAS), Guatemala
    Central American Study and Service, part of the Latin American Anabaptist Seminary (SEMILLA), gives North Americans the opportunity to live, study and volunteer in a Latin American context. The core of the CASAS program is a 12-week cross-cultural study term designed for studnets interested in studyin Spanish while cultivating a broader awareness of the issues facing people in Guatemala. The term begins with eight weeks of intensive study while living with a Guatemalan family in a marginal are aof Guatemala City. Students study Spanish (often, in a one-on-one setting) with experienced Guatemalan teachers and participate in visits and lectures with organizations or individuals who are experts on Guatemalan history, culture, politics and religion. During the final four weeks students have the opportunity of working in a voluntary service setting. Students may earn university credit in several areas including Spanish, anthropology and religion. Also available is an intensive Spanish-only program. For further information, contact the director of cross-cultural programs. This program meets the cross-cultural/serice learning experience requirement.