Officials of the OCU Doers Cultural Exchange Program will choose 16 students to go to China this summer.
The program sends OCU students to a foreign country to facilitate cultural expansion, learning and service.
For the past three years, the program has taken students to Taiwan. The decision to go to China this year was made by the Doers Foundation, said Mary Benner, director of global engagement.
The Doers Foundation is based in Taiwan, and they give money to OCU for students to take part in the program.
“They pay for all of the program activities while they’re there,” Benner said. “They also give us money for airfare for the students.”
The trip will take place July 14-31.
Students are required to have a 2.75 GPA and must be able to obtain a passport by March 15. While there is no overall cost of the trip, students can find estimated Visa prices and fees at okcu.abroadoffice.net.
“We try to get students from across the board,” Benner said. “It’s people who want to work as part of a group, who really can talk about their ability to be adaptable to new environments and cultures, and be able to be in a situation where they really have no privacy for two weeks, and they want to work with high school students.”
Because the program is to China this year, Benner said they aren’t really sure what to expect.
“One of the reasons they have to be so adaptable is because we don’t have information yet,” Benner said. “I’ll have all that before they leave in July.”
In the past, OCU students worked in tandem with college students from Taiwan to host camps for high school students. The students have exercise and class time, learn about each other’s cultures and campers are encouraged to work on their English speaking skills.
Audrey Schultz, dance junior, attended the trip to Taiwan last year.
“I learned so much about the culture and was able to get to know the students really well,” Schultz said. “During the camp, we got to work with an aboriginal tribe and learn how they make things, hunt, live on the east coast of Taiwan.”
The trip consists of learning new things, but also includes having fun, Schultz said.
“We planned classes for the campers where we got to compare cultures, talk about traditions and have fun, of course,” Schultz said. “We also got to go on hikes, see the ocean, play games, share memories, oh and the food was great.”
Students are chosen based off of their application essays and responses, then are brought in for interviews the week of Feb. 12-16. The applicants then will be narrowed down and 16 students will be chosen by a committee made up of Benner and past faculty leaders, to go on the trip.
To apply for the program, students can find the application at okcu.abroadoffice.net under “China.”
“I would encourage any student who is intrigued to go ahead and apply,” Benner said.
Benner said no study abroad, foreign language, or childcare experience is required to apply.
“You have to have a keen interest in learning about other cultures,” she said. “You have to be excited about having this somewhat mysterious, unknown adventure.”
For more information, students may email Benner at firstname.lastname@example.org.