Study abroad programs strengthen ties
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By Ryan Holly
faculty, staff and students of Oklahoma Christian University and
Cascade College have many ways to bridge the geographical gap between
the two sister schools. One bridge takes the form of study abroad
“The study abroad program is probably the best link between the
campuses. It is the only program that provides a meaningful link for
the students,” Academic Dean of Cascade College and previous study
abroad sponsor Shawn Jones said.
Students who have been a part of these programs keep up the relationships that stretch across campuses.
“I have seen some very meaningful relationships form because of the
connections made on these journeys. Some students have even switched
campuses to more closely maintain meaningful relationships,” Jones
Oklahoma Christian and Cascade students travel together on study abroad programs.
Sometimes this abrupt union can be tense before it develops into a family relationship.
“I was nervous meeting the girls from Cascade because we were going
to be spending over six weeks together, but I knew that God had a
reason for bringing us together. They were all very sweet, and we
quickly became friends. It was only a week into our trip that we seemed
like family,” Oklahoma Christian sophomore and Vienna Summer 2007
participant Whitney Edmondson said.
Oklahoma Christian and Cascade are different in certain aspects.
This diversity does not separate the campuses but instead unites them
into a spiritual community.
“A hand and a foot differ greatly, yet they are of the same body.
To relate any two people together is not always as easy as stating
their difference. Yet we schools are of the same body, similarities and
differences alike,” Cascade junior and Pac Rim 2006 participant Luke
Oklahoma Christian students are not as aware of Cascade as Cascade
students are of Oklahoma Christian. Oklahoma Christian students have
the opportunity to learn about and enrich the relationship between the
“I think that simply talking about Cascade more would help people
become more aware of Cascade. When I visit home, it seems like everyone
at Cascade knows about OC, but at OC, I get a blank stare and then have
to explain that OC does have a sister school in the Northwest,”
Oklahoma Christian sophomore and Vienna Summer 2007 participant Alyssa
There are many study abroad programs focused on learning about
different countries. There is now a study abroad program between
Oklahoma Christian and Cascade College.
“Allowing students to spend a semester or so at one another’s
school adds an element of ‘sisterhood’ that is not present at other
universities and colleges,” Martin said. “By increasing the
relationship through this cross study program, Cascade students will
have an opportunity to study at a higher populated school and discover
the benefits OC has to offer, as well as OC students having the
opportunity of diving into the culture of the Northwest and finding the
intimacy of students shared at a smaller school.”
The partnership between Oklahoma Christian and Cascade is currently breaking free from its slow beginnings.
“Historically, we have had very few connections that are unique to
the campuses. We have not capitalized on our combined university
ties,” Jones said.
However, campus administrators are working to improve this.
“With the new distance learning technology connecting the campuses,
we are providing more ways to be united. Dr. Garrett has been very
proactive in making sure we are more connected than ever,” Jones said.