Six Clarks Summit University students traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, for an educational trip. The trip was led by Dr. Janet Hicks, chair of the English and Communications Department, and Dr. Darryl Meekins, director of the South Africa intercultural studies program.
Students earned credits in a cultural immersion class taught by Meekins and a South African literature class taught by Hicks. Both courses were designed to be educational and immersive, and it was the experience of a new culture that made the trip unique. “We had to understand the South African literature from the historical and cultural context,” explains Dr. Hicks. “Dr. Meekins and I visited places that corresponded with what we were studying. We would read about one of their political writers and we went to Robben Island and saw where Nelson Mandela had been imprisoned.” Other stops on the trip included Green Market Square, Hermanus and Knysma.
Megan Miller, a senior Literature major, appreciated the intentionality of the trip. “It was clear that Dr. Hicks and Dr. Meekins had very intentionally planned out every museum visit and tour to complement what we had addressed in our reading and in the classroom,” she shares. “One day we even had a novel discussion in the living room of our guest house overlooking the ocean. The sheer variety of scenery made the overall class experience quite vibrant and added to the wonder of the whole trip.”
Student Yancy Butler was able to see the far reach that Clarks Summit University has, but more importantly, how God can connect different cultures. “It really opened my eyes to see how far stretched CSU is [over the globe] and how God can bring any group of people together no matter the circumstances. It showed me what CSU is doing on and off campus, and inspired me to do the same.” Butler is a sophomore in the Business program.
Miller agrees, “Taking this trip taught me that there are far more stories and perspectives beyond Northeast Pennsylvania, and it sparked a real desire in me to find out more about people’s individual stories and recognize their value as part of a greater human narrative.”
Studying in South Africa is offered as a full-semester, intercultural immersion opportunity as well as concentrated short-term learning experiences for CSU students.
–Haley Seboe is a Communications-Writing major from Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania