Written by Carolyn Fairbanks. Digital Media by Jessica Sturgeon.
Ever thought about spending a semester abroad? Maybe you’ve been interested, but have no idea what programs are out there, if your major will let you, or if it’s your calling, you know, the usual over thinking. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this problem. Go-ED is a semester long program that can help you answer some of those questions.
Michael Pucci with Go-ED visited Greenville this week to meet with students and talk to them about the opportunities that come with Go-ED. Go-ED is a program that focuses on putting students in impoverished areas to help serve the community. Students can serve in either Africa or Mekong where they take classes and get hands-on experience with internships.
“These places were chosen for a reason,” Pucci explains. He believes these places are where Christians should be engaged. “If we want to really understand poverty, we have to understand the context of reconciliation, genocide,” Pucci continues, “the context of structural generational exploitation.” The Africa base is located in Rwanda, notorious for its genocides. Mekong is known for human trafficking.
The program is not limited to those interested in cross-cultural ministry. “If you’re interested in cross-cultural ministry, it’s a great way to test that,” Pucci says, but all majors are welcomed. “Regardless of your vocational calling, the program shapes you in a different way; it opens up a different perspective on the body of Christ and the scale across the world, as well as your world view,” he explains.
Greenville College students Arley Cornell and Kat Kennedy both spent a semester with Go-ED in Africa. “I wanted to go because I felt like I was supposed to go,” Cornell reveals, “and I wanted to travel, [go on an] adventure, see the world.” While he was there, Cornell interned at the Center for Champions, which is a safe house for street children and a reintegration center. Kennedy says she always wanted to go to Africa and “college was the best time to take advantage of an opportunity like living in another country for four months.” She worked at two different practicums, a farm and a boy’s orphanage.
Both students had a positive experience and encourage students to take advantage of the Go-ED program. Kennedy says she would encourage students to travel abroad through any program, but still encourages them to take a look at Go-ED. “I would choose Go ED because of the ‘family’ experience you will have with the people you go with,” Kennedy conveyed. “It’s a great lesson in community.” Cornell agrees with Kennedy and believes everyone should study abroad, explaining that, “being able to go was an immense gift to my faith and my worldview. It is not just a great experience of my past, it has come to change and define who I am.” “If you want your life to be radically different, then Go-ED is for you,” Pucci affirms.