While it’s not uncommon for Pacific students to study abroad during the school year, one group of students chose a non-traditional vacation spots, and instead spent their winter term in Kenya.

Alongside Richard Paxton, a professor in Pacific’s education program, 12 students embarked on a two-week journey to Njoro, Kenya to participate in an annual globalization seminar held at Egerton University. The Pacific Experience, which has traditionally happened every other year, is going to become an annual opportunity to students of any major or standing.

In the fall, the students who chose to make the journey were required to take a weekly, three-hour class in order to learn more about the culture and history of Kenya and East Africa as a whole. By educating students about such topics as the politics, agriculture, wildlife and geography, they were able to experience what senior John Martin describes as “so much more than just your average family vacation”. The class also included logistical preparation, helping students prepare passports, visas and appropriate vaccinations.

Once in Kenya during January, the group met up with another set of students from Paxton’s former home, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and began their journey.

“We go as students. We’re not there to save anybody or fix anything, we’re there to break down stereotypes and learn,” said Paxton.

Students were humbled and enlightened during the trip. During a March 7 discussion about their experiences, students told of technology in fairly modernized classrooms, and warm, welcoming people who were excited to learn more about America. In addition to the globalization classes and seminar at Egerton University, the students got the opportunity to explore social services agencies and wildlife reserves.

For those interested in attending the Kenya trip next year, informational meetings will be happening throughout the rest of this semester. For more information, please contact Richard Paxton at paxton@pacificu.edu.

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