Students spend a semester abroad
Junior Charlie Scruggs prepares for his internship in Paraguay where he will live for nearly half a year
As a global studies major, Liberty University student Charlie Scruggs is required to complete an internship overseas to get ministry experience before he can graduate.
According to Scruggs, the compulsory overseas internship is an extremely helpful requirement for global studies majors at Liberty. Scruggs said that ministry has to go beyond book knowledge — it has to be experiential.
“The best way for me to learn about global work is to be truly immersed in it,” Scruggs said. “I cannot experience culture shock or the life-giving power of ministry in another country by simply reading a book. I must experience it.”
Although some may think the overseas requirement is excessive, Scruggs said it is a good experience for global study majors to have.
“I see this requirement as a very positive thing,” Scruggs said. “In all honesty, it’s pretty amazing that my major gives me the opportunity to do what I love, which I may not have been able to do without the requirement.”
According to Scruggs, he will be completing his internship in South America, going to the Hispanic country of Paraguay located on the Southwest border of Brazil. Scruggs’ assignment will be completed over the summer, but he said he might end up staying longer than required.
“The minimal requirement is 18 weeks, but I will probably be staying a little longer,” Scruggs said. “I chose Paraguay because the Lord just led me through different contacts I had, and after prayer I knew that was where the Lord wanted me to go.”
Scruggs said that, for the duration of his internship, he will be assisting missionaries in various activities. His focus will be with a single local pastor, and he will primarily work with that pastor to do outreach to the surrounding area.
“I will be assisting him in teaching, evangelizing and also helping with youth ministry in the area,” Scruggs said. “He also has a home there that houses about 17 to 20 children and teens, so I will be helping there as well.”
According to Scruggs, global studies students are not left to their own devices when trying to find an internship. Scruggs said the Global Studies Department was more than helpful in assisting him with his search.
“The Global Studies Department is very supportive and provides lots of counsel and direction,” Scruggs said. “The process for the internship is a series of meetings over time. The department is extremely helpful, and every student has the opportunity to pick an organization to go with.”
Students were encouraged to attend Global Focus Week, Scruggs said, in order to meet with potential internship organizations.
“Global Focus Week was a great time for the students to talk with organizations for this internship,” Scruggs said. “Liberty has a partnership with 10 major global organizations, such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, New Tribes Missions and others.”
Scruggs said along with the internship credit, students receive nine class credit hours during the trip. According to Scruggs, these hours come from special assignments while overseas, not from actual online classes.
“I hope to pick up a lot more Spanish while I am there,” Scruggs said. “I also hope to learn more about work around the globe, and being in the culture will help me understand the need, and also help me get a feel for what it will be like to live in another culture long-term.”