Finding Us Doing Human Things — Educational Travel in a Time of Pandemic

During a time of pandemic, it can be tempting to simply cancel such trips, especially when they involve travel abroad. Cancelation appears as the obvious solution; consideration of alternatives takes time, effort, and creativity. Is it worth it?
The Ambrose School is among many who make travel an integral part of their educational experience. During a time of pandemic, it can be tempting to simply cancel such trips, especially when they involve travel abroad. Cancelation appears as the obvious solution; consideration of alternatives takes time, effort, and creativity. Is it worth it?
This presentation will use Ambrose as a case-study-in-process for considering how to deal with this scenario. Ambrose’s experience in the last 6 months has provided fodder for discussion on the topic— from postponing a trip from fall to spring to tracking with travel restrictions as a gauge for trip feasibility to communicating regularly with a tour agency on topics including refund policies and possible alternative plans. Contingency plans are also being considered, whether that be overseas alternatives to Ambrose’s normal trip to Italy, France and the UK or domestic trips to the United States northeast corridor cities. Most importantly, however, the pandemic has provided a context in which Ambrose is challenged to revisit the telos of a classical Christian approach to educational travel. What is gained by such trips and what is lost by their cancellation? 

Bill Miller

Raised in central Arizona, Bill received an engineering degree from Brown University. He served as a campus minister for seven years at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, and Osh State (Kyrgyzstan), going on to complete a M.A. in Politics and Ph.D. at the University of Dallas. After grad school, he moved with his family to the Czech Republic, where he served for 8 years as a lecturer with Anglo-American University and New York University’s study abroad program. Returning to the US, Bill taught at a Christian great books program in Minneapolis that included a 5 week course on fine arts in Florence, Italy. In graduate school he experienced meaningful conversations involving the great thinkers of Western civilization, fellow students, professors and the Truth of the Scriptures. Bill’s view of reality expanded; he was humbled and challenged to communicate with clarity, kindness and grace. The skills, knowledge and wisdom came with responsibility and implications for every area of life—from parenting to managing work projects to serving in the church. Bill longs to see God impart the Gospel as well as that kind of education to other young men and women. He and his wife Lisa have been married 25 years and have two sons: Caleb (23) and Joshua (20). He enjoys traveling, hiking, working out, and watching football of both kinds. Another lesser love is gastronomy, as they say in the Old World—aka cooking and sharing good food & drink with others.

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