For the past 10 years, the University has offered interested students the opportunity to travel to Spain during the summer for a month of immersive experience in the Spanish language and culture.
It began with a burden among the faculty of the Division of Modern Language and Literature to give their students a more professional and extended exposure to Spanish culture than a typical mission team provides.
For modern language students, having a study abroad experience is especially valuable as they look for employment.
Participants in the University’s study abroad program will have a substantive overseas program with a language emphasis on their resume.
Dr. Amos Kasperek, assistant professor of Spanish, led this summer’s team of students on the study abroad trip.
“Typically, the study abroad trip [includes] a home stay with a family that speaks [Spanish] exclusively, which adds some quality and in some way, a safeguard that the student will have to speak Spanish,” Kasperek said.
When the students are in Spain, they visit historical sites and attend contemporary Spanish culture classes from 9 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.
At noon the students partake in almuerzo, a lunch or snack break, when they can stop, chat, perhaps go outside, maybe go to a park, and then head back to work.
“After classes, the students typically go back to their homes, [and] the main meal of the day, la comida takes place,” Kasperek said. “Food is very important in Spain, and there is a ton of variety.”
After the main meal, there are opportunities for students to participate in Bible studies with local Spanish residents, study for their classes and experience local attractions firsthand.
Dr. David Bell, a BJU graduate, is a great resource to the study abroad students. Bell holds a doctorate from a Spanish university in Translation Theory.
His “tent-making” ministry is teaching English while he plants churches. Having an academically qualified missions partner opens many doors for students to share the gospel.
“The students get to have both the strong missions emphasis and the strong academic component,” Kasperek said.
While Spain is currently the only study abroad trip offered, Kasperek said the Modern Language division is interesting in expanding the options in the future.
In total, the cost for this study abroad program ranges from $2,600 to $3,500.
The cost of the program includes the tuition for the academic experience, the program fee for the trip, and roundtrip airfare to Spain.
Any sophomore taking Spanish classes is welcome to apply for the program.
“It is especially helpful for those considering public service, grad school, business and law,” Kasperek said.