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Study Abroad

Great essay on study abroad from Swarthmore. Does Williams provide similar guidance? If not, just use this.

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Ephs in Beijing

Thanks to Prof. Sam Crane for sending this in:

I thought Ephblog might like this photo, taken last night (Beijing time), Wednesday, March 24. It includes alums Thomas Jones, Jenn Lee and Joe Kauffman (and his wife Angie and little girl Avital); current students Jackson Lu, Cadence Hardenberg, Jessica Harris and Caroline Ng; uber-parent CK Shen (father of alums Clarissa, Geraldine and current student Loretta); and me. I was visiting in Beijing to, among other things, give a talk to the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, and Jenn and CK organized a dinner at a local Italian restaurant (a nice break from the ubiquitous, and quite excellent, Chinese food). CK brought the colors that we displayed throughout the evening. A good time was had by all…

Ephs in Beijing

(click for larger)

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Williams in Africa

Check out this great web site chronicling the work Williams prof Kiaran Honderich and her students have done to train AIDS activists in Africa.   Read more about the Williams in Africa initiative here.  Have any Ephblog readers been involved in either effort?  Would be great to hear more …

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Gaudino Fellows announced

Williams College Honors Nine Students as Gaudino Fellows

Sameer Aryal (of Kathmandu, Nepal) and Tarjinder Singh‘s (of Toronto, Canada) project will explore “Demand-Side Barriers and the Influence of NGO Operations on the Provision of Healthcare in Nepal,” volunteering in healthcare programs in a remote village in Nepal.

Julian (Adam) Century‘s (of Troy, N.Y.) project, “South African Perspectives on the Chinese, Examined through the Microcosm of the Chinese-Zimbabwean Arms Shipment Refusal at the Port of Durban in April 2008,” will examine the complicated relationship between South Africa and China. Century will conduct interviews with South African workers in the area surrounding the Port of Durban, where the community organized a successful grassroots opposition to China’s economic policy in April 2008.

Zeynep Coskun‘s (of Istanbul, Turkey) project is titled “The Ironic ‘Other’ Experience in the Country Where My Family Had Been Living for Four Generations.” He [sic] will investigate the Kurdish minority conflict in southeast Turkey, close to the border with Iraq, a region often referred to as “the orphan child of the country.”

Hannah Cunningham (of Chapel Hill, N.C.) will travel to Kyetume, Uganda for her project titled “Labial Stretching in the Buganda Kingdom.”

Leah Eryenyu’s (of Kampala, Uganda) project will study “The Street Children Question in Kampala, Uganda” to uncover the cause of influx of children on Kampala’s streets. She also will consider the interplay of children fleeing their homes, working, and becoming victims of road accidents, abuse, and ritual sacrifice.

Gonpo Lama (of Kathmandu, Nepal) will spend January Term at a leprosy colony in central India, where he will volunteer at the local elementary school and the hospital. For his project, “The Relevance of Faith and Religious Belief at a Leprosy Community in Rural Maharashtra, India,” Lama will examine the role and strength of faith and religious belief in environments of suffering.

Shara Singh‘s (of New Delhi, India) project “Sociolinguistic Causes behind the Endangerment of the Inari Sami Language” will study the Inari Sami language which is spoken in Northern Finland by approximately 500 people. She hopes to contribute to the maintenance and (re)vitalization of the language.

Emanuel Yekutiel (of Los Angeles, Calif.) will spend January in Jerusalem, studying the culture of the Afghan-Jews who live there and will consist of participant observation within the Jerusalem community. His project is titled “An Ethnographic Study of Afghan-Jews in Jerusalem.”

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America Party

Katherine Tandler ’11 writes from Exeter College:

Another highlight of the term was “America Party.” Contrary to popular belief, Americans are quite well-received in the United Kingdom – well, at least among the student population. The Williams kids, noting this enthusiasm (which often manifests itself in Spaghetti Western interpretations and hilarious attempts at New York accents), planned and threw an America-themed party, complete with American music (from John Cougar Mellencamp to Miley Cyrus) and real red SOLO cups “like in American teen movies!” Aside: SOLO cups do not exist in England and had to be smuggled in via guests who were visiting from the States. Many thanks to the Victor family for somehow managing to squeeze about 100 of them into their luggage.

Overall, the party was a great success; the Brits were introduced to beer pong, and the Americans were given the chance to taste what they had been missing while in England these past few months: a comforting, if not a little nostalgia-inducing experience.

Read the whole thing.

(via Will Slack ’11)

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While they’re in Argentina, the UK, Italy, and so on….

FYI Best of the Record will be published when the Record gets a website that I can copy quotes from and link to. I’ll elaborate more later, but the campus newspaper is also in debt; local advertising has dropped to near zero.

In one sense, it’s remarkable how much the sudden disappearance of hundreds of my classmates hasn’t stopped Williams from rolling merrily along, but as the semester gets into more of a pattern, I’m noticing how often I go to lunch and don’t see the familiar faces in Greylock or Paresky that have been a part of my life for the past two years.

They are at Exeter, or studying elsewhere at Oxford. They are in Bali, in Italy, in Argentina, and goodness knows how many other places across the globe. If their wonderful blogs are anything to go by, they are also having a great time.

But for those of us who stick around (I did for a wide variety of reasons), how can we get some sort of “study abroad” experience at Williams? Should we head into North Adams and escape the Purple Bubble? Should we take long walks or bike rides? Rhetorical questions, I know, but indulge me: how did you escape the routines of college life? Or, I might just be so used to odd and interesting experiences that nothing is really too odd for me on this campus.

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Study Away Fee

Steven Rubin, ace WSO hacker, writes:

“Study-Away Fee

Beginning with the 2010-11 academic year, students who enroll in a program off campus for a semester or year will incur an administrative fee of $1,500. It’ll be added to the cost of attendance and therefore covered by financial aid. Exceptions are for enrollment in Williams programs: the Williams-Exeter Program at Oxford, Williams-Mystic, Williams in Africa.”

http://www.williams.edu/admin/president/letters/090910_changes.php

I’m abroad right now and it seems like I’m largely responsible for most of my own study-away bureaucracy (finding a program, applying, filling out tons of forms for the college, etc.). The only intervention from the college was a ten minute meeting with the Dean and the approval from the CAS. Some schools change full tuition for study-abroad programs (rather than study-abroad program tuition, which tends to be lower), so we’re still lucky. I just hope that this additional cost doesn’t prevent any future students from going abroad.

Discuss.

This strikes me as a backhanded attempt to raise tuition for rich students. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

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Women Go Abroad More Than Men

selfstudy11

From the Diversity Initiative Data Tables. I am surprised that women are so much more likely than men to go abroad. Inside HIgher Ed reports that this is not a Williams-specific effect.

In recent years, as study abroad has ballooned across the nation, fueled by growth in short-term programs and increasing diversity in participating students’ majors and destinations, a 2-to-1 female-to-male ratio has stayed remarkably stagnant. In 2006-7, the most recent year for which data are available, 65.1 percent of Americans studying abroad were women, and 34.9 percent men. A decade earlier — when the total number of study abroad students was less than half its current total — the breakdown was 64.9 percent female, 35.1 percent male, according to Institute of International Education Open Doors statistics.

“I wouldn’t put it up there among the top issues or problems in the field, but I think it’s a puzzlement, to use an old term, and it’s sort of a persistent consideration, a persistent sort of annoying feeling that there’s something not right about it,” said William Hoffa, an independent practitioner in study abroad, retired from Amherst College, who wrote a history of study abroad and is now editing a second volume.

So why do female students do it? In her master’s research in cultural anthropology, Jill McKinney focused on female students’ decision-making in regards to study abroad. “The three main factors I found were motherhood, age and safety,” said McKinney, associate director of the Center for Global Education at Butler University. “Essentially, my informants shared with me that they really hope someday to be mothers and they can’t imagine being able to travel abroad and also be a mom. So if they’re going to have an overseas experience, they’re going to do it before they become mothers,” she said, adding that her informants “really felt plagued by the age of 30. They have a very long to-do list.”

On safety matters, “if females wanted to go abroad, they [felt they] needed to do it in a sanctioned manner,” said McKinney.

Theories? Just-so stories based on evolutionary psychology are especially encouraged.

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Journalism and International Issues

As I’ve now visited 4 top liberal arts schools (Williams, Amherst, Haverford, Swarthmore), I’ve realized I want to attend the one that will enable me to pursue my interest in foreign journalism. That’s why I’m looking for a school that emphasizes both writing and international issues.

Journalists at the Providence Journal have told me that it is most important to build a deep knowledge base and to develop the critical thinking that is so essential to successful journalism. Thus I’m convinced that a liberal arts education is a better option than formal journalism training.

Can you discuss how Williams–through its mission, academics, and the student body’s political activism–would be the best place for a student who is passionate about journalism and international issues?

Are there any Eph journalists reading EphBlog who can talk about how their Williams experience laid the foundation for a successful journalism career?

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Williams in Africa

I noticed that Williams has a “Williams in Africa Initiative” meant to make the College more aware of issues in Africa. In my college search, it is rare that a school has a program so devoted to one part of the world. As a student concerned about genocide and international development, it impresses me that Williams has a strong focus on Africa.

Anybody have any thoughts or know more information about Williams in Africa Initiative?

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Making Money on Study Abroad

I am no expert in the study abroad process at Williams, so the below speculation might be completely misinformed, but it seems like there might be a way for Williams to increase its revenue by millions hundreds of thousands of dollars without too many people noticing.

Have all students studying abroad pay Williams tuition directly, and then have Williams pay the study abroad programs.

Details below:
Read more

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