Press Releases

Jul 25, 2000
Friends World Senior Returns from Hands-On Religious Study Abroad

Darren Johnson
(631) 287 8313
Fax: (631) 283 4081

Friends World student Arianne Zwartjes of Rockport, Maine, recently finished study at the Comparative Religion and Culture center in Bangalore, India. The college senior is one of 20 Friends World students who spent nine months abroad studying the texts of religions and topics including the afterlife, gender roles in religion and pilgrimages.

In keeping with Friends World tradition, Zwartjes, 22, also experienced her subject, visiting holy places not only in India, but Nepal, Israel and Thailand. Her group also went on a 10-day pilgrimage to a sacred Buddhist island in Japan and visited the Jain pilgrimage sites of India. They met with religious leaders and observed religious tensions.

Friends World offers baccalaureate degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and a curriculum that relies heavily on travel and the hands-on applying of academics to real-world issues. Zwartjes's concentration is in Intercultural Education. She is a 1996 graduate of Camden-Rockport High School and is the daughter of William and Georgia Zwartjes of Rockport. "I hope more kids from Camden-Rockport High School will become aware of opportunities like Friends World and take advantage of them," Zwartjes said. "It's an incredible education that cannot be gained at any school in the States."

Since 1965, Friends World students have carried out studies in over 75 countries, making a reality of the phrase "the world is your campus." The College's program requires classroom study, immersion language training and independent fieldwork in at least two foreign centers/cultures. Under faculty guidance, students develop skills and competencies in a major academic field by combining research, hands-on experience and analytical writing. Founded by the Quakers in 1965, Friends World became nonsectarian in the mid-1970s. In the 1991-92 academic year, Friends World affiliated with Long Island University and received full accreditation by The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The program is based at Long Island University's Southampton College. Friends World has centers in the U.S., China, Costa Rica, England, India, Israel and Japan. S