For nearly half a century, Hesston College has offered unique, immersive cross-cultural experiences. From programs in Europe and Asia, to Central and South America, to multicultural cities in the U.S., generations of students have gained academic credit and life-altering new perspectives as part of the Hesston Experience.
- China (2018): Hesston College graduate Mackenzie Miller (’18) pursued her passion for Chinese language and culture by embarking on the first HC-sponsored gap year at Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China.
- International Choir Tour: Europe (1980-present): The three choral programs on campus combine to perform in churches and cathedrals across Europe every two years, thanks in part to families in small towns like Alkmaar and Jaure in the Netherlands and Neuwied in Germany, who have hosted Hesston students in their homes for decades.
- India (2012-present): Dean of Global Engagement John Murray and Nursing Instructor Jean Rogers lead a group of nursing students on a service trip to India.
- Japan: ESL Professors Andre Swartley and Heidi Hochstetler lead a group of students and community members on the first biennial study term in southern Japan. Highlights include visiting the immaculate palace grounds of a feudal lord near one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and hearing the live testimony of an atomic bomb survivor in Hiroshima.
- MDS Summer Field Experience (2006-present): Disaster Management students study and serve for eight weeks on active MDS sites in the U.S. and Canada. Students have also participated in weeklong service projects over spring break since 2016.
- Philadelphia (2017-present): Bible and Religion Professor Michele Hershberger leads a group of students to Philadelphia, Pa., for three-week study of race, social justice and theology with an Indonesian Mennonite church and a Muslim mosque. The students live and serve in Black, Latinx and Indonesian communities.
- Russia (2010-present): Nursing Professor Gregg Schroeder leads nursing majors and other interested students on a two-week academic and cultural tour of prominent cities and historical sites in western Russia. Highlights include presentations at a university in Veliky Novgorod, Moscow and St. Petersburg, and rural villages and folk centers. The next Russia trip will be in January 2020.
- Thailand (2019): President Joe Manickam and Biology Professor Kyle Miller Hesed lead a group of students and community members to Manickam’s native Thailand for a two-week interfaith study of language and culture, in partnership with Haroon Mosque and Payap University, among others.
The world isn’t getting any less interesting or complex as we progress through the 21st Century, and Hesston College believes it is more important than ever to incorporate transcultural experiences into our curriculum. Experiences like these are only a few of the ways we strive to educate and nurture each student within Christ-centered community, integrating thought, life and faith for service to others in the church and the world.