International Educator - May/June 2017 - 80

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FORUM
By Shoshanna Sumka

Building a Movement for Justice
Short-Term Programs Abroad
The world needs students who are equipped with the skills to actively fight injustice and build
community. International alternative breaks-short-term, student-led trips that enable participants to explore social justice and environmental issues at their root-enable students to do
just that, focusing their good intentions and altruistic desires on constructive and movementbuilding endeavors.
In short, as they learn from inspirational community leaders through direct engagement, they learn to
become active citizens in their communities, harnessing their energy, curiosity, and resources in ways that
provide for deep learning, relationship building across
borders, and continued action and social change. This
same model can also be used to enhance longer-term
travel, including semester- and year-abroad programs,
which can boost learning and impact and provide
students with a more authentic experience that engages
more deeply with the host community.

A focus on justice means that each trip
has a strong learning component and a social issue
as a theme to ground the inquiry and
guide the direct service work.
A well-structured alternative break is a powerful
transformative learning experience that sparks motivation long after the travel is completed. When students
are challenged to think about social justice, oppression,
inequalities, and environmental destruction, the time
they spend studying or volunteering abroad will help
ignite a curiosity about social justice issues that can have
profound impact on students.
Take the 10-day trip I went on with students to
explore the complexities of the Israeli and Palestinian
grassroots peace movements. We met with rabbis
who work for human rights, toured the barrier that
separates neighborhoods in Jerusalem, spent several
nights with warm and generous homestay families in
80  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .17

Bethlehem, spoke with radical right-wing Jewish settlers
on the West Bank, visited the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave
of the Patriarchs in Hebron, walked the halls of Birzeit
University in Ramallah, sang protest songs with young
Israeli conscientious objectors, laughed with a Sufi imam
in his living room, cleaned up a garden at a school in
a Palestinian village, listened to civil rights lawyers in
Haifa, met nonviolence leaders at the Carter Center,
marveled at the Dome of the Rock and the Western
Wall, and spent hours each night hashing out and
reflecting on what we had learned each day. We all came
away with more questions than answers, but nonetheless
with a deeper understanding of and desire to continue
engaging with this seemingly intractable conflict.
Alternative breaks have an impact well beyond the
scheduled trip dates, with participants immersing themselves in the issues before departure and benefiting from
their new insights upon their return. To prepare for
trips, students spend time during the preceding semester learning about relevant social justice issues, receiving
orientation about the community they will visit, and
completing training on necessary skills. Some schools
may structure the learning around the United Nations's
sustainable development goals (including no poverty,
zero hunger, quality education, gender equality, and
climate action) or from commonly explored social issues
such as the environment, housing and homelessness,
health, youth development, immigration and refugees,
disaster relief, and ableism/disabilities.
In partnership with community-based organizations, students determine what they will be doing in the
communities they visit. While abroad, participants may
engage in four to five stakeholder meetings a day and



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2017

From the Editor
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Middle East
Quick Questions
High Tech, High Engagement
Principled, Pragmatic, Impactful
What Happens to Study Abroad Students
Campus Profi le: Internationalization at the University of Tampa
Campus Spotlight: Internationalization at East Carolina University
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
International Student Affair
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Global Spotlight: Middle East
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2017 - High Tech, High Engagement
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Principled, Pragmatic, Impactful
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2017 - What Happens to Study Abroad Students
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Campus Profi le: Internationalization at the University of Tampa
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Campus Spotlight: Internationalization at East Carolina University
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 66
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2017 - International Student Affair
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 70
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Partnering
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2017 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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