Simpson University Cross-Cultural Students Experience Overseas Internships
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif.—Each summer students from Simpson University’s cross-cultural studies and world missions programs participate in internships that take them all over the world.
The purpose of the internship is to give students entering their senior year of college first-hand field experience working in a foreign culture. This past summer, students went to Palestine, Ecuador, Spain, Laos, Thailand, Albania, Taiwan, Switzerland, and Germany.
Eirena Ewert, a senior from Coarsegold, Calif., spent four weeks in Spain, working at children’s camps in Madrid and Barcelona.
“I chose these locations because I was connected with an international worker in the Christian and Missionary Alliance during Global Impact Week who started a ministry center in Barcelona,” she said. “The more that he talked about the ministry, the more that I felt a calling.”
Ewert said her favorite thing about her internship was getting into the feel of the Spanish culture.
“They are very relaxed, laid-back, and event-oriented,” she said. “Not once did I feel rushed to do anything and be anywhere. This was something that I absolutely loved.”
The most challenging aspect was the language barrier.
“I took two years of Spanish in high school, but it had been three years since I used the language,” Ewert said. “Though I knew some, I understood it better than I could speak it, and there were times where it was extremely frustrating with some of the children who did not speak a single word of English.”
Marci Baker, a senior from Auburn, Calif. spent five weeks in Guayaquil and Catamayo, Ecuador, working at a Compassion school feeding students and working in the classroom, as well as helping a missionary family prepare for teams of incoming volunteers. She also had the opportunity to attend a missions conference.
“I got to see and interact with the same kids for five weeks and build meaningful relationships,” she said. “I also really enjoyed helping prepare for incoming teams, because I was able to use my planning and organizing skills.”
Simpson’s cross-cultural studies and world missions degrees combine anthropology, theology, and community development to give students a well-rounded education that will help them in a variety of careers, including ministry, community development and teaching English to second-language learners. Students learn professional and ministry-related skills that help them work effectively in cross-cultural or multi-ethnic settings.
“Cultural relevance is something that is so valuable in any sort of work and life context, and the cross-cultural studies degree gives a perfect insight into this, including tools to know how to act in different contexts,” Ewert said.
Baker said she would encourage incoming students to pursue a cross-cultural studies or world missions major because it’s both useful and fulfilling.
“Whether you stay in the United States or go across the world, these majors better prepare you to interact with and love people from any background,” she said.
Graduates of the cross-cultural studies and world missions programs have been using the skills they learned to make an impact internationally and locally. Some have gone on to serve as missionaries with the Alliance, teach TESOL internationally, work in English programs in Japan and Korea, teach at an international school in China, work with Christian Peacemakers Teams in Palestine, work in the English Language Development Program in Shasta County and Intervarsity at Shasta College, among other roles.
To learn more about the cross-cultural studies and world missions majors, visit simpsonu.edu/ministry.
Article by Elise Wilson
Photos courtesy Eirena Ewert and Marci Baker
Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.
Contact: SU Public Relations