By EVAN BYRNE TOWER Editor
Imagine a College students Spring Break. When you imagine this, does partying, beaches, and the movie Project X come up?
Yeah, me too.
At Bethany, these experiences may be true for some students but not true for the 14 students who went on Alternative Spring Break trips sponsored by the Student Activities Council.
These trips were to Belfast, Ireland and Georgetown County, SC.
Both trips were service learning trips as the groups traveled to the two locations with the purpose to serve the local communities.
The 7 students and 1 advisor who went to Belfast, Ireland worked with YouthWorks, an after-school program. The volunteers traveled to Ireland on Friday, March 9 and landed on Saturday, March 10 in Dublin. When asked beforehand, the students said they were looking forward to their time serving and the cultural experience they will be immersed into as well.
Belfast is also known for their nightlife and drinking the traditional beer is a way of life. Other items on the itinerary was a visit to the “Titanic” museum, time spent at local shops & farmers markets, trips to the film locations of “Game of Thrones”, and a visit to the capitol. Another section of the group’s trip was hearing from representatives from various political parties in Northern Ireland who explained the political conflict that occurred with the United Kingdom.
The week before the trip the Advisor of the trip, Sam Goodge, Director of Student Activities sat down with our writers and explained why these trips are so significant. Sam explained, “ The trip sponsored by SAC to Northern Ireland offers our Bethany College students an opportunity to explore another culture, understand their reality, and encourage interaction with the youth of Belfast. Bethany College encourages our students to become global citizens and a trip like this, that gives so many cultural and service opportunities in such a short timeframe, helping to set our student’s up to live the Bethany College mission.”
On the Bethany website, one of the values that are posted states, “enlarge the world through exposure to the abundant diversity of thought and lifestyle of the human community, support for personal engagement with societies and cultures different from one’s own, and commitment to service.”
The intertwining themes in the quote by Sam and the value that Bethany has an global outreach objective.
Yet another trip that occurred was the service trip to South Carolina. The group of students and advisor teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to finish building houses in the communities in need.
The in-state trip was a first for Bethany as usually there is only one trip offered and it is out of the country. This year, a new tradition was created by having one service trip out of the country and one in the states. The goal for this was to provide more opportunities for students to utilize their week break constructively.
The two groups for these trips owe their gratitude to the travel organization, Amizade. The central goal that Amizade works towards is achieving service, learning, empathy, and social action through fair trade learning.
What this means is that Amizade has programs to bring the local communities overseas to the United States to also experience the same service learning that United States students experience.
This fair trade learning makes Amizade unique as a nonprofit organization.
These service trips provided by the Student Activities Council and paid for by the members going on the trip are opportunities for cultural immersions and service opportunities.
As these trips are yet another way that Bethany continues to be a unique, special, and respected higher education institution by offering students these opportunities during the break. The groups represented Bethany College and the United States students to local communities to their best ability this past week.
Our fellow Bethanians made their way back to campus this past Saturday, March 17 and dove right into the last leg of the Spring 2018 semester which started on Monday, March 19.