(July 22, 2011)

Contact: Patty Roberts, Centenary Marketing & Communication, 318.869.5747

Students Immersed in India Experience for May Module

Students in India

SHREVEPORT, LA — Professor David Otto and thirteen Centenary students spent most of the month of May in northern India as part of the 2011 May Module. The module is a month-long set of immersive courses available in a variety of academic areas. By participating in a May Module, students fulfill their requirements for Trek, an innovative program through which all Centenary students participate in experiential learning by exploring opportunities in the areas of career, culture, and community.

In India, the students were part of an engaging, integrative experience in which they learned about the area's major religious traditions. To prepare for their journey, students paired up and exchanged emails with students in Dharamsala to create a personalized mutual learning experience. The students arrived in Delhi on May 11 and traveled to Agra, Dharamsala, and Tso Pema. Before returning home on June 9, the group enjoyed a final stopover in Frankfurt, Germany.

Neuroscience major Justine Kemp discussed the transformative power of her own immersion experience in an e-mail from India:

It would be exhausting to describe all the differences between here and back home. Although there are traffic rules, no one follows them and we saw a combination of things from mopeds driving on sidewalks to the worst tail-gating possible! We took a day trip to the Taj Mahal before heading up to Dharamsala for a week. This wonder of the world was awe-inspiring. We headed out of Delhi to Dharamsala the following day by train. This town is literally on the side of the mountain! The first day we arrived in Dharamsala coincided with the day the Dalai Lama was returning home. To welcome him home, many of the residents lined the streets holding katas (white scarves). When we met our mutual learning partners, many of us had small gifts to give them. During the following days, many of us heard heart-breaking stories about their journey from Tibet to India...Spending time here, we have all seen that generosity, peacefulness, compassion and wisdom are apparent in these people and it has been relaxing to have a slower more peaceful way of life this past week.

The Trek program gives active form to Centenary's mission to help students create more meaningful and sustainable lives. Students are encouraged to make connections in expanding social circles, which prepare them to engage and lead with a global worldview.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.