International Perspectives in the Age of COVID-19

Physical mobility across borders has been drastically curtailed under the COVID-19 pandemic, but that does not mean that the exchange of ideas and perspectives is not taking place.

Students in IDST 201: Unpacking Study Abroad set out to discover how Beloiters are continuing to engage with international perspectives, whether they are in Beloit or in their homes elsewhere in the U.S. or abroad. Here are their stories.

Disease & Pandemics

DaZha Creal’21

DaZha Creal?21 has been listening to This Podcast will Kill You about diseases, outbreaks, and pa... Credit: This Podcast will Kill You“I’m listening to This Podcast Will Kill You. It is a podcast by two disease ecologists and epidemiologist. They talk about diseases, outbreaks and pandemics all across the globe.”

Cacao Production in Kichwa Communities

Yaffa Grossman, Biology

During a Zoom visit by alum Judy Logback?95, students learned about cacao production in Kichwa co... Judy Logback ’95 joined the students in BIOL 275: Plants and People on October 29 from Quito, Ecuador, by Zoom. She talked about cacao production in Kichwa communities in the upper Amazon, the global supply chain, and the economic importance of moving food processing to the countries where the raw materials are produced. In particular, she talked about the formation and operations of the Kallari Cooperative, which is made up of 850 rural Kichwa families. This cooperative grows cacao, processes it, and markets chocolate bars in Europe, greatly increasing the profits to the growers. The photo shows a cacao pod, raw cocoa beans (beige), roasted cocoa beans (brown), and ground beans that are ready to be made into chocolate. Photo credit: Kallari Cooperative.

Ancient and Contemporary

Elizabeth Brewer, International Education

Lapham's Quarterly takes Elizabeth Brewer back and forth in time and geographically to explore to... Credit: Lapham's Quarterly“Every issue of Lapham’s Quarterly takes me back and forth in time and geographically to explore topics both intriguing and vexing. The issue on Epidemics suggests its scope: We learn about epidemics from writing in 430BC to the present. Powerful stuff! The writing itself teaches me a lot about language usage over time, and the texts are beautifully illustrated.”

Feminism in French

Emily Kratz’21

Since returning prematurely from study abroad, Emily Kratz?21 has been more dedicated with listen... “Since returning prematurely from study abroad, I have been more dedicated with listening practice for French! This summer I got into podcasts, and as I was browsing, I found one hosted by three Francophone women called “YESSS.” The hosts describe it on their website as “a feminist podcast, resolutely positive: we celebrate the victories of women against sexism, the warriors of everyday life.” I am (slowly) working my way through the episodes in my free time, and it has been so interesting to hear perspectives on this topic from across the world.”

Intellectual Dialogues

Connie Lu’21

Ting Lu?21 shows off the word count for her honors thesis in the English Department: over 5000 wo... “Here is a photo of the word count for my honor thesis in the English Department. In Mod 1, I had a special project with my literature professor, where I have read literature criticism related to sociology, philosophy, social science, natural science, and linguistics. Besides American critics, I also learned from the works of German, French, British, and Irish writers. I got acquainted with such a wide range of perspectives from the most brilliant scholars over the world where I saw many possibilities in interpreting just one book. For example, many criticisms from France see problems through the lens of philosophy because many great philosophers were born there; scholars from the UK see problems through the lens of natural science since the influential scientist Darwin was born there.

It is so interesting that reading itself can generate the opportunity for me to engage with international perspectives and reach out to many scientific, sociological, or philosophical communities around the world. My essay can be a form of intellectual dialogue with them, which further advances my international perspective.”

The Danish Approach to the Pandemic

Alyssa Morris’ 21

The riverside in a Denmark town. “Communication with a friend who is abroad in Denmark about the differences and similarities in how covid is being handled.”

Making a Chinese Traditional Meal

Yanwen Huang’21

Yanwen Huang?21 created a traditional Chinese meal to remind them of home. “This is the photo of a traditional meal I made. I have not been home for a very, very long time and I miss my family so much so I made many Chinese dishes during Mod 1. :-)”

Personal Growth through Fitness

Lexy Olson’23

Lexy Olson?23 has kept herself engaged and above the water by using the Beloit College weight roo... “I have engaged with my community this semester in numerous ways even though we have all been suffering from this COVID year. A way that I have personally kept myself engaged and above the water has been in the weight room. Although this is not specifically tied to learning here at Beloit College, it is something that has allowed myself to succeed in the classroom, in my sports, and mentally. I could not survive this COVID year without this aspect of my life and it will continue to make me grow as a person far beyond college and in the real world.”

Cultural Learning through Sharing and Reflecting

Elizabeth North’21

Elizabeth North?21 standing on the cliffs of Ireland under an overcast sky. “This is a picture from when I traveled to Ireland while I was abroad in France in the Spring of 2020! Throughout first mod I was able to share experiences of my study abroad with friends who also studied abroad and I was able to hear about their experiences studying abroad. Sharing experiences about studying abroad allowed me to reflect on my own experiences abroad and it was interesting to hear about other people’s study abroad experiences and learn about the different cultures we all experienced.”

Folk Music

Tea Islam’21

Tea Islam?21 has been listening to music from all over the world. “This photo isn’t particularly descriptive, but a lot of my international engagement this module has revolved around music. I listen to all kinds of music from all kinds of places, but my main area of interest is in folk music. When I took this photo, I was listening to Garmarna, a Swedish folk rock band (they’re amazing, everyone should hear them at least once). My friends and I also like to play Irish traditional music together, but we’ve been a little too busy to play as of late.”

Italian Breakfast

Lydia Wilson’21

Lydia Wilson?21 combines cookies and coffee brewed in a Moka pot to make a classic Italian breakf... “These cookies combined with the coffee brewing in my Moka pot is a classic Italian breakfast. Italians usually don’t have coffee machines, but nearly every family has a stovetop Moka pot to brew their espresso in. While abroad, I had espresso and Gocciole cookies for breakfast very often, and I still do when I can get my hands on some Gocciole cookies!”

Art & Culture Virtually

Huixin Li’21

Huixin Li?21 visited an exhibition about the Tangka, a Tibet Buddhist icon, in the Wright Museum. “I’ve visited an exhibition about the Tangka, a Tibet Buddhist icon in the Wright Museum. Even though the pandemic of the COVID-19 is serious, our art museum is still renewing the exhibition. They also turned the exhibitions online which makes visitors can see them in digital form. I’ve also joined some other virtual art/culture communication activities. In my opinion, the international communications in art and culture areas will not stem by the pandemic. The innovative scholars and artists always can find out different tack.”

Maritime History

Kaylie Williams’21

The Carrionage in St. George's, Grenada, in the West Indies. “This photo was aken on my semester abroad (Spring 2021). The photo is looking down on the Carrionage in St. George’s, Grenada, in the West Indies. The Carrionage used to be a famous port for sea-faring vessels in colonial days. Ships used to moor there to re-stock their stores and pick up/drop off new passengers. It interacts with international perspectives because not only was it a hub for ships coming from all over the world during colonial periods, it is still a major port for European cruise lines today. It always has been and continues to be an international, cultural center for maritime history.”

Basketball in Japan. Learning to Communicate

Steve McAfee, Jr., Athletic Department

Steven McAfee signing autographs and taking pictures with some of the fans in Kyoto, Japan. “This took place minutes after my first game in Kyoto, Japan. I was signing autographs and taking pictures with some of the fans. Some spoke broken English but at the time I wasn’t well rounded in understanding the Japanese language. I tried my best to get the context of what people were saying and paid attention to gestures that were often used. It helped enough where I was able to pick up there language on the fly and communicate to the best of my ability; this resulted in me not feeling so overwhelmed.”

Learning to Cook a New Cuisine

Meg Kulikowski’21

Spring rolls made by Meg Kulikowski's roommate Nana. “Our roommate Nana, who is a fabulous cook, has taught us how to cook a ton of different Chinese recipes in our apartment this semester, including these spring rolls made with tofu, carrots, cucumber, rice noodles, and our own peanut sauce!”

November 15, 2020

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