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The ATW experience is a unique study-abroad experience because it offers students the opportunity to work in a learning community. Students travel from country to country in airplanes, trains, buses, and even camels—but they always travel together. Students study, attend classes, and earn 15-units of college coursework, and they do this academic work together. Each day of the semester involves some form of service, and yes, the students accomplish this service in teams together!
The ATW Semester has been crafted to help students grow in their Christian faith, to grow in their intellectual capacity, to grow in empathy and cross-cultural vision.
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I speak as a pastor in our church body and as a parent of my own child who benefited from the Around-the-World program. It was an extraordinary gift to me, my daughter, and the church at large. My daughter is an excellent teacher. The perspective she gained from ATW about the world in which we live and about sharing the gospel was life-changing and invaluable. Those experiences are now woven into her lessons, and shape the minds of her students. I could not have orchestrated it any better myself, but I know God did.
Thank you, Concordia University Irvine for facilitating such an incredible life changing experience.
- Pastor Jeff Schrank
Exploration is one of the foundational components of the Around-the-World Semester. We explore 10 countries on each expedition, and the types of explorations range widely. Each country involves some form of culinary adventure; some of the favorites have been the churrascarias in Brazil, the Sichuan hot pots in China, and the Balinese roast pork.
Teams have also enjoyed new explorations in local transportation, including camel trekking in Jordan’s Wadi Rum, felucca sailing on the Nile River in Egypt, and Bamboo Train expeditions in Cambodia. Since 2010 the ATW teams have explored many different national treasures—a few include the sandstone city of Petra, Jordan, the rocky caves of Cappadocia, Turkey, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, safaris in Kenya’s Masai Mara and South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the Great Wall of China, and the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
Each ATW Semester is different, and each team explores new foods, new places, new sites, and new national treasures. One thing that each team takes away from the semester is a new and broadened appreciation for the beauty and majesty of God’s creation.
Students who participate in the Around-the-World Semester pay a program fee of $13,000. The ATW program fee comes in addition to tuition (academic scholarships still apply). The program fee takes the place of room and board expenses typically paid for a semester on campus.