GPS celebrating 30 years
March 21, 2018

The Global Pathways Spring program is celebrating its 30th year of providing service-learning and cultural exchange opportunities for Culver students who have a desire to learn about another culture and live responsibly as global citizens.

Rev. Tom Steffen developed the Spring Break in Mission program 30 years ago. In October 2012, the name was changed to Global Pathways Spring (GPS) to better reflect the broad cultural and humanitarian reach of the trips. The trips have visited seven states, Puerto Rico, and 23 countries.

The GPS teams will be leaving campus on Thursday and Friday. Here are the destinations for this year’s teams. The teams will be reporting on their trips here.

European Union (Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany)

Students will explore the European Union’s evolving present by experiencing its art, food, and multicultural heritage, especially its history during the 100th anniversary year of the end of World War I. The trip will explore how the European Union emerged out of conflict and compromise as seen in a wide array of monuments and cultural sites. Highlights will include the Flanders Field Museum, a canal boat tour in Ghent, European Union and NATO centers in Brussels, the German city of Trier with its ancient Roman sites, a French language high school in Luxembourg City, World War I sites including those important to Culver such as Chateau-Thierry and the Argonne, a French cuisine school in the contemporary culinary capital of the Champagne region, and the Reims Cathedral – the grand location for the crowning of French kings.


The team will explore both ancient and modern Greece, beginning in Athens where students will visit the Acropolis and Parthenon, the new Acropolis Museum, and enjoy a dinner at a local Taverna with traditional Greek music and dancing. The team will then fly to the island of Samos, home to Pythagoras, where they will interact with local high school students and work at the Archipelago Institute. There will be information sessions about the unique flora and fauna of the area as well as field and lab work. They will take a ferry to the remote and scenic island of Lipsi for a service project at the Aegean Marine Sanctuary. The group will then visit the ancient cities of Corinth, Epidaurus, and Mycenae celebrated by Homer and the legendary home of Agamemnon.


Celebrating its 14th year, the Mexico trip will include building homes for needy families, and visiting a local elementary school to provide backpacks, supplies, and participate in recreational activities. The afternoons will include spending time at the ocean and pool, meals at a beach restaurant, and several sightseeing excursions, including whale-watching.


Team Tanzania will engage in a cross cultural experience of learning, living and sharing with students and faculty at School of St. Jude Arusha, Tanzania. The mission of St. Jude School is to break the cycle of poverty through education by providing a free instruction to the poorest and brightest students in Arusha. The team will stay in guest housing on campus and will work with primary school students and teachers during the stay. Other aspects of the trip will include a cultural excursion to a Maasai Boma (one of the local tribes), Swahili lessons, participation in other cultural activity options, and a safari.

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