The expectation is not that you earn every passport stamp, but that as you pursue as many of them as possible, you will move toward a spiritually vibrant life abroad.
Be blessed and prayed for in a commissioning ceremony to affirm that you are sent abroad by God.
Find a group of people committed to praying for you and holding you accountable to your commitments about “Study Abroad Culture” (pages 14-18) and “Caring for Your Whole Self” (pages 29-38).
Attend an InterVarsity digital or in-person predeparture orientation, so that you are ready to make the most of your time abroad. Register for a Beyond Wanderlust session.
Research your host country and its culture using “The Lay of the Land” (page 8) and “Crossing Cultures” (page 10).
In anticipation of God’s work in your host country, pray for your host country four times before leaving the U.S. See “Open Your Eyes” (page 25).
Stay in your host city for 30 consecutive days in order to better know the place and the people.
Tell someone abroad (host family, roommate, classmate, etc.) that you are a Christian within the first 10 days of knowing them. Raise the stakes by sharing how your faith impacts your perspective on studying abroad. See “Influence in Exile” (page 20).
Have a spiritual conversation with a non-Christian in a pub, café, or other social setting.
Participate in the same Christian community (IFES, church, small group) four times.
Go beyond attending that Christian community’s gatherings by serving in some way, or even leading (if invited to do so).
Build relationship with a Digital Small Group member by talking and praying with them outside your regular Zoom session. (Register for a Digital Small Group.)
Wait at least 30 minutes before taking any photos at a famous site in order to experience it first, then focus on taking photos that capture your personal/ group experience there.
Organize an outing to a religious site or museum with religious art and host a discussion afterward. If you want help planning the discussion, set up a one-on-one coaching session.
Go on a Journey pilgrimage. (Students in Europe only. If you study elsewhere, go for the Trailblazer stamp.)
Plan a Journey-like spiritual pilgrimage in your host country or in a country you visit. See “A Pilgrim’s Travel Plan” (pages 217-219).
Pop the American Bubble by taking initiative to make cross-cultural friendships. See “Study Abroad Culture“ (page 14).
Respond in positive ways to a moment of cultural dissonance. See “Approaching Differences” (pages 13 and 223).
Connect deeply with Jesus by keeping the sabbath weekly and/or doing all the retreats in sessions 4, 8, 12, and 16.
Follow the Spirit’s leading to ask deeper spiritual questions and engage a seeking friend with the good news about Jesus. See “Tell Me, Please” (page 47).
Organize or participate in a regular prayer gathering to intercede for your host country, people you know, etc.
Explain to a friend what it means to follow Jesus and invite them to give their life to him.
Fast from screens (other than for homework or your Digital Small Group) for one week so that you spend more time face to face with people than online.
Do the same spiritual practice (ex. listening prayer, breath prayer, scripture memorization) for 30 days straight.
Talk to your campus staff, pastor, or mentor to explore how your experiences abroad can help you step into mission back at home. See “Sent Back” (page 155) and “Kingdom Souvenirs” (page 206).
Share a testimony from your time abroad in your chapter’s large group meeting or a similar setting. See “Telling Your Story” (page 200).