Studying abroad in a new country can be intimidating, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your faith on hold. I believe that studying abroad is such an amazing experience that not only allows people to have new experiences, but also grow and change (whether that be emotionally, intellectually, or religiously). Here are a couple of tips that I used in order to both learn and grow my faith during my study abroad program in Aix-en-Provence, France.
1. Find a local church or ministry to work alongside
This helped me further my relationship with God and allowed me to serve and be a part of the community, in a different way. I was also able to meet great people that I fellowshipped with regularly! In fact, I connected so closely with people in the church that they invited me over for meals and meaningful conversations.
2. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone
While abroad, I attended several churches. I would even attend services that were held in French in order to immerse myself in the culture. It was interesting to see how the forms of worship varied from church to church. This was also a great reminder to me that though the language of worship was different, the purpose and intentions were the same. I was experiencing God in a new setting. Another way that I challenged myself was by taking advantage of the evangelistic opportunities that came about as my relationships with my non-Christian friends in my program grew. In my program, there were a couple other Christians, so we were actually able to go to the same churches, Bible studies, and have discussions about religion with in our non-Christian friends in program.
3. Learn more about other religions
Studying in a new country brings new culture, new societies, and a variety of new religious beliefs. I found it to be an eye-opening experience to study the religion that surrounded me. Understanding the relationship between culture and religion gave me a greater appreciation for the culture and the diversity of God’s kingdom.
Rohanna Foote is a CEA alumna who studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France, during Summer 2019. She is currently a student at Grove City College.
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