Centenary students explore diverse cultures on May Modules
SHREVEPORT, LA — Over 80 Centenary students recently embarked on Modules to international destinations ranging from Australia, Denmark, and Finland to France, Greece, and Haiti. Some students elected to keep their feet on local ground and investigate areas such as Shreveport’s own Chimp Haven.
Centenary's Modules are unique and interactive courses that give students the opportunity to gain rich cultural experiences in just a few weeks. Although one would expect a course across the world to cost an enormous amount, Centenary’s system of Passport Points makes international travel and study a reality for many students.
After every Module course, students reported without fail that their favorite part of the experience was getting the chance to see the beautiful landscapes that the other countries had to offer. For Hannah Jo Wright '16, the highlight of her trip to Greece was exploring the ruins that have been there for thousands of years.
"We climbed about three or four mountains but each view was spectacular in its own way," says Wright. "Even as we were walking around I would find myself just looking around with my mouth gaping open in amazement. The people of Greece are used to living around the ruins and culture that was lost but I couldn't get over their beauty and society living together in such harmony and fluidity."
Although she chose quite a different location to visit, Danielle Adams '18 also found herself enraptured by Australia’s natural beauty.
"I was able to go scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, go white water rafting, listen to the symphony at the Sydney Opera House, and visit the Australia zoo where I got to hold a koala," says Adams. "The best part was being able to see sea turtles, sharks, rays, and other wildlife that I'll never see anywhere else."
Students who attended the Denmark Module explored religion in the country, which is largely labelled as a secular state even though its culture contains diverse religious practices. Dr. Spencer Dew, professor of religious studies at Centenary, helped his students expand their knowledge of Denmark's religiosities and political condition, especially in comparison to America's.
"We visited religious sites such as churches, mosques, synagogues, and meditation halls and met with representatives from religious communities,” explains Dew. "We entered into conversations - with Muslim immigrants, with mega-church preachers, with members of Buddhist intentional communities - about religion in Denmark and the relation of religion to Danish national identity, law, politics, and history."
Through these Modules, Centenary students were able to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of other cultures while getting to travel and experience them first-hand.
"I'm so thankful to Centenary for giving me this great opportunity," remarks Danielle Adams '18. "I never thought I would be able to travel across the world and do all of these amazing things."