Seven faculty members from several departments meet together for several weeks in a seminar, then travel to South Africa to examine questions around transitional justice and human rights on the ground. Meanwhile, a second faculty group studies Japanese arts and material culture. Both groups do so in order to gain new knowledge, better understand the study abroad experience, and think about the relationship of study abroad and the seminar topics to their teaching and advising.
An economics major receives funding to do field research in India on economic development, while an international relations major receives funding to travel to Cambodia for an internship with a newspaper. Meanwhile, a student studying abroad in China does a participant-observation study of a Catholic church and its hospice center, while a student in Moscow studies the house museum.
Cities in Transition courses are developed and introduced in Beloit and study abroad sites by faculty working together to develop innovative pedagogies to hone students’ observation and critical thinking skills, strengthen their abilities to analyze and communicate, and help them develop habits of reflection.
Each of these is an example of an activity made possible through the following special initiatives, administered by the Office of International Education, but shaped by the leadership and participation of faculty and students across the campus.
The Cities in Transition Project funded by individual donors, the Freeman Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: workshops in Beloit and abroad, visits to study abroad sites, and cooperation with international partners have led to the creation of courses focused on cities in China, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Russia, and Senegal, as well as the city of Beloit.