Goshen College brings Nicaragua back for summer unit of SST.
The Nicaragua Study-Service Term unit is back on the schedule for this summer.
The Nicaragua SST unit for this summer was previously cancelled; however, due to students being adversely affected by the cancellation, it was brought back.
According to Tom Meyers, director of international education, the previous cancellation meant class conflicts for some students, which would have altered their graduation dates.
According to Meyers, this summer’s unit will be financially stable due to the number of students enrolled in units this summer; however after this summer the Nicaragua SST destination will be put on hold until overall enrollment in the college increases.
“When we left Nicaragua it was not a statement about Nicaragua. There is still a lot of student interest in learning about Central America and Nicaragua. We still think it is a good location for SST,” Meyers said.
Because this unit had been previously planned and then cancelled, those who were enrolled in the original unit were given priority in signing up. Those currently enrolled in this summer’s SST in Peru were given next priority. Next week, any other student who was not already enrolled in this summer’s Nicaragua or Peru SST will be given the chance to join if there are spaces left.
Isaiah Friesen plans on going on the Nicaragua trip this summer.
What made him interested in Nicaragua as an SST destination was learning about the Sandinista revolution. Researching Anabaptist Nicaraguan groups also peaked his interest in making it his SST destination. Hearing Maria Sanchez Schirch, assistant professor of Spanish who will be acting as local coordinator for the unit, talk about her story and connections to the area also left a big impact on him.
Friesen said, “It’ll be cool to have a professor beforehand who is from the country and then still be able to connect with her again after the trip.”
Bob Yoder, campus pastor, and his wife Pam, pastor at Goshen College Mennonite Church, will be leading the SST unit.
It will be their first time leading an SST unit.
When they signed up for a unit to lead, Nicaragua was the perfect fit. Yoder wanted a Spanish speaking country to strengthen his Spanish skills. And, because his wife is a pastor, doing the full year in Peru was not an option. According to Yoder, because Nicaragua is only one semester, it fit their schedule better.
Yoder did not attend Goshen College and has never experienced SST.
Yoder said, “I’m excited for my family to take part in the SST experience. We have two children ages seven and nine and I’m excited to have them interact with college students and experience another culture.”