My Journey to Guatemala

This is a guest blog post by a Mary Witt Scholarship recipient, Libby M. Libby recently returned from a customized program with Xavier University-Occupational Therapy to Guatemala in May 2017. Thanks for the great reflection, Libby!

My time in Guatemala was one that I will never forget. During the first week I had the opportunity to live with a host family. My host mother was beyond hospitable and kind. She made delicious meals and we talked through the nigh about our families and friends. On my last day staying with her she even allowed me to try on traditional Guatemalan clothing. But I think my favorite part of staying with my host family was being able to try the delicious homemade hot chocolate, which consisted of chocolate made from my host grandmother who makes her own natural chocolate. It was absolutely amazing. The time even allowed me to improve my awful Spanish, through hand gestures and broken Spanish I somehow got through the week communicating with my host family who did not speak any English at all. Hopefully one day I will be able to visit them again.

Continue reading “My Journey to Guatemala”

Welcome to our New Program Coordinator

Welcome to our new Program Coordinator in Namibia, Alex Sikume!

Alex Sikume Staff PhotoAlex Sikume is the new Instructor for Political Science and Social Change.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Management majoring in Policy Analysis from School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, China. He further holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Political Science and Industrial Psychology from the University of Namibia.

Alex worked for the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development for ten years as a Development Planner dealing with issues of local government operations, administration and management. In 2011 he worked for the United Nations Development Programme as a Programme Officer. He further worked as Technical Advisor under the Building Local Capacity Project for Southern Africa within the Management Sciences for Health. Continue reading “Welcome to our New Program Coordinator”

National China Delegation

Augsburg student, Tylan Mitchell, was chosen to participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) Emerging Leaders: US-China Study Abroad Delegation. Tylan is a junior majoring in Management Information Systems.

Tylan is one of just 20 students from around the country chosen to participate. This elite delegation of STEM, Business, and Trade students all had exceptional coursework in their fields of study. He will have the opportunity to network with high-achieving peers from the black community and engage an intercultural experience to a country that is a leader in STEM and Business fields.

Delegates have almost all program and travel costs covered by CBCF. They met in Washington, D.C for a briefing with government officials before departing for two weeks in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. They will brief officials in D.C on their experience before returning to Minnesota. The program will take place June 1 to June 18.

During the program, students will study Mandarin, Chinese history & culture, and interact with Chinese leaders in science and technology. Included is a tour of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City in Beijing, lectures and workshops about China’s economy, education system, art, and history, and US-China relations.

“The CBCF is committed to providing students with a global perspective,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the CBCF. “The China study abroad program will allow our students to see the educational and career opportunities that are available to them internationally.”

The China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) organized and administered the program in collaboration with the CBCF.

Learning Through Experience

This is a guest blog post by Clark University student Charline K, participant on the spring 2017 CGEE semester program “Nation-building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind” in Namibia & South Africa. Thanks to Charline for the wonderful reflection and photos!

During my time in southern Africa, I was able to learn many important theories and concepts. This experience also allowed to grow and experience things that I would not have in the United States. I will share two experiences that helped me reflect inwardly about topics in my field of study; International Development and Political Science and myself. Continue reading “Learning Through Experience”

#YouAreWelcomeHere Campaign

 

Augsburg College is encouraging students to submit videos to the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign.

What is it?

From www.youarewelcomehereusa.org:

“The #YouAreWelcomeHere is a welcome message from U.S. higher education to international students around the world. It is a campaign designed to affirm that our institutions are diverse, friendly, safe and committed to student development. Participating institutions and organizations are communicating the message in statements, photos, videos, events and other creative expressions that feature students, faculty, and staff. The repetition of the statement, “You are welcome here,” by a broad array of people from different backgrounds–from college presidents to football players–is powerful and demonstrates that we support internationalization across our campus communities and across the country.”

Continue reading “#YouAreWelcomeHere Campaign”

See. Reflect. Act.

This is a guest blog post from Augsburg College student, and recipient of the Mary Witt Scholarship, Samantha C. During spring break 2017, Samantha was able to join the short-term program “Food, Justice & Sustainability in Mexico”. Thank you for the reflection!

 

See. Reflect. Act. We visited the women of Luz Y Libertad halfway through our trip and spent only a few hours with them and reflecting on those conversations, yet these three words sum up my all of my experiences in Mexico. Each organization and community member we spoke with all lived and worked by these words whether or not they did so intentionally: they saw problems in their community, brainstormed creative ways to address those problems and made their solutions a reality. When I think back specifically to our visit with Luz Y Libertad, they spoke of seeing the need of providing the women of their community with agency. Selling handmade crafts and cooking are the most common and accessible means of income that women can provide for their families, and the women at Luz Y Libertad decided to help empower their fellow community members to do so. They shared with us different struggles that they’ve faced as women in their community, and something that was deeply related to each individual struggle was the struggle of poverty. They spoke both of global issues influencing their financial stability like NAFTA, as well as personal experiences like domestic abuse, and while both are valid, I’d like to spend more time focusing on those personal experiences, as I feel that relates more directly to my vocation and requires reflection beneath the surface.

Continue reading “See. Reflect. Act.”

My Opportunity in Mexico

This is a guest blog post from Augsburg student, and Mary Witt Scholarship recipient, Nikol G. Nikol was able to go on the short term study abroad program, “Food, Justice & Sustainability in Mexico”, during spring break 2017. Thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

I had the opportunity to experience Mexico in a study abroad for 9 days with the Food, Justice and Sustainability class.  I went as an independent study student, but I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along with this awesome group.  This trip was amazing and was a life changing experience for me.  I have been to Mexico before on vacation with my family, but this experience was different.  This visit I wasn’t there to hangout on the beach or sit by the pool.  This time, I got to meet some amazing people.  People that changed my thinking, and who changed me as a person.  I would like to introduce you to a few of those people. Continue reading “My Opportunity in Mexico”

Connecting with your Roots

This post comes from Augsburg student, Kitana H, recipient of the CGEE Religious Studies Scholarship. This is her reflection from the week-long program in Nicaragua, “Faith, Vocation, and Social Change in Central America”. Thank you to Kitana for sharing!

 

“Today is the day where I touch a region

Where half of me is from

I’ve been so lost with my own identity

That part of this trip may open a page

Of a book of reclaiming my identity and history”

Student with arms open on a hillside

Continue reading “Connecting with your Roots”

Reflections from Nicaragua

This post comes from Mary Witt Scholarship awardee and Augsburg College student, Emily O. She recently returned from an Augsburg short term program, Faith, Vocation and Social Change in Central America to Augsburg’s Global Site in Nicaragua. Thanks to Emily for sharing!

Grassy knoll overlooking lake
View in Nicaragua

Here is my written summary, discussing 3 separate “slices of life,” or important experiences in Nicaragua and what they taught me:

My first slice of life had to do with the speaker at Cafe las Sonrisas, Tio Antonio.  As someone who grew up in an area considered “developed” like me, I was shocked that he even moved to Nicaragua in the first place.  After the initial confusion as to why he would move to a country where things are so different, I was amazed and inspired by the way he lived out his vocation and listened to his calling in life.  Continue reading “Reflections from Nicaragua”

Auggies Spring Break in Mexico

Augsburg students got the chance to explore Mexico on the 2017 spring break program, “Food, Justice, and Sustainability in Mexico”. Photos from faculty member Ann Lutterman-Aguilar.

From the program brochure:

Environmental Justice and social change take on a local and global perspective in this course that starts in the US, travels to Mexico over spring break, and returns to Augsburg to continue the learning. Continue reading “Auggies Spring Break in Mexico”