Intervarsity Launches China Cross-Culture Program

American fellowship initiates cultural exchange program with Qinghai Normal University students.
( [email protected] ) Jan 12, 2005 11:17 PM EST

The Intervarsity Fellowship (IV), one of the largest campus fellowships in the United States, will soon host a live-abroad program available for San Diego and eastern Great Lakes students. The students will be staying at the Qinghai Normal University (QNU).

According to the fellowship website, the program provides each participating students the unique experience of living with a local students. This experience, the website promises, gives the students a month-long opportunity to learn how to adapt to and accept differences in cultures – helping the student to surpass cultural boundaries while sharing “the love of Jesus.” The program starts July 1st and ends August 15th.

Before the program begins, participants are expected to begin preparations in the form of reading and cross-culture training in the spring. Shortly before leaving for China, students are required to meet in Los Angeles for team-building training.

The first stop will be in the modern-capital of Beijing, the Intervarsity site says. There, students will take rest from jet-lag, and get a feel for the culture by visiting ancient Chinese sites. Next, the students will take a 32-hour train ride to Xining. After spending a month in QNU, students will depart for the ancient-capital at Xian.

There, students will be given opportunities to quietly reflect on their experiences living in a different environment. In addition, students will be asked to deeply think about lessons “God has been teaching.”

After returning to America, Intervarsity hopes, student will come away with newly acquired skills in serving, uniting in the Holy Spirit, and being adept in “honest and edifying communication.”

The summer experience, the website concludes, is similar to a year’s worth of discipleship training, allowing participants to build up more effective “witnessing” skills even in United States ministries.