Academics make up the most significant part of this program. Classes are an integrated learning environment where you'll not only be reading, but also experiencing the places and people where the books were written. You'll be surrounded by an entire learning community of students who are studying and writing the same papers as you. Have a question about your paper? Since your professors are along on the trip, you can even ask for help with your thesis at midnight.
Global Studies Minor: 18 units
The courses listed below will inform and inspire you along your journey around the world. Papers will be written on tablets and texts read on Kindles so you can save space in your backpack.
This course surveys the transition from Modernism to Postmodernism with novels from 8-10 countries as well as postcolonial theory with novels from Africa and South Asia. Readings, lectures, discussions, and assessments cover postcolonial theory, postmodernism, literary technique, the role of religion, and the question of personal and national identity.
- The Violent Land
- The Heart of Redness
- The Forty Rules of Rule
- The Accident
- The Royal Ghosts: Stories
- Under the Banyan Tree
This course will study the literary and sacred masterpieces from the countries visited during the Around-the-World semester and examine these texts in light of their historical context, literary technique, the role of religion, and the question of personal and national identity.
- African Legends, Myths, & Folktales for Readers Theatre
- The Kindle Qur’an
- The Bhagavad Gita
- Jaina Sutras (Part II)
- The Forest of Thieves and the Magic Garden: An Anthology of Medieval Jain Stories
- Guru Granth Sahib – English Version
This course will introduce the basic concepts of international service and development projects as it prepares students for the rigor and routines of the Around-the-World Semester and gives students the tools to begin studying, serving, and traveling for eighteen weeks abroad.
Students will study theories of cross-cultural adaptation, acclimation, and assimilation in this course. Occurring before their departure for the study-abroad country, students will be better prepared to make the transition to their new home and develop an awareness of others and self, and become more effective observers of internal (intra-personal) changes, and external (inter-personal) discovery.
The globalization of organizations, public and private, and their multicultural make-up requires today's citizens to have a solid cross-cultural competence, involving an understanding of one's own culture and communication preferences, identifying others' preferences, and having a flexible behavioral repertoire to bridge cultural differences.
This course will provide specific applications for learning a new foreign language and understanding English structure and usage, including sound system, word formation, grammar, syntax, expression of meaning, variation, etymology, and/or change; cultural and artistic uses of languages; and comparison of oral and written aspects of language.
This course is meant to bring the practical service experience to students as they take responsibility for a variety of service projects that will challenge them, not only as they prepare ahead of time for outreach, but also as they adapt to sharing messages of love and forgiveness.
- Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence
- Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things
- Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission
- Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service
- Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
An intense creative nonfiction writing course combined with ethnographic research, blogging, and backpack journalism as students write about thirty-five pages of essays, profiles, literary journalism, and reviews that will be published weekly on a blog together with photos and video content. Assignments will require students to observe and engage with people in various countries where they are volunteering and studying.
- Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer
- Pass The Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered
- Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East
- Backpacks, Backroads, and Backstories: a Textbook for Travel Writing
Each team leader below is a veteran of at least one Around-the-World Semester®. To learn more about them, click on their names below.
Professor Adam Lee has traveled with almost 150 Concordia students to 40 countries since 2007. In addition to directing six student international mission trips, he led the first three ATW Semesters and has backpacked in over 110 countries on six continents. He lived in Asia for nine years where he trained teachers and taught university English in South Korea, China, and Mongolia. Lee has partnered during his travels with LCMS International Missions, World Mission Prayer League, YWAM, Operational Mobilization, and the Sisters of Charity.
Professor Tony Vezner served briefly on ATWIII as a visiting professor in Brazil. In 2012 he led a group of eight CUI grads on a journey to China to teach English along with the Vezner kids Ben and Olivia. Professor Heather Vezner (Education) has served on missionary trips to the Philippines and China. As a family, the Vezners have served locally for the L.A. Mission, St. John’s food pantry, Salvation Army Food Drive, and their kids have worked with Village of Hope and Bethesda.
Dr. John Norton, Professor of English, is one of the founding developers and leaders of the Around-the-World Semester program. Norton has been leading national and international student adventures since 2005, and his great love is "to see community develop through the challenges of travel." Norton and Lee have worked together to launch each of the ATW trips since 2010, and while each trip is unique, a focus on service and learning covers each international adventure. Norton and his wife Erica take their three children on each ATW trip, and the Nortons love how ATW has expanded and enriched their family.
Alanna Bretzmann is a CUI graduate in both English and Nursing. In between her two degrees Bretzmann traveled to China with a group of Concordia students to teach English. Shortly after finishing nursing school, Bretzmann and her husband Sam traveled to Kenya to work with Fikisha, a NGO with a mission to help children get into school and change their community. Bretzmann has traveled to seven countries, and done mission and scouting projects locally, nationally, and internationally.
Sam Bretzmann is a Wisconsin native and has a degree in Theological Studies from CUI. Bretzmann was a Graduate Assistant on ATW I and continues to pursue his passion for missions and travel by working with Fikisha, an NGO that Sam helped to start while on a summer trip in Kenya led by Professor Lee back in 2009. Sam’s spirit for the world and desire to build community in every setting have helped him learn how to listen and share stories of the amazing gifts God gives both locally and while abroad in 17 different countries.
Jessica Schrank plans on graduating with a Liberal Studies Degree and a Christ College Concentration in May 2016. Originally from Phoenix, she decided that CUI was a perfect fit for her to pursue her desire to be a teacher. Through trips led by her high school, church, and university, she has served with organizations and churches in 14 countries. Jessica was a member of the ATW III team and is currently Missions Coordinator for CUI’s campus ministry, which focuses on equipping and sending students to serve locally and globally.
Ryan Fink will be graduating from CUI in May 2016 with a degree in English, and plans on finishing his California teaching credential upon returning from ATW IV. A native of Long Beach, Ryan felt called to CUI due to its excellent reputation in training Lutheran teachers. Ryan traveled and served with the ATW III team as a student, and also participated on a CUI Mission Team to Guatemala in 2015. He served as a student leader on campus for two years, and is involved with the youth group at his home church in Long Beach.
Improve Your Writing
- Clichés are dead words.
- Overused words or phrases in your papers will lower your grade.
- Come up with fresh ways to think about your ideas.
- Transform your writing by finding new lenses to view your trip.