News - Studying Abroad with Greenville College: Kristen Kanaskie's Story

Studying Abroad with Greenville College: Kristen Kanaskie's Story

Written by Kaylee Summers '16

Kristen Kanaskie Travels Abroad to Nicaragua

Greenville College’s mission is to empower students for lives of character and service through a transforming Christ-centered education in the liberal arts, sciences and professional studies. A GC liberal arts education offers each student the opportunity to grow, not only intellectually, but spiritually, relationally, emotionally and physically. Through GC, senior Kristen Kanaskie, studied abroad for a semester in Nicaragua and grew in her Spanish speaking abilities and walk with God. Studying abroad is just one of many opportunities to combine character and service with learning and one of the countless reasons to attend GC.

Kristen Kanaskie is a senior Spanish and International Cross Cultural Studies double major with a minor in English and TESOL. As a first semester junior, Kanaskie studied abroad for a semester in Nicaragua through an organization, Students International. SI partners with GC and offers the same goals in curriculum. Kanaskie’s experience included taking classes in History and International Development as well as a two-month intensive language program. Kanaskie also served in mission work in microfinance. She worked with a site leader to teach women from three different communities a trade, empowering them to make a living for themselves. Once they mastered the trade, the women sold their product in the market. Kanaskie remarked, “When you empower women, things change in terms of poverty.” 

Kristen Kanaskie with site leader in Nicaragua

While studying abroad as a GC student, you can expect to be well cared for by host families, site leaders and GC professors. Kanaskie learned how to struggle with cultural differences while living with a Nicaraguan family and experienced life and faith through the eyes of her site leader who took Kanaskie with her to her church "Hosanna" every Sunday. Also, GC Professors Dr. Reinhard and Dr. Huston both made the trip to Nicaragua to teach for an intensive week of learning. While in Nicaragua, Kanaskie made treasured friendships she would not have known without the experience. 

Nicaragua, like most study abroad destinations, is beautiful and full of exciting travel opportunities. While in Nicaragua, Kanaskie’s group went on exertions all around the country visiting volcanos, lagoons, Managua and some small cities. The group also traveled to Costa Rica for a small time. Kanaskie’s short trip to SI’s base in Costa Rica gave her the opportunity to work in a center teaching ESL. “I never wanted to be a teacher, but I tutored a little girl and fell in love with TESL,” shares Kanaskie. She found her passion studying abroad and now hopes to teach English to immigrants in the United States. 

Kristen Kanaskie with group in Nicaragua studying abroad.

Back in the U.S. and preparing to graduate, Kanaskie still processes her experience and works to piece together the two cultures. She mentioned studying abroad is a serious decision because it will change you. Kanaskie remarks, “Living in Nicaragua helped me grow and develop into a person who is closer to Christ and who wants the Kingdom of God to look like the Kingdom of God.” Kanaskie now has an appreciation for the many beautiful dimensions of the body of Christ. 

Are you willing to leave your country and study abroad in a distant land? Each student must decide for themselves, but GC offers the opportunity to empower students to live a life of character and service, beginning with experiencing the world through a Christian liberal arts education in the quaint Greenville, Ill. If you’re ready to grow, see the world, build life-long relationships and find the passion instilled within you, attend GC and study abroad in Nicaragua, Spain, Costa Rica, and various other exciting destinations. 


This story was published on March 04, 2016

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