This year, Deerfield’s Center for Service and Global Citizenship (CSGC) is offering nine different faculty-led trips to places all over the world including Panama, Oaxaca, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Tanzania, China, the United Kingdom, South Dakota, and Jordan.
Through these trips, the CSGC aims to prepare students to become leaders in a rapidly changing world, an important part of Deerfield’s mission statement. “There are things that we can do abroad that we can’t do anywhere else,” said CSGC Director David Miller.
Assistant Director Heather Wakeman further emphasised the value of traveling abroad through Deerfield. Specifically, she explained that going abroad with Deerfield sparks an enthusiasm to pursue continued action as in her experience, many students return asking, “What can I do now?”
Students’ collective enthusiasm about their experiences on these trips is evident and highly vocalized. For example, over the summer Molly Fischer ’20 traveled to Colombia. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “I was able to learn about current events and issues in another country. It made me more aware of the need for nature to be protected, and it also made me more confident in my Spanish!”
Additional benefits of Deerfield trips are the connections made with both Deerfield community members and the places visited. Niyafa Boucher ’18 explained her experience on the Tanzania trip, stating that it birthed “connections with new people, both in the Deerfield community and abroad, while allowing me to explore my identity outside of the Deerfield bubble.” She explained that the trip most importantly pushed her out of her comfort zone and was an eye-opening experience in a community very different from her own. Continuing, she said, “I had an urban perspective on the world, and seeing a community that was striving to be self-sufficient reminded me that not all communities are like my own.”
Overall, the CSGC continues to offer the opportunity of experiencing important lessons in a real-world context, as opposed to reading about them in a textbook.
Mr. Miller concluded, “Service through CSGC faculty led trips is becoming a part of the culture here at Deerfield, and that is very exciting.”