In September, I head to India for a year to teach students and university faculty how to learn directly with other students around the world in international course collaborations. I hope you’ll join me on the journey through this blog. If you teach, I hope you will get new ideas for how you can embed international collaboration strategies within your own courses. If you have a particular interest in India, I hope you gain some new insights by seeing it through my eyes. I believe ideas and perspectives are best understood if we know something about the person who is filtering those ideas. If you choose to come along, you will get my warped, twisted and unique perspective, as all perceptions are.
I always learn way more than I expect to learn when I travel. And I expect a lot. Last time I traveled was to Egypt in 2012 to find and engage university partners. It was 100 days after the first democratically elected President in Egypt in 40 years. The young Egyptian students I met with expressed fierce, determined optimism, which fought daily with blistering disappointment and anger at how little had been accomplished in the first 100 days. The students in Egypt and in Seattle shared their perspectives on this and other social justice issues like female harassment and freedom of the press, over Skype and in late night live chat conversations with my students in Seattle. And in both countries, students worked with local non-profits who were working on solutions to these issues. It was eye opening to all of us to find out how little we really knew.
I usually travel solo on my trips abroad, but this time I will be coming with Kimi, my fiance and soon to be wife, who, for the record, is a Texan. Which is kind of like being with someone from another country. She grew up on a ranch herding cattle, while I was a city slicker, from a neighborhood my dad affectionately called Poverty Flats. There are lots of cows on the streets of India, so it seems like a good way to combine our urban and rural lifestyles. Well, we will see.
Greg Tuke teaches and travels internationally, working with university faculty in India, Indonesia and the MIddle East, sharing strategies for implementing international collaborations within course work. This blog chronicles key experiences and insights about those experiences. All opinions expressed are mine, and represent no other institutional affiliation.