This coming January, a few Wheaton students will leave American shores behind, traveling and researching with professors in Ghana, South Africa and Trinidad. Professors Hyun Kim and James Freeman will be hosting the trip to South Africa, President Hanno will be leading the trip to Ghana and Professor Julie Searles will be conducting the trip to Trinidad and Tobago.
Each trip focuses on a different central idea and is comprised of different activities. However, there are a few things the trips share in common. Students will visit townships and historical sites, participate in community service, listen to lectures by local academics, prepare and deliver entrepreneurship training sessions and familiarize themselves with musical instruments and traditions from different regions.
According to faculty leader Hyun Kim, the South African trip “will be [focusing] on Apartheid/Post-Apartheid, with emphasis on learning about their struggles in creating jobs/employment, poverty and inequality, townships, continuing segregation and the color line, xenophobia against migrant Africans and education. We will be fast-moving, covering much ‘ground’ literally and figuratively, including community service and making ‘digital stories’ of locals.” Kim elaborated that the trip “will be centered in Cape Town and Johannesburg.”
The trip to Ghana will focus on understanding entrepreneurship as a crucial asset in society and on the ways that it affects the pace of social and economic development, especially in developing nations. In Ghana, Wheaton students will be working to boost leadership and entrepreneurship skills among Ghanaian students.
The trip to Trinidad will be centered on appreciating and understanding the development of the Carnival tradition and the ways in which music can bring people together. Students will observe the physical impact of music as well as communicate with people who have intricate relationships with music.
These trips afford Wheaton students an important opportunity to look beyond the everyday, to meet people from different cultures and to broaden their horizons. It looks like many Wheaton students are jumping at this chance.