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"From the moment I touched down after the splendid flight into California, I remember such wonderful moments...the experience was unforgettable and life-giving. Not least was meeting up with so many new and good friends with whom I am still in contact".
Bridget M. Arscott, RLR
"I chose New Directions because it allowed me scope to design my own program while at the same time offering a supportive structure. I reveled in the wealth of opportunity available in Berkeley from guest lectures in the various Colleges in the Graduate Theological Union to swimming and gym at the Y, concerts, ballet, visiting places of beauty and historical interest".
Mary Owens, IBVM
Recreation & Community Life
You have many opportunities to enjoy social activities, like birthday parties, touring trips and other social get-togethers and outings. Each month, a tour is arranged to one of the destinations for which California is famous. These trips provide chances to play and renew mind and body. Participants choose the level at which they want to participate. For many, these activities are a memorable highlight of their sabbatical.
The SettingKnown for its spectacular natural beauty, moderate climate, and diverse cultures, the San Francisco Bay Area is an ideal location for your sabbatical. The entire area is rich with recreational opportunities including museums, parks, sports venues, concert halls, and interesting neighborhoods for walking and shopping. The Pacific Ocean is a short distance away, and Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are a few hours away. New Directions trips are planned to Yosemite National Park, the Monterey Peninsula, the Napa Valley wine country, and Muir Woods National Forest. Within walking distance of the New Directions residence is Zellerbach Hall at the University of California; this venue attracts world-class musicians, dancers, and performers from around the world. For more information on entertainment in the Bay Area, click here.
Year-round, temperatures average in the 60s Fahrenheit (around 20 degrees Celcius), with the winter months only slightly cooler.
The Jesuit School of Theology is a member of the Graduate Theological Union. Here there are eight divinity schools plus centers for the study of Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. You will enjoy your sabbatical in a rich ecumenical and inter-religious setting. The faculty for these schools are among the best in their fields. The GTU attracts students from around the globe, and this diversity of cultures adds greatly to the breadth and richness of the sabbatical. To find out more about the GTU, click here.
Housing and Meals
Most New Directions participants live in apartment-style units in Corcoran House consisting of one or two single-occupancy bedrooms, a living room, dining area and full kitchen. There are two computers with high-speed DSL internet access in the lounge, and the entire building has wireless connectivity as well.
There are different options for shopping around the school. If you don't have a car, JST provides transportation for shopping trips, doctor appointments, and others. To check out the shopping options, click here.
Most participants prepare their own meals, and frequently take turns cooking with other members of the cohort. If you prefer a quality cafeteria option, try the "Consortial Dining" plan of the Graduate Theological Union. A healthy, delicious menu is available six days a week, with "all you care to eat" entrees, just two blocks from JST apartments on the scenic campus of the Pacific School of Religion. You can sample the fresh fruit, salads and breads, made to order breakfasts, homemade soups, vegetarian options, and freshly baked desserts at a reasonable cost. Accommodations can be made for particular dietary needs and restrictions. For more information, go to www.psr.edu/diningAnother popular housing option for New Directions participants is the local Berkeley Salesian Community at Don Bosco Hall. Located conveniently just three blocks from JST, it is open to secular priests, women and men religious, and laity. All meals are included in the costs, as well as internet, landline telephone, and washer/drier. Don Bosco Hall has a strong common liturgical tradition. For more information, please contact Fr. John Roche, SDB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berkeley Health and Wellness Center
New Directions sabbatical students qualify for discount membership at the local health and wellness center, located in downtown Berkeley. This state of the art facility contains three swimming pools, a weight and strength training center, two gymnasiums, a Mind-Body center, an aerobics studio, and clean, family-friendly locker rooms. Learn more at http://www.ymca-cba.org/downtown-berkeley.