We intend to graduate persons with a global perspective who are competent, caring, creative, generous persons of character and potential.
Anderson University's TRI-S (Study, Serve, Share) program provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to learn and serve in cross-cultural settings. It is a program that integrates theory and practice in extending the classroom to different parts of the world. The TRI-S program was begun in 1964. Since its beginning, over 21,000 students, faculty, and staff have participated in this program. Each year more than 400 people participate in the TRI-S program. TRI-S groups have traveled to Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and have worked with Native Americans and other ethnic groups in the United States and Canada.
Specifically, TRI-S programs for learning and serving include construction projects, teaching in elementary schools, caring for orphaned children, and helping with community development projects. Students serve in distant places such as the jungles of Peru, villages of the Caribbean, rural communities of Uganda, and the great urban centers of the world. Participants care for the sick in clinics and hospitals in Hong Kong, Korea, and Honduras. In India, students assist the Missionaries of Charity in caring for the destitute and dying in Calcutta. Educators tutor and teach in England, Taiwan, and Egypt. Volunteers support community development projects in Belize, Egypt, Brazil, and with Native Americans in the USA. Prospective ministers lead youth camps, vacation church schools, and ministry in Finland, Australia, Germany, and England. Musicians and dramatists tour with music and plays throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
In addition to the service projects, TRI-S programs also provide opportunities to study the culture of a particular society. Cultural study programs include a wide range of learning experiences focusing on language, history, geography, art, music, and the customs and worldview of a people group. Cultural information, insight, understanding and awareness are primary objectives of these programs. In the cultural learning programs, art majors travel and study in France and Italy, foreign language majors live with host families in Europe and Latin America and business majors meet with industry leaders in Japan, Korea and Europe. Literature and drama students study in England and teacher education majors observe and participate in classrooms in England, Scotland, Bolivia, Haiti and Grand Cayman. Political science majors deal with issues of international relationships and conflict resolution in Northern Ireland and the Middle East.
Although each TRI-S program is unique, most consist of ten to fifteen students and a faculty or staff leader. Prior to departure, the group will meet four to five times for cultural orientation and preparation for travel. Participants prepare for their TRI-S experience by reading and studying about the history and culture of the country. Also, groups will meet regularly during the time of their travel to discuss their experiences, thoughts, and feelings.
The TRI-S program provides a cross-cultural learning/service context to support the following objectives:
- The integration of faith and practice in service to humankind.
- The formation of a moral and ethical foundation for a lifestyle commitment of service to humankind.
- The development of a theoretical framework from which to interpret and understand culture.
- The learning of concepts and skills to analytically reflect on the cultural themes of one’s own culture and the culture of other persons.
- The learning of concepts and skills essential to cross-cultural communication.
- The formation of a global perspective with regard to current national and international issues.
"Each of the four trips I have taken through the Tri-S program have challenged me, opened my eyes to other cultures, and taught me much about what it means to love others."
Jeremy, Atlanta Urban Ministry
"Oftentimes people don’t realize that you don’t have to go to another country to help out. Right here in the states we have people who are suffering and desperately want someone to love them and help them out."
Erica, Hurricane Katrina Relief Work Camp
"This trip was so much more than pouring a concrete floor and building brick walls . . . it was experiencing God in a new way, in the friendships we built, and in the beauty of a foreign country."
Curtis, Costa Rica Work Camp
"Tri-S was one of the best decisions I ever made while at Anderson. What I saw, experienced, and felt during that short time, will forever be with me and impact my life and my ministry."
Erin, Jamaica Work Camp
"Going to Guatemala was an awesome experience for me. Not only did I get to see and experience a completely different culture, I got to help people in need and I formed friendships that I will carry with me for a very long time."
Nick, Guatemala Work Camp
"After traveling to Brazil, my eyes were opened to how little we really know about life. Spending three days in the Amazon without electricity, you really begin to evaluate your priorities and see all of the things that get in the way of you and God."
George, Amazon Brazil Cultural Trip
"I’ve always wanted to travel the world and Tri-S makes this possible for me. I feel so blessed to have an opportunity to go to places like London. What an amazing experience!"
Hannah, London Cultural Trip
"This trip was amazing! I was able to meet a lot of new and interesting people and also become better friends with the people I already knew. While working in the schools I felt we were able to really make a difference in the kids’ lives, even if it was just for a day. They really appreciated seeing us, and we loved spending time with them."
Elisa, Mexico Service Trip