Since the inception of Goshen College’s Study Service Term (SST), the program has provided students with a top-notch cross-cultural education. Many return home from SST eager to share all their experiences and lessons learned. Believe it or not, the program was even ranked the fourth best study abroad program in the country in 2015. Yep, you read that right. Fourth. It’s truly unbelievable.However, if you stop and really think about it, fourth place is the equivalent of a participation ribbon. Yeah … like one of those ribbons they give you when you suck, but they don’t wanna hurt your feelings. Fourth. Not even on the pedestal. Considering how much GC promo material depends on the respectability of SST, how can we be satisfied?
It is true that GC offers opportunities to study abroad that other schools don’t. From Peru to China, Haiti to Chad, GC’s Global Engagement Office consistently pumps out great SST destinations. However, if it is to strive for the gold, it must place its students where no other school would even dare consider: Constantine, Michigan. With the inclusion of this travel destination in the SST program, Goshen College will prove its superiority in the realm of global engagement and education.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Southern Michigan? That’s, like, 25 miles away! We admit students won’t get the travel experience typical of other destinations, but the location is too ideal to pass up because of silly little travel expectations. With the sprawling forests and rushing rivers of southern Michigan, Constantine promises future SSTers an unforgettable and life-altering experience.
Students will experience the bustling local agriculture industry. Constantine is considered the corn seed capital of the world! As they tour the town, students will see the beautiful and humble products of its local community – and their hard-working businesses. Family-owned farms, such as Pioneer and Monsanto (local southern Michigan names), surround the little town. Some students may work for these local farms, giving back to the local community and cultivating the earth.
Students will learn much about farming during this experience, something that GC’s main campus fails to teach its students. In fact, one could think of Constantine as almost a second campus dedicated to agricultural education. You’re welcome for that great idea.
If that isn’t convincing enough for you, know that SSTers will also explore interstate cuisine. They will venture into a world of unknown flavors. Host families may want to share favorite local establishments with their host students, such as lunch at The Chicken Coop, where one will be served a 16-piece chicken family pack with local beverages known as Monster Energy.
It should be clear to the GC Global Engagement Office now that Constantine, Michigan, is perfect for their program.
Oh, apparently culture is a cornerstone of the SST experience. So uhh, we hope that SSTers can find a way to include culture in their time in Constantine. We are being told that it’s important or something.