International Educator - March/April 2012 - 60

VIEW FROM

Out Here

By Barry T. Bilderback

A Different Drummer

T

Study Abroad As a Portal to Student Transformation

HROUGH STUDY ABROAD, I’ve witnessed U.S. students adapt to conditions in another country very different from their own—I’ve seen study abroad transform their outlook. As an assistant professor in music and a study abroad faculty member at the University of Idaho for the past four years (and anticipating a fifth), I have had the good fortune of leading students to Ghana, a country that struggles to retain indigenous, traditional practices under the weight of developing Euro-American standards. My course, “Africa’s Calling Cultural Awareness in Ghana,” is offered through the international studies program and it is designed to help students gain insight into the cultural and environmental concerns of the country. In providing students with the opportunity to study in Ghana, the main objective is to give young adults a chance to experience a culture that possesses a high level of resourcefulness, endurance, happiness, and cultural identity in the midst of severe living conditions. From their overseas experience, students determine for themselves the ways that cultural standards and environmental forces interrelate and influence social organization.
It’s not always easy to be a faculty member teaching a study abroad course. These days, under the weight of the current economic crisis, the survival of many faculty-led study abroad courses is at risk. While institutions of higher education continue to establish a global perspective in their curricula, students are finding it increasingly difficult to fund opportunities for study abroad. For any faculty-led study abroad instructor, this poses a serious challenge with regard to enrollment—a challenge that calls for a higher degree of creativity and effort in the recruitment process than in the past. In my own case, I have been able to maintain my faculty-led, study abroad course to Ghana by reconstructing it to appeal to a wider student body. As necessity is the mother of invention, the purpose of restructuring a music special topics course to meet the criteria for a wider international studies focus is obvious. Students are now able to apply the experience and credits to more degree programs. The challenge of (re)creating and sustaining this overseas experience, even with faculty and administrative support, continues to be a very demanding and time-consuming endeavor. I raise this point because there is one primary objective and driving force in my unceasing effort to become the in loco parentis for groups of adventurous students; namely, the transformative experience, which is a critical learning outcome for many faculty who lead study abroad. It is for this reason that I gain the most personal and professional satisfaction as a study abroad faculty member. The “unique” character of my international studies course is its emphasis on drumming and dance. The choice of focusing on drumming and dance as a window into Ghana’s culture is inspired by three primary factors: (1) the culture’s longstanding and continued emphasis on its music and dance traditions; (2) the shared enthusiasm for music within our cultural exchange; and (3) the tangibility, practicality, and retention of information as students return with a degree of drumming and dance proficiency. As an aside, our returning students and “performing groups” are sought after by a number of humanities and ethnicity-based university programs. In keeping with the transformative experience, the students who are self-proclaimed nonmusicians often find that with the right tutelage and focus they are able to execute complicated rhythms and are indeed capable of musicianship.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R . 12

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2012

International Educator - March/April 2012
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Voices: University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi
Overcoming Chaos
Degrees of Distinction
Macalester College
Foreign Student Affairs
A View from Out Here
In Focus
Language Supplement
The language of Business
Launching Pad: Community College Programs
Intensive English Language Directory
Intensive Foreign Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - International Educator - March/April 2012
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 8
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 9
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 10
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 13
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Voices: University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 18
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Overcoming Chaos
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 24
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 28
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Degrees of Distinction
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 38
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 40
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 42
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 44
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Macalester College
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 48
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 49
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 50
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 51
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 52
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 53
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 54
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 55
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 57
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 58
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 59
International Educator - March/April 2012 - A View from Out Here
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 61
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 62
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 63
International Educator - March/April 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Language Supplement
International Educator - March/April 2012 - BB2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover1
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - The language of Business
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S4
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S5
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S6
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S7
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S8
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Launching Pad: Community College Programs
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S10
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S11
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S12
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S13
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Intensive English Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S15
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S16
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S17
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Intensive Foreign Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S19
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S20
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover4
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