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Annual Operations: Liberal Arts

A strong liberal arts education develops variety and clarity of perspective, as well as a deeper sense of citizenship, through global learning and cultural immersion. A primary strategic goal is to increase and diversify international study opportunities for our students.

Augustana has strong, historical connections to China. The college has sent 13 study groups on the East Asia term since 1974, as well as numerous trips ranging from ensemble tours to basketball tournaments. In 2005, an alto named Elizabeth Janicek wrote the following for the Augustana Magazine after traveling to China with the Augustana Choir.

"As children, we imagine that our backyard holes, dug deep enough, will lead us all the way to China; but as we grow, we find entire worlds within our yards and schools and families, and the novelty of exploration is quickly watered down…. But we are the children of globalization; we are members all of a global community, and the soil through which we once sought tunnels now plays the role of both runway and landing strip. We can visit this soil at the earth's farthest shores; we can stand on it to greet even our most distant neighbors. And the many parts of earth that we do not call home may feel unfamiliar, but they ought not feel strange. They are home to someone not so different from us. We will not understand each other fully, but there will be moments of penetrating clarity; we will make eye contact of oceanic depth and breathe with the deepest of honesties. Then we will go home. But we will remember always, and we will tell our children of the people that we knew so well for moments…. These moments of connection evade cultural studies and transcend translation; they are fundamental elements of humanity that keep us vulnerable, teachable and alive."

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