Hesston to offer new trans-cultural opportunity

by Abby Musser Co-Editor-in-Chief

Nan'endo 8-sided temple nara-photo credit Andre Swartley
Nan’endo 8-sided temple nara-photo credit Andre Swartley

Hesston College’s motto is “Start here. Go Everywhere.”

Now “everywhere” includes Japan.

Starting in 2017, students will have an opportunity to visit Japan while earning four credits.

Japan is the newest addition to the list of trans-cultural experiences available to students. Other countries include Russia and India. Students can also take domestic trips to places like Clarkson, Ga. and Philadelphia.

Andre Swartley, English faculty and leader of the trip, lived in Japan with his family for two years before coming to Hesston. He says he had good experiences in study abroad programs and wanted to grant students the same chance.

“I thought it would be good to have an opportunity for students to go to a place where none of the Mennonite colleges offered-yet.”

To earn credit for the trip students will enroll in two courses, one in Hesston and one in Japan. Swartley will teach students introductory Japanese in a one credit hour class called JAPN 098: Intro to Japanese Language and Culture. The other course taught by John Sharp, history/bible and ministry faculty, is called HIST 198: World Civilizations – Japan.

Students depart from Wichita May 16, 2017 and return June 7. In Japan students will visit seven cities, including Tokyo and Hiroshima. In

The Swartley family will lead the Japan trip back to their old stomping grounds, like Kagoshima, pictured here.
The Swartley family will lead the Japan trip back to their old stomping grounds, like Kagoshima, pictured here.

Hiroshima students will attend language and culture classes and complete assignments at night. There students will be study partners with Japanese students from Hiroshima Shudo University. Then students will take a road trip to many different cities across Japan.

“The ‘road trip’ portion of the experience will be 11 days long,” said Swartley. “The group will travel south from Hiroshima to Kagoshima, at the southern tip of mainland Japan, then north again to the cities of Fukuoka, Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, and finally Tokyo. Throughout our travels, students will be responsible to make their final course presentations at different locations of cultural, historical, or natural significance.”

Total costs for the trip will be $3,300 which includes registration, transportation, lodging, food, cultural activities and textbooks. Students must pay a deposit estimated at $2500 before fall break to secure a spot in the class.

If you are interested in going or have questions please contact Swartley at andre.swartley@hesston.edu or drop by his office at Kropf Center.


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