Students study in Mexico

SixteenNorthwestern College students are currently studying in Mexico, led by Spanish instructor Piet Koene. The group is spending four weeks in Mexico City and Oaxaca, learning about Mexican society and culture and studying the Spanish language. They will return on June 26.

“Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world and very urban,” Koene says. “Oaxaca is very historical and very much influenced by indigenous cultures.”

In addition to several hours of classes four days a week, students are participating in day trips in and outside of Mexico City. They are living with Mexican host families and also will spend five days traveling to and exploring Oaxaca.

“We want students to learn—or begin to learn—what it means to live like a Mexican in Mexico, within Mexican society,” Koene says. “Hopefully, the experience will change their worldview.”

Five students and Dave Nonnemacher, director of service learning, returned on June 12 from a four-week study trip in Romania, which was designed to expose students to Romanian culture and give them experience in adventure education. The Northwestern students were trained in ropes course, rock climbing, and initiative and group-building activities, and then delivered an adventure program to Romanian youth through the New Horizons Foundation. The program, which culminated in a group wilderness trip, was designed to teach Romania’s next generation basic values like trust, concern and compassion for others.