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BETWEEN A RELIGIOUS ROCK AND A HARD STUDY
ABROAD PLACE: SUPPORTING STUDENTS OF FAITH
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Chair & Presenters:
2
J. Scott Van Der Meid, Brandeis University
Sarah E. Spencer, University of St. Thomas
Eero Jesuru...
MANY ROADS LEAD TO
ROME..AND BEYOND
Sarah E. Spencer, Director, Office of Study Abroad,
University of St. Thomas
REINVENTING
STUDY ABROAD
UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
• St. Paul & Minneapolis, Minnesota
• 10,245 total: 6,240 undergraduate;...
CURRICULAR ALIGNMENT WITH RELIGION
5
 Undergraduate Core Curriculum – Faith & the Catholic Tradition
 Theology 101: The ...
6
Bernardi Campus in
Rome
• CORE semester (fall)
• Catholic Studies
(spring)
• Seminarians (fall &
spring)
• Theology 101 ...
7
OPPORTUNTIES FOR ROME STUDY ABROAD
8
Intensive community, formation and cultural experience of living
in the heart of the...
LIMITATIONS FOR ROME STUDY ABROAD
9
Traditional curriculum = limited intercultural learning &
engagement
Community-based...
GETTING OFF THE ROCK
10
AIDS, Apartheid and the Arts of Resistance: Theological Reflection in
South Africa
Islam in Turk...
11
SUPPORTING STUDENTS OF FAITH:
AN ON-SITE PERSPECTIVE
FROM MADRID
EERO JESURUN PH.D.
CIEE MADRID – SPAIN
Cultural Value Patterns
Sample Activities and Visits Ideas and Values
Place of Worship Sacred & profane; individual
autono...
Hard “Rocks” with Students of Faith
Academics Housing & Meals
Hard “Rocks” with Students of Faith
Antisemitism, islamophobia, anti-Christian views
Free speech and religious expression
...
Thank you
Eero Jesurun: ejesurun@ciee.org
STUDENTS’ RELIGIOSITY AND ON-SITE SUPPORT IN LEGON, GHANA
KWASI GYASI-GYAMERAH, RD CIEE LEGON
Religions in Ghana
Population = 25,241,998 (July 2012 est.) Ghana Statistical
Service (2012)
More than 95% are affiliate...
Religion in Ghana and the US
US
Ghana
Religious Inscriptions
• Generally, there is no place for Judaism in the Ghanaian
religious sphere
• In 2012 a practicing Jew chooses Legon Ghana...
As a Practicing Jew…
• Student has dietary restrictions as kosher is the way to go
• No travels on certain days (Friday su...
Then……
• Student requests to do a homestay.
• There were the initial automatic responses. Such as:
• Do we want this student to come to Ghana?
• Ask her to consider o...
Support
• However, drawing on the goals and themes of CIEE Intercultural
Communication and Leadership (ICL)
• Staff shifte...
Pre-Arrival Support
• Discussion and a Training Workshop for 2 of our longstanding
hosts parents by drawing on the goals o...
Pre-Arrival Support Continued
• Identifying places of worship within the Ghanaian society
where this student could worship...
On-Site Support
• Staff travelled ahead with student for overnight trips.
• Leave with student Friday morning.
• Observe S...
On-Site Support Continued
• Much as this was a challenging intercultural experience with
specific reference to religion
• ...
A TRUISM…
• This experience supports the old wise saying that “Where there is a
will, there is a way”
• The will of the st...
Exercise: Porcupine and the Moles
THANK
YOU
40
41
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith
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Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith

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Religion can be a sensitive topic in study abroad when working with students and advisors from different cultures. During this session, you'll learn how to best support students to practice their religions abroad and to help them manage how they will be perceived in different cultures. Participants will also gain an understanding of faculty-led program design and the importance of sensitivity to students and faith systems. Finally, we'll identify advising models that can help students explore their value systems and empower their sense of faith by looking at host cultures, including Ghana, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

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Between a Religious Rock and a Hard Study Abroad Place: Supporting Students of Faith

  1. 1. BETWEEN A RELIGIOUS ROCK AND A HARD STUDY ABROAD PLACE: SUPPORTING STUDENTS OF FAITH Thursday, November 17, 2016
  2. 2. Chair & Presenters: 2 J. Scott Van Der Meid, Brandeis University Sarah E. Spencer, University of St. Thomas Eero Jesurun, CIEE Madrid Kwasi Gyasi-Gyamerah, CIEE Ghana
  3. 3. MANY ROADS LEAD TO ROME..AND BEYOND Sarah E. Spencer, Director, Office of Study Abroad, University of St. Thomas
  4. 4. REINVENTING STUDY ABROAD UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS • St. Paul & Minneapolis, Minnesota • 10,245 total: 6,240 undergraduate; 4,005 graduate students • 50% Roman Catholic • 4-1-4 calendar
  5. 5. CURRICULAR ALIGNMENT WITH RELIGION 5  Undergraduate Core Curriculum – Faith & the Catholic Tradition  Theology 101: The Christian Theological Tradition  200 level: “Faith Seeking Understanding.” Focus on a particular area of the Christian tradition, namely: the Bible, historical theology, systematic theology or moral theology  300/400 level: “Bridge Courses” Students bring theological concepts and methods into dialogue with other disciplines  Catholic Studies major/minor/Masters  Undergraduate Seminary - St. John’s Vianney (Philosophy & Catholic Studies majors)
  6. 6. 6 Bernardi Campus in Rome • CORE semester (fall) • Catholic Studies (spring) • Seminarians (fall & spring) • Theology 101 in J-term
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. OPPORTUNTIES FOR ROME STUDY ABROAD 8 Intensive community, formation and cultural experience of living in the heart of the Catholic Church Historic place of faith Seminarians study abroad Fulfills lots of degree requirements Faculty know and trust the curriculum Hard to say no
  9. 9. LIMITATIONS FOR ROME STUDY ABROAD 9 Traditional curriculum = limited intercultural learning & engagement Community-based living and learning Language acquisition Community engagement/volunteer = only religious organizations
  10. 10. GETTING OFF THE ROCK 10 AIDS, Apartheid and the Arts of Resistance: Theological Reflection in South Africa Islam in Turkey Religion and Cultures in the Villages of India The Church in Latin America Pilgrimage in Italy: The Christian Experience from the Early Church to the Catholic Reformation Theology 101 in Rome (hope to expand to Israel/Jordan in future)
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. SUPPORTING STUDENTS OF FAITH: AN ON-SITE PERSPECTIVE FROM MADRID EERO JESURUN PH.D. CIEE MADRID – SPAIN
  13. 13. Cultural Value Patterns Sample Activities and Visits Ideas and Values Place of Worship Sacred & profane; individual autonomy vs. community center; relationship with environment & technology Cemetery Hierarchy & inequality; respect for spirits, saints & traditions; memory, heroes and history Food Market Purity, cleanliness, health and diet; ritual and identity; wealth and abundance; tradition
  14. 14. Hard “Rocks” with Students of Faith Academics Housing & Meals
  15. 15. Hard “Rocks” with Students of Faith Antisemitism, islamophobia, anti-Christian views Free speech and religious expression Holocaust and political correctness Media reporting of faith-based terrorism Microagressions and local cultural practice Independent travel to Rome, Israel and Mecca
  16. 16. Thank you Eero Jesurun: ejesurun@ciee.org
  17. 17. STUDENTS’ RELIGIOSITY AND ON-SITE SUPPORT IN LEGON, GHANA KWASI GYASI-GYAMERAH, RD CIEE LEGON
  18. 18. Religions in Ghana Population = 25,241,998 (July 2012 est.) Ghana Statistical Service (2012) More than 95% are affiliated to: Christianity Islam Traditional Religion Other (Budhism, Shintoism etc) Less than 5% are NOT affiliated to any religion
  19. 19. Religion in Ghana and the US US Ghana
  20. 20. Religious Inscriptions
  21. 21. • Generally, there is no place for Judaism in the Ghanaian religious sphere • In 2012 a practicing Jew chooses Legon Ghana as the place to study for the semester/academic year • Uncertainties and questions start coming up: • From the student • From Portland and • From Legon onsite staff as to whether the student can be supported or not.
  22. 22. As a Practicing Jew… • Student has dietary restrictions as kosher is the way to go • No travels on certain days (Friday sundown till Saturday sundown • Observations of holidays: • Yom Kippur • Passover • Sukkot • Shemini Atzeret • Simchat Torah • Rosh Hashanah
  23. 23. Then…… • Student requests to do a homestay.
  24. 24. • There were the initial automatic responses. Such as: • Do we want this student to come to Ghana? • Ask her to consider other countries • That we cannot offer a homestay etc etc • We were stretched out of our comfort zones
  25. 25. Support • However, drawing on the goals and themes of CIEE Intercultural Communication and Leadership (ICL) • Staff shifted perspectives and saw this an opportunity for growth and development in intercultural competency skills
  26. 26. Pre-Arrival Support • Discussion and a Training Workshop for 2 of our longstanding hosts parents by drawing on the goals of ICL • Self-awareness • Cultural Literacy • Cultural Bridging and • Personal Leadership Leading to granting of the homestay request
  27. 27. Pre-Arrival Support Continued • Identifying places of worship within the Ghanaian society where this student could worship. • A small Jewish community in the city of Accra was identified • Also the Jewish community in Sefwi, a town about 300kms from Legon, was also a resource staff provided • Identifying places like malls and eateries where kosher is sold or served. Quite a few were found in the city of Accra.
  28. 28. On-Site Support • Staff travelled ahead with student for overnight trips. • Leave with student Friday morning. • Observe Sabbath. • Rejoin the larger CIEE group on Sunday
  29. 29. On-Site Support Continued • Much as this was a challenging intercultural experience with specific reference to religion • Support from host families and onsite staff ensured that our participant was able to practice their faith in a religious culture that is significantly different without losing any sense of self, faith nor belief system.
  30. 30. A TRUISM… • This experience supports the old wise saying that “Where there is a will, there is a way” • The will of the student to study in Ghana • The will of onsite staff to make it possible for the student to have a fulfilling experience • Led to the identification of ways and opportunities for success for the both staff and student.
  31. 31. Exercise: Porcupine and the Moles
  32. 32. THANK YOU
  33. 33. 40
  34. 34. 41

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