Off-campus programs

Semester abroad & other off-campus programs

The following off-campus programs of study are available to Bluffton students:
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Peace and Conflict Resolution Program in Northern Ireland

This program is offered through the University of Ulster at Magee College 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.
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Students who successfully complete the Northern Ireland study program will have met their cross-cultural requirement, and HUM 222 Humanities 2 will be waived. It is sometimes possible for the program to meet other major or general education requirements. Students should consult with their advisors and the associate dean.

Below is a listing of courses offered. Contact the director of cross-cultural programs for more information.
LAS 220 Northern Ireland Program Orientation (1)
LAS 225 Peace Building through Reconciliation (3)
PLS 260 Government and Politics of Northern Ireland (3)
HIS 271/PCS 271 History of Northern Ireland and Background to the Troubles (3)
LAS 300 Practical Work Placement - Northern Ireland (2)
PCS 301 International Conflict Resolution: Northern Ireland - A Case Study (3)
PCS 303 Practical Mediation Skills and Conflict Transformation (3)

Courses

LAS 220 Northern Ireland Program Orientation  (1)
This required orientation will prepare students for the Ireland experience. The course includes meetings during spring semester prior to the fall semester abroad. 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.

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, one 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. The class has recently tried to bring students up to date on current affairs by introducing some regular discussions on what is current in NI especially with regard to the ongoing 'peace process' and the entire political process.

PLS 260 Government and Politics of Northern Ireland (3)
This course covers the background to "The Troubles," examines Partition, significant political leaders in Irish politics, the different types of government in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain, the different political parties in Northern Ireland, inter-governmental relations between Britain and the Irish Republic, and relevant issues, groups, parties and paramilitary organizations. Some sample essay questions for this course have included: Why was the Unionist government unable to resolve the political crisis in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1972? Assess the record of the Anglo-Irish Agreement as a strategy for promoting political consensus in Northern Ireland. Why has there been a growth of U.S. involvement in Northern Ireland politics since 1985? 

HIS 271/PCS 271 History of Northern Ireland and Background to the Troubles (3)
This course covers Modern Irish History from 1800-1923. Class topics include: Daniel O Connell and his campaigns for Catholic Emancipation for Repeal of the Union; social, economic and demographic problems in pre-famine Ireland and the Great Famine and its impact on Irish society; emigration from Ireland in the course of the 19th century; the campaign for Home Rule under Butt, Parnell, Redmond and Dillon; the land problem and its resolution and the end of landordism, the Easter Rebellion and its political consequences. It focuses also upon the political issues and events out of which the Troubles arose in the 1960s and early 1970s.

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 placements is to help the student identify some of the problems and understand more clearly the difficulties and complexities of living in a society supposedly in the midst of a post violent conflict and to determine the everyday problems of people using the agency and how the violence has an impact on them. 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.

PCS 301 International Conflict Resolution A Case Study (3)
This course uses the theoretical peace and conflict/ethnic studies literature to explore some of the key concepts used in this area of study. Session one examines the debates about how to define peace and introduces students to Galtung s definitions of direct structural and cultural violence. Session two tries to define the concepts of ethnicity and nationalism, key terms in any study of inter-communal violence. Sessions three and four attempt to develop a structure of conflict that can aid in determining what types of intervention may work at particular stages of violence. Sessions five and six examine some innovative ideas in the areas of alternative dispute resolution and conflict transformation. The final sessions explore how different peace traditions approach the idea of conflict transformation. Four such traditions are identified: religion, liberalism, socialism and feminism. Throughout this course, reference will be made to the Northern Ireland conflict as the key case study, but other cases of protracted ethnic conflict will be examined.  

PCS 303 Practical Mediation Skills and Conflict Transformation (3)
This course is designed to introduce students to the practical application of mediation skills through a process of experiential learning. The course will look at different models of mediation and the different skills that need to be applied during a mediation session. Students will become familiar with how mediations work in cultural, neighborhood, relationship and commercial disputes, in both local and international conflict situations.

Non-credit Course on Basic Irish Language, Music and Dance
There is an extra-mural evening class opportunity for students to learn how to play the Irish tin whistle and Irish dancing. It is also a unique way of being introduced to the traditional Irish culture and community. Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a certificate where their names will be translated into Irish and the certificates presented by the Mayor. This course can only take place if there are enough students interested (usually a minimum of eight) but is a vital method of entering into the wider community in L/Derry.

 

Washington Community Scholars Center (WCSC)

Discover the city life of Washington, D.C., cultural diversity, career-building opportunities, a broad range of university classes and the connections between faith and work at the Washington Community Scholars Center. Washington, D.C., is full of exciting opportunities to explore new cultures, a different pace of life and learning, and a great variety of people, each with their own worldview and passions. The city is also a place to learn about the poverty that exists in our own country, about racism which continues to affect our society and about the ways that real people are addressing these challenges. Through internships, group life and the weekly seminar class, students are encouraged to embark on a stretching journey of personal and professional self-discovery and gain new perspectives on the world we live in.

Build a resume with job skills and work experience. WCSC offers you an opportunity to explore your interests while contributing to your community with a 20 hour per week internship. We can place students from any major, including the sciences, the arts and professional programs.

WCSC s inter-disciplinary seminar analyzes social problems, faith issues and urban experiences through reading and writing, the arts, field trips and group discussion. Guest speakers, internship visits, and history and arts tours are part of the weekly seminar course.

Students may also elect to take 1-2 courses at one of the following local universities, with priority given to those who need the credits to meet graduation requirements: Trinity University, University of the District of Columbia, Corcoran College of Art and Design and Graduate School of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
 

Students who successfully complete the WCSC program will have met their LAS 342 Cross-cultural Experience and LAS 301 Issues in Modern America. Students who complete WCS 387 Faith and Urban Community have met a social science from the discipline of sociology (SOC). Students who need to meet other requirements should consult with their advisors and the associate dean.

Participants will live with students from Mennonite-affiliated schools in a working-class, largely African-American neighborhood. WCSC student life is a community experience, including shared meals and household responsibilities.

Courses offered fall 2012 Curriculum A 
Courses offered spring 2013 Curriculum B 
Courses offered summer 2013 Curriculum C 
Courses offered fall 2013 Curriculum B

Curriculum A 15 credits

WCS 388 Cross-cultural Social Science: Urban Anthropology
(3)
Students use the tools of participant observation to understand how different populations of urban regions form a social whole and how the lives and living conditions of all people are interconnected. Discussion will cover the ways in which our understanding of categories such as white, black and latino both mask and define the class stratification which occurs as part of our economic system.

WCS 387 Faith and Urban Community (3)
How do different faith communities practice their faith in an urban context? Students visit local faith communities to learn more about their response to current issues. Students will explore various interpretations of the connection between faith and works, and will compare and analyze these responses. This course meets a social science for general education in the discipline of sociology.

WCS 389 Servant Leadership
(2)
How are leaders made? In these critical times, what kinds of leaders does our society need? How is leadership best practiced? College students, at the cusp of adulthood in American society stand at many crossroads. Life-altering decisions, vocational choices, questions about how and whom to serve can stimulate or, conversely, inhibit creativity, a willingness to engage in the serious issues of our day and a commitment to serve others. This course is taught in tandem with WCS 391.

WCS 391 Internship Theory and Practice
(1)
Explores the many dimensions of servant leadership, starting with traditional definitions and moving into gender and race before engaging with the great non-violent servant leaders of the 20th century. Throughout the class we will talk with local servant leaders in the D.C. area.

WCS 300 Internship
(6)
 
 
Curriculum B 15 credits

WCS 386 A Multi-Cultural History of Washington, D.C., 1930-1970
(3)
The Washington, D.C., setting offers students an opportunity to examine the history of race and ethnicity in an urban context, including the historical African-American community and more recent immigrant communities. 

WCS 385 Monuments to Murals: Exploring Social Issues through D.C.'s Public Art
(3)
Students attend and review museum exhibits, plays, concerts and guided tours of public art in D.C. Reading and writing assignments focus on the relationship between historical events and contemporary social issues.

WCS 389 Servant Leadership
(2)
How are leaders made? In these critical times, what kinds of leaders does our society need? How is leadership best practiced? College students, at the cusp of adulthood in American society stand at many crossroads. Life-altering decisions, vocational choices, questions about how and whom to serve can stimulate or, conversely, inhibit creativity, a willingness to engage in the serious issues of our day and a commitment to serve others. This course is taught in tandem with WCS 391.

WCS 391 Internship Theory and Practice
(1)
Explores the many dimensions of servant leadership, starting with traditional definitions and moving into gender and race before engaging with the great non-violent servant leaders of the 20th century. Throughout the class we will talk with local servant leaders in the D.C. area.

WCS 300 Internship
(6)


Curriculum C 10 credits

WCS 388  Urban Anthropology
(3) (in odd numbered years)
Students use the tools of participant observation to understand how different populations of urban regions form a social whole and how the lives and living conditions of all people are interconnected. Discussion will cover the ways in which our understanding of categories such as white, black and latino both mask and define the class stratification which occurs as part of our economic system.

OR

WCS 386 A Multi-Cultural History of Washington, D.C., 1930-2000
(3) (in even numbered years)
The Washington, D.C., setting offers students an opportunity to examine the history of race and ethnicity in an urban context, including the historical African-American community and more recent immigrant communities. 

WCS 391 Internship Theory and Practice
(1)
Explores the many dimensions of servant leadership, starting with traditional definitions and moving into gender and race before engaging with the great non-violent servant leaders of the 20th century. Throughout the class we will talk with local servant leaders in the D.C. area.

WCS 300 Internship
(6)
 

Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Off-campus, interdisciplinary learning opportunities are available to upper-class students at Bluffton University 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-cultural experience requirement, except the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, the Contemporary Music Center, the American Studies Program and the Washington Journalism Center.

American Studies Program (ASP)
Washington, D.C. is the classroom at the American Studies Program. Students live eight blocks from the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court and within walking distance of historic Eastern Market, Union Station and the National Mall. ASP students have the unique privilege of diving into a network of internship opportunities and mentoring relationships that has been built up over nearly four decades. Along with the critical internship component of the program, students choose a track of courses centering on either public policy or global development and leave ASP with up to 16 credit hours of well-earned academic and work experience. To learn more about the American Studies Program, go to www.bestsemester.com/asp.
 
Australia Studies Centre (ASC)
The Australia Studies Centre is offered in partnership with Wesley Institute, a CCCU affiliate and performing arts/theology college located in the Sydney suburb of Drummoyne. As often as possible, ASC takes students out of the classroom into the teaching space that is the city of Sydney. Class trips may include: Canberra (the capital), NSW mining centres, the NSW South Coast or the red earth of the Outback. ASC students live with an Australian family and participate in a weekly service placement (both key elements of the program). In addition to the ASC core courses, students choose courses in the areas of theology, graphic design, dance, drama, music and counseling. To learn more about the Australia Studies Centre, visit www.bestsemester.com/asc

China Studies Program (CSP)
The China Studies Program is offered in partnership with Xiamen University located near the sub-tropical South China Sea. With its beautiful setting, its focus on learning about China from Chinese, and its commitment to spiritual growth, CSP will change the way you see yourself, your faith and your world. CSP students live in a dormitory on campus for international students from around the world who study at Xiamen. During the semester, students will spend over a week in Hong Kong, two weeks in the ancient capital city of Xi an, and a week touring Beijing and Shanghai. CSP offers a number of Chinese language, history, culture and religion courses as well as a business concentration that includes a business internship.To learn more about the China Studies Program, go to www.bestsemester.com/csp
.

Contemporary Music Center (CMC)
The Contemporary Music Center is located in Music City USA, Nashville, Tenn. More than 100 CMC alumni live in the city and continue to interact with students of the program. CMC students have the option to choose one of three study tracks for their semester: artist track, business track or technical track. In each of these tracks, students hone their skills alongside mentors from the industry. All CMC students participate in a music tour at the end of the semester as part of a practicum course. To learn more about the Contemporary Music Center, visit www.bestsemester.com/cmc.
 
India Studies Program (ISP)
The India Studies Program is offered in partnership with Bishop Appasamy College of Arts and Sciences, a CCCU international affiliate located in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. ISP students have the opportunity to delve into an Indian college community that allows the chance to embrace local culture and cultivate meaningful relationships. Students will spend two weeks and five weekends traveling throughout India observing the country s rich diversity and history. In addition to core courses centering on Indian culture and religion, ISP students will be able to choose courses from a variety of topics including literature, art, costume design, the culinary arts, business and social work. One day a week, students will also have the opportunity to be exposed to different organizations and businesses through volunteering and internships. To learn more about the India Studies Program, go to www.bestsemester.com/isp.
 
Latin American Studies Program (LASP)
Based in San Jos , Costa Rica, the Latin American Studies Program will expose students to the beauty and complexity of Latin American history, religion, people and cultures. LASP students will also have the opportunity to experience life in several Latin American countries. Past student groups have journeyed to Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Panama. At LASP, students choose from the following four academic concentrations in addition to their core coursework: Latin American Studies, Advanced Language & Literature, International Business (offered fall semesters only), or Environmental Science (offered spring semesters only). To learn more about the Latin American Studies Program, go to www.bestsemester.com/lasp

Los Angles Film Studies Center (LAFSC)
The LA Film Studies Center exists to launch students into their dreams. Exploring the art, craft and technology of film, LAFSC offers intensive hands-on production experience coupled with real world exposure, living and working in Hollywood. Students will study various aspects of film production, faith and artistic development, and will hold an internship in the industry. Additionally, students may choose an elective course in the areas of narrative storytelling, professional screenwriting, professional acting for the camera or carry out an independent study. With a vast network of LAFSC alumni in LA, students are never lacking for mentors and a community of believers. LAFSC encourages alumni to make films by offering grants, continuing education and low-cost equipment rentals. To learn more about the LA Film Studies Center, go to www.bestsemester.com/lafsc.

Middle East Studies Program (MESP)
The Middle East Studies Program focuses on engaging the Arab-Muslim world in addition to Israeli Jews and Christian Arabs seeking to learn from all the children of Abraham. Though MESP students obviously take advantage of the incredible biblical geography and sites during their many tours around Israel, the program challenges students with a journey that extends beyond the typical holy land experience. Assuming safe travel conditions, the program arranges substantive travel to Turkey and Egypt as well as a shorter trip to Jordan. Interdisciplinary speaker seminars, Arabic language study and service work with various aide societies all provide MESP students with opportunities to explore the diverse religious, cultural and political tapestry of Middle Eastern societies. Students may experience intense encounters with both locals and colleagues that reflect a mix of worldviews existing in the region, yet always under the protective wing of a supportive MESP community. To learn more about the Middle East Studies Program, visit www.bestsemester.com/mesp.

The Scholars' Semester in Oxford (SSO)
The Scholars Semester in Oxford allows students, as members of Wycliffe Hall and Visiting Students of the University of Oxford to pursue intensive scholarship in an historic seat of learning.  With personal attention in tutorials (meetings between one student and an expert academic) SSO students focus in detail on topics chosen from among hundreds of possibilities in classics, English language and literature, history, history of art, modern languages, musicology, philosophy, psychology, and theology. SSO students may explore nearby London, and historic sites throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, but the main foci are the pleasure of intellectual enquiry and getting a taste for graduate school. To learn more about the Scholars Semester in Oxford, visit www.bestsemester.com/sso.

Uganda Studies Program (USP)
The Uganda Studies Program is offered in partnership with Uganda Christian University, a CCCU international affiliate in Mukono, Uganda. USP students have the option of three different study emphases. The Uganda Studies Emphasis (USE) attracts students who want their primary cross-cultural relationships to develop through their involvement in campus life at Uganda Christian University. The Intercultural Ministry & Missions Emphasis (IMME) attracts students who want their primary cross-cultural relationships to develop through their involvement with a Ugandan host family. Finally, the Social Work Emphasis (SWE) is intended for junior and senior social work majors who want their primary crosscultural relationships to develop through their social work internship in addition to their involvement in campus life at Uganda Christian University. To learn more about the Uganda Studies Program, go to www.bestsemester.com/usp.


The Washington Journalism Center, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, is where the rubber meets the road in print journalism. Students spend an entire semester studying the history and future of newsrooms in America, developing hardnews writing technique and applying these lessons in a hands-on internship. WJC will cultivate professional news skills and encourage students to think through the implications of being a Christian working in the news media in a city that is home to the powerful and the powerless. To learn more about the Washington Journalism Center, visit www.bestsemester.com/wjc.

 

Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA)

Brethren Colleges Abroad operates academic study centers in 14 countries for students from U.S. institutions of higher education. BCA Study Centers offer fall and spring semester and year-long programs in the liberal arts tradition at universities in the following locations: Belgium, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain. Summer programs are offered in Austria and Morocco.  For further information, contact the director of cross-cultural programs. These programs meet the cross-cultural 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 students interested in studying 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 area of 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 requirement. 

August 2013