Study Abroad (Summer Semester)

What is Study Abroad?

Studying abroad is the perfect way for you to gain the international perspective, life skills, independence, and maturity. Spending a summer in a foreign culture is challenging and transformative experiences that will help students develop valuable and real-world skills. If students value growth, believe in the importance of knowing and understanding the world, and wish to make the most of their everyday life and education, Study Abroad is a perfect option for them. Study Abroad programs offer ambitious and curious students an opportunity to become global citizens as they complete their education. Students who study abroad have the opportunity to better understand world politics, to grasp pressing socioeconomic concepts and to be informed citizens of the world. Spending a summer a foreign school, experiencing another culture for 2 months, and spending enough time to become familiar with another country offer students a unique opportunity to become a valuable member of their communities.

The Goal of the Program:

The common ground of being descendent of the same mother and father make us a global family. Throughout history, some differences were established in religion, culture, and belief systems. In periods where these differences are considered with mutual respect and honor, societies have free and peaceful life while in other cases there were always enmity, hatred, envy, and chaos. In cultures and societies where religion is not learnt but “inherited” or “heard” from parents, faith is accepted without internalizing. In time, religion becomes a collection of rituals and obligations that are isolated from values and morals in the rush of bargaining with God for a reward in hereafter. In the business of exchanging worship for paradise, the relation between practice and values, the wisdom and meaning behind forms of worship in relation to morals and values diminish in time. As the common grounds of the Abrahamic traditions are mostly on the issues of faith, values, and morals and meaning; reduction of religion into rituals also drifts the believers away from the common grounds of the Abrahamic religions. The ignorance on the common grounds of faith, morals and values leaves room for people to be polarized and alienation of others. The migration of people of different faiths and backgrounds to the West made this fact more sensitive and imperative. In last decade some of the topics of conflict in western society are more public and a rich literature is circulating. In this program, we will engage in philosophical discussions on common fundamental topics of Abrahamic traditions, such as the purpose of creation, belief in God, worship and supplication. The overall approach will be concentrating on the meaning, arguments of these common concepts (as answer to “why” questions) rather than the forms and answers to “how” questions on the topics. We will also get a chance to examine the most debated contemporary issues such as interfaith dialogue and the misunderstanding of “Jihad” in both Western and Muslim worlds. This program attempts to dispel these misconceptions, allowing students to examine the religion on its roots and foundations of meaning.

Program Description:

The common ground of being descendent of the same mother and father make us a global family. Throughout history, some differences were established in religion, culture, and belief systems. In periods where these differences are considered with mutual respect and honor, societies have free and peaceful life while in other cases there were always enmity, hatred, envy, and chaos.

In cultures and societies where religion is not learnt but “inherited” or “heard” from parents, faith is accepted without internalizing. In time, religion becomes a collection of rituals and obligations that are isolated from values and morals in the rush of bargaining with God for a reward in hereafter. In the business of exchanging worship for paradise, the relation between practice and values, the wisdom and meaning behind forms of worship in relation to morals and values diminish in time.

As the common grounds of the Abrahamic traditions are mostly on the issues of faith, values, and morals and meaning; reduction of religion into rituals also drifts the believers away from the common grounds of the Abrahamic religions. The ignorance on the common grounds of faith, morals and values leaves room for people to be polarized and alienation of others. The migration of people of different faiths and backgrounds to the West made this fact more sensitive and imperative. In last decade some of the topics of conflict in western society are more public and a rich literature is circulating.

In this program, we will engage in philosophical discussions on common fundamental topics of Abrahamic traditions, such as the purpose of creation, belief in God, worship and supplication. The overall approach will be concentrating on the meaning, arguments of these common concepts (as answer to “why” questions) rather than the forms and answers to “how” questions on the topics. We will also get a chance to examine the most debated contemporary issues such as interfaith dialogue and the misunderstanding of “Jihad” in both Western and Muslim worlds. This program attempts to dispel these misconceptions, allowing students to examine the religion on its roots and foundations of meaning.