In April, 11 of our students, two faculty members, and 14 others took a trip to Greece and Israel for ADU’s second annual Bible Lands Tour. For two weeks they visited various historic sites such as the Acropolis, Sea of Galilee, Western Wall, Dead Sea, and many more. The trip was led by Zdravko Stefanovic, a religion professor at ADU, and his wife Bozana Stefanovic, a math professor at ADU.
ADU students are required to complete at least three religion courses to graduate. The Bible Lands Tour satisfies at least one of these course requirements, but students can choose to take up to two of these courses if they choose. The experience is designed around these courses and highlights locations that were talked about in each of the classes. Students are required to journal their experience on the trip to submit for a grade once they return.
The tour allows students to truly immerse themselves in the course material and interact with new cultures. It’s an excellent learning opportunity to train students for their healthcare careers, where they will be interacting with people of many faiths, backgrounds, and differing worldviews.
Professor Stefanovic shared some excerpts from the student journals, showing the impact the trip had on their life. We’ve included some of our favorites below.
“Comparing the stories from the bible and being able to see and touch things that most people could only imagine was an incredible chance that I will forever be grateful for. I learned a lot while on this trip and now going through bible verses, I will have an even better picture in my head as to what it looked like and how Jesus lived. Wanting to work in the health care industry we sometimes forget to make the time to travel and experience the world and I think this opportunity through ADU is something that all students should take advantage of rather than sitting in a class room for 14 weeks. I am so grateful for this trip that I will never forget!”
“Overall, the trip was truly eye-opening. I had always wanted to study abroad and this experience alongside classmates and professors gave depth to new cultures and religions I wouldn’t have otherwise experienced on my own for a long time…”
“I sing the song Via Dolorosa around Easter time at my church and I thought it was a nice experience to actually walk on it. Thinking of what happened on this road more than two thousand years ago is unimaginable. The trip was unforgettable. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and recommend that everyone take this chance to go and see what I saw.”
“On this amazing journey I was excited to learn more about different religions and cultures from my own. It was amazing to see them set in action in front of my face as opposed to just reading description out of a textbook. I saw the many ways in which people lived back in biblical times and I’ve been forced to question my own living in this modern society. …. As a healthcare professional, I got to see an authentic practice of Jewish faith. I was able to feel the presence of the spirituality and their faith… I will be a much better nurse during the care of Jewish patients. Never assuming their customs, but rather inviting them to show me themselves to help improve the care I can give them.
This is an experience that I hope to remember forever…I would highly recommend this trip to everyone. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. What you’re doing is life-changing and certainly character building.”
All the excerpts were submitted anonymously from Nursing students who attended the 2018 Bible Lands Tour.
For more information about future Bible Lands Tours or if you are interested in attending the next tour you may contact Zdravko Stefanovic at Zdravko.Stefanovic@adu.edu.