Friday, November 12, 2010

In An Innovative Twist To Study Abroad

Seven Columbian College freshmen shared an intense yearlong learning experience with their peers from half-way across the globe at the National University of Singapore. The students were participants in the Dean’s Scholars in Globalization program, a highly competitive cohort experience that combines coursework with the opportunity to perform research with students at universities outside of the United States.
Information sharing is a cornerstone of the program. In addition to traveling to the host countries, participants establish a virtual relationship via teleconferences, webchats, blogs, and webcams to study significant issues in a global context. The level of collaboration between students and faculty is intense.
In addition to traveling to Singapore, participants made stops in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia’s Yogyakarta and Surabaya. They worked side-by-side with their counterparts, interviewing scholars, students, journalists, business people, and representatives from human rights organizations. The topics researched ranged from Facebook use in Islamic boarding schools to the nuances of modesty between men and women in Islamic society. Many of the interviews were arranged through Steele and Kuipers’ extensive regional contacts.

“I have to say that never in my 24 years of teaching have I had quite this kind of experience in which we fostered the development of a community of young scholars who were all working on research projects related to a single interdisciplinary theme, in this case ‘Media and Education in Islamic Southeast Asia,” said School of Media and Public Affairs Professor Janet Steele, who led the cohort last year with Professor of Anthropology Joel Kuipers.
To read more about this visit the GWU Columbian College Arts and Sciences Magazine:

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