At the start of this summer, I had the privilege of traveling with Wheaton in the Holy Lands as part of one of Wheaton’s study abroad programs. We were abroad for three weeks in Israel, a week in Greece, a week in Turkey, and a week in Italy (this year was the program's 42nd annual trip abroad).
While I loved visiting churches and historical ruins, our visit to Jerusalem—one of the most relevant cities in the world with regard to International Relations—was my chance to engage with the sites of the modern-day State of Israel. As a student of history, I firmly believe that in order to understand anything about current affairs, one must first understand the history behind them. Too often it seems that onlookers try and jump in and offer a solution without actually understanding the underlying historical roots behind the conflict. Thanks to the classes we took with the Shalom Hartman Institute, we engaged with the culture, history, and identity of the Jewish Israeli community.
Ultimately, no amount of books I have read, classes I have taken, or lectures I have heard could have taught me what I learned from the experience of engaging with the Jewish community of Jerusalem. In participating in Wheaton in the Holy Lands as a study abroad program, I learned so much. Bottom line: I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program and broaden my understanding of other cultures and histories.
Interested in participating in a study abroad program? Click the button to watch our video and hear from students about the value of studying abroad.