Archive for Practica

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Mark Your Calendars: East Asia Presentations this Thursday!

Presentations at Irvine Auditorium this Thursday, May 7th, 6:30-8:30pm, Reception 8:30-9:30pm!

east asia

The students that went on the first ever two-country program through MIIS Immersive Learning Programs, the East Asia: China and Japan trip, will be presenting this Thursday at Irvine, with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception to follow. The presentations will be very interesting as this program included a semester long seminar which concluded in robust papers, and the feedback from the journey has been very interesting!

The East Asia Practicum was an investigative tour of Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China, where participants met with and interviewed policymakers, former politicians, and renowned scholars. With unique research topics looking into the the international relations of the region, students were able to seek first-hand information on the dynamics of the two major players: Japan and China. The rise in status of either nation will set the political and economic tone for the region. By experiencing and researching within each nation, students will be able to provide original ideas on the current state of Sino-Japanese relations and the future of region.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/466841256799447/

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Immersive Learners Champion Seven Countries through Nine Programs

I sat down with Maritza Munzón (MPA/IEM ’15), and Rafael Hernandez (MPA ’15) at a local coffee shop last week to interview them about MIIS’s Immersive Learning Programs. Maritza has traveled on five trips to six countries through MIIS (Peru, Cuba, Kenya, Mindanao, and East Asia), and Rafael has gone to four (Peru, Cuba, Rwanda, and East Asia). Both had a lot to say, much more than I can fit into this interview; I can’t encourage you enough to talk with your peers about their experiences abroad.

Q: What made you choose the immersive learning programs you chose?

Maritza: For me it’s always about “why not?” It is always a question of “if I don’t go, will I regret it?” And the answer is almost always “Yes”. So I do everything I can to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. MarRafFurthermore, because I am in the IEM degree program and want to conduct these trips myself one day, the best way to learn how to do this is to go on as many as I can!

Rafael: I was eager to begin traveling right away when I got here. That was the reason I picked this school over many other options – the traveling component. Right off the bat I could go on this Peru trip, that had a practical application of policy analysis, – and so I went.

M: I don’t think many people have traveled the way we travel here at MIIS.

There is only so much reading you can do about culture, practice, and so on, but you need to embed it in your muscle memory to learn and understand.

Q: Have you gone on any trips together?

Both went to Peru (but in different communities), as well as Cuba, and East Asia.

M: Peru started my obsession with these trips; the experience got my feet wet and then I wasn’t scared, anymore, to do the others.

Q: Are there any programs you especially wish you could have gone on?

R: I would have liked to go to the Philippines.

M: I would have done the El Salvador trip if I had the time. But I am always torn between what is familiar and what is less accessible. El Salvador is within my reach because of language, so I decided to take the leap and go on trips that I was less likely to do on my own:  Kenya, East Asia, and the Philippines.

Q: How did the programs and learning styles compare?

Both: Cuba was more like learning tourism, while Peru and East Asia where more research based: we did academic research in Asia, and field research in Peru.

M: I was a guinea pig for many of the trips – for example:  Kenya, Peru, and East Asia. Cuba was established. Being on a program in its first incarnation is a valuable experience for someone learning about how these programs are conducted.

R: I learned a lot about different types of intelligence and understanding. You know there is the computer competency type, where you either know it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you can ask help from someone who does – and there are no ego problems associated with that. Cultural competency, on the other hand, and especially at this school, is more complicated in that way. Then there is emotional intelligence (EQ) versus the IQ. When you go to speak to someone in a village, everyone on these trips is so concerned about being politically correct, which makes them all self-conscious. I found that the best way to take to people is honestly and openly.

Q: Since you have gone on so many of these programs, do you have any constructive feedback?

R: Like I said, these trips are one of the reasons why I chose this school. And we are so grateful for these experiences.

M: Growing up the way I did, I would have never been able to do this on my own. And I am grateful, and the best way I can give back is by applying my IEM knowledge and skills and giving constructive feedback. I was able to design a pre-departure training for the Peru trip, which was very well received, but not yet implemented. Based on our experience in Peru, Cortney Copeland and I designed a pre-departure workshop and assessment for that trip through our IEM Design and Assessment Class. In the workshop we wanted students to bond with the people in their groups, learn each other’s working styles and strength, while also getting to practice giving the surveys and entering the data. There are always hiccups with international travel and our goal was to develop cohesive groups before departure to help student better work through some of those unpredictable moments. The assessment consisted of a simple survey that students took before and after the trip to better inform staff and faculty of what is working and what needs improvement.

One of my frustrations with the organization of these trips is that the system that puts these trips together does not value the experience that the students going already have. Because the information isn’t coming from a respected magazine or periodical, but from the mouth of a student, who has had the personal experience or cultural experience growing up – but they didn’t write a paper on it, so…. We don’t get a diploma for growing up bilingual or for living similar lives to that of the people we are studying.

R: So if professors and institutions have a way, for better or worse, of validating those experiences, for example, “here is Maritza, she grew up in a culture that…..” and by doing that, it validates the person, and symbolically validates the peers that have experienced this. People come back like “I was shocked to see this and that”, and that is the only thing that gets the spotlight. But there are people who have lived this their whole lives.

M: Out of the bad comes the good. MIIS is proud of its international diversity on campus, but now there are also conversation on national diversity and socioeconomic diversity as well, which is something that came out of a critique on one of these trips. We go on these trips, and learn, and some things are difficult, but the important thing is to take the bad with the good and make something out of it. For some of us, that meant creating the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which highlights domestic diversity on campus and is working on assessing the needs of all students, whether international students, first generation college students, student of color, LGBTQ, or second career seekers. We not only wanted to address diversity by identifying the needs of all students on campus but to make sure it is something that continues to be addressed in the institution after we are gone.

Professors should also make a point to make focus groups mandatory. A format of how to measure the trips as a whole, but also each trip individually, so it can be improved upon, but that responsibility also shouldn’t sit solely on the professor’s shoulders.

Q: Any advice for students who will travel on these programs in the future?

M: Some things you can’t prepare for. Keep an open mind, don’t sweat the small stuff. Like dirt, bugs-

R: – and cold showers –

M: – and so on because it distracts from the experience. Don’t fight the discomfort.

R: You don’t need language to communicate with people. You shouldn’t necessarily know a language perfectly – keep the willingness to go at the forefront. Don’t be catered to: we chose to go, to help. Be the one helping, not the helped. Own your decision to go.

Language should not be a barrier to communicating with people. In fact, I learned from my inability to speak the local language, which became a resource of information, connection, and interaction. When I ask you, “how do you say this?”, I become your student and switch the power dynamic. People love to teach you, to speak from authority. There is laughter, and it breaks the ice and opens new things. They think, “Here is a person who wants to know my language.” It helps equalizing the playing field.

Q: Is there something you never travel without?

M: I carry medicine for altitude sickness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, congestion, and allergies; but I also carry hydration salts and EmergenC to try and prevent getting sick as well. You never know how sick you are going to get and might not be able to get to a pharmacy right away or be able to communicate what you need so its good to carry some meds you trust. Oh! and Baby wipes.

R: Baby wipes! Pen and notepad.

*shows us his pen and notepad, which, sure enough, are in his back pocket*

M: That’s what I picked up, now I’ll do that.

R: I like to record sounds from the trips, it brings you back. *plays recording*

M: Learn how to say a greeting, and please and thank you in the local language.

R: So important!

____________________________________________________________

smaller headshotKatya Gamolsky (joint BA/MA ‘17) is a first year student who works for the Immersive Learning Programs Office. She recently went on the Los Angeles trip that focused on Homelessness, with Dr Iyer, and will be attending DPMI DC this summer. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to know more about our Immersive Learning Programs, please email her at immersive@miis.edu.

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

News about the East Asia Spring Break Journey!

 

 

News from the participants and professors was posted on the miis.edu front page.east asia

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Look!

east asia snip

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Application deadline extended: Cuba J-Term trip

The application deadline to the J-Term trip to Cuba (January 6 – 17, 2015) has been extended until November 30. So it is not too late to register for this unique opportunity to get immersed in a country that has essentially been off-limits to most Americans for more than half a century.

To learn more about this opportunity – including testimonies from previous students – and to apply click here

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Lets get Sprintensive.

 

 

IPS and MPA students

Join us tomorrow evening to learn more about the upcoming change to DPP and the alternative learning semester, Sprintensive!

Wine and Pizza reception will follow! 

Sprintensive

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Apple Pie and Pineapple Sorbet: U.S. and Cuban Nationalism

Why is Cuba such a contradiction? Because Cuba is characterized by everything I was told the world should not be!  Socialist not democratic, communist not capitalist, systemic human rights violations, a dictatorship, inefficient, unproductive; should I continue?  I was able to get a sense of this notorious island during a seven day immersive learning excursion with twenty-seven other MIIS students and the renowned Professor Jan Black.

There was a time when I imagined Cuba as a socialist utopia. I had thought Cuba was going to be the national anthropomorphization of Eugene V. Debs famous quote that is “opposing a social order where it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives to secure barely enough for a wretched existence.  But, there is no substitute for actually visiting the country – after seven days in Cuba, I’ve realized that the little island nation, and the United States, are a lot more complex than I was led to believe in the comfort of my Midwest upbringing.

As an American, I grew up on the smell of apple pie; lightly toasted crust, crisscrossed across the top, somehow evoking feelings of liberty, justice…righteous stuff. You see, Cuba, at least for United States citizens, is one gigantic contradiction and trying to digest and make sense of the country through the nationalistic viewpoint from which my mind has been programmed to think, whether I like it or not, is no easy task. Close your eyes and think about apple pie. Now, envision biting into pineapple sorbet.  So, I apologize now if, and that is a big if, you get to the end of this blog and you walk away more confused than you started. That’s fine though. Cuba could be the poster child for the phrase; the more you know the less you think you know.

Our professor and guide Dr. Jan Black told us to experience Cuba using our five senses. I would like to take the liberty of taking you, my reader, along for the ride with the idea of trying to engage your five senses. Unfortunately, I am less likely to engage your sense of smell.  But, here we go:

We met with all different types of people, from Cuban foreign ministers to a diplomat from the U.S. Interest Section. We also met with individual Cubans, both pro-government and oppositionist. We met with U.S. expats working with the Cuban health system and Cuban students studying international relations. What was so trying after listening to all of them was that you could easily pick each one up and place them into two buckets, Cuban Nationals (CN) or U.S. Nationals (USN). Whether we were speaking to Cuban oppositionists or expat sympathizers of the Cuban government their rhetoric fit, nicely, within these two buckets. Their world-views and indeed those of us students had been systematically crafted by the nations from which they grew up and regardless of their support for either side or not they continued to use rhetoric that perpetuated the conflict between the United States and Cuba. What was most contradictory of all was that these two worldviews of the same conflict were like hearing two completely different stories for two completely different historical events told perpetually for generations upon generations without change.

How are these national worldviews constructed within a citizenry? It is often much more subtle than one would assume.  Irrespective of whether we understand nationalism as a positive or negative force, it is generally acknowledged that nationalism places the nation on the highest pedestal and viewed as the supreme agency of meaning, collective identity, and moral justification.  Critically noting that one of the powerful ways in which nationalism becomes historically instated is through its presumption that the nation is sacred, likening it to be equivalent to the church.  Interestingly, if nationalism is being valued as sacred within the population we can see its physical manifestation in the ritualized images of national leaders and national public ceremonies that are underscored by the nations presumed history of greatness. Harry Anastasiou, a professor of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and world-renowned leader in the settlement process in Cyprus, goes as far to claim nationalism can be a justification for divine election.

Che.1.

Click here to read more

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

TEAM PERU: Is it right for YOU?

 

The Who, What, When, Where, Why & How!
TeamPeru_201415 copy

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Team El Salvador Leadership Applications – Still time to apply! –

– Application deadline EXTENDED to April 29 – 

Team El Salvador Practicum 2014-2015 Call for Leadership Applications

Team El Salvador (TES) is seeking three student leaders to lead the Team El Salvador 9 Practicum during its 2014-2015 program year.

Do you want to gain skills in leadership? International Development? Environmental policy and natural resource management? Survey creation? Improving your Spanish proficiency and communication?

TES leadership is open to all MIIS students, from all departments and fields of study!

How to apply? Please send resume and cover letter to: teamelsalvadormiis@gmail.com by Tuesday, April 29th. Visit us at: http://blogs.miis.edu/teamelsalvador

Team El Salvador provides a unique, professional opportunity for MIIS students to develop and apply practical skills and enhance language proficiency and multicultural competency in a dynamic international setting.

Team leaders will cultivate a variety of professional skills while gaining real world experience. The ideal candidate has a passion for international development, strong leadership skills, and a willingness to facilitate and manage a variety of program elements, including communication and outreach, program development, fundraising, updating and developing website content and social media sites, event scheduling and management, meeting planning and travel logistics and community engagement.

Ideal Candidates will:

• Speak, write and read Spanish at a 400 level
• Understand the mission and goals of Team El Salvador and
El Salvadoran history and culture
• Have strong communication and organizational skills
• Have experience living and working in rural communities of Latin America (or other developing
countries)
• Have a lucid understanding of the unpredictable nature of development work
• Be personable, dynamic, patient, flexible and adaptable to changing program and project
demands
• Have experience with fundraising
• Develop and deliver compelling presentations to MIIS faculty, prospective team members, etc.
Executive management and staff

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Cuba: Changing Course for Changing Times

An introduction to the 2014 spring break opportunity in Cuba by Professor Jan Knippers Black

MIIS Spring Break in Cuba

2014 Spring Break Trip to Cuba

Cuba has always found itself, or placed itself, in the most unusual circumstances. It was among the last of the Western Hemisphere countries to win independence (or at least nominal independence) from the Spanish. It was in part because such independence was largely nominal, hegemony having been passed to the United States that Cuba in 1959 began to experience one of the most thorough-going revolutions the world had seen. And Cuba has held onto its revolutionary profile long after most other governments so assembled have abandoned revolutionary rhetoric as well as revolutionary inclusiveness.

As a consequence of that extraordinary history, Cuba has much to teach about the costs and benefits of revolution and also the costs and benefits of integrating belatedly a now globalized economy. Having been stripped time and again of capital and of markets, Cuba also has much to teach about self-help – about what communities can do for themselves when they have no other recourse. And the nature of therelationship between Cuba and the United States – the relentless continuity despite dramatic change in the world around them – gives away the predominance in both countries of domestic interests and domestic politics in the design and execution of foreign policy.

This narrative will be explored further with an on-site course this spring that will offered to students from all MIIS schools and programs and from Middlebury College.  The onsite portion of the course will take place over spring break: March 15 – 23 and will include visits to various Cuban ministries, including those of foreign affairs and tourism, offices of the United Nations Development Program and other IGOs and NGOs, and sites of historic events, including the Bay of Pigs and the Museum of the Revolution.

This opportunity is co-sponsored by Global Exchange. For inquiries, please contact: Maddie Stoeri at mstoeri@miis.edu (please cc cmtaylor@miis.edu).

Course dates: March 15-23, 2014

Application deadline: December 10, 2013

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Applications to January DPMI Trainings in Rwanda and Monterey Due October 31

Development Project Management Institute

What: Professional certificate training in international development project planning, facilitation, and partnership

Where: Monterey, California or Kigali, Rwanda!

When: Monterey (January 6-24, 2014) or Rwanda (January 14-23)

Who: Aspiring international development and social change practitioners interested in developing a practical skill-set and meeting others interested in this field. Interested graduate students, career-changers, and outstanding undergraduates encouraged to apply.

Program Fees: $1,500 for Monterey or $900 for Rwanda training for MIIS students; $2,500 for non-MIIS students for either program (some scholarships available)

Application Deadline: Apply at http://go.miis.edu/dpmi by October 31, 2013!

Click here to read more

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Going Abroad? Register Your Plans and Emergency Contact Information

Given events around the world over the last year, the Monterey Institute, in collaboration with Middlebury College has reevaluated the ways in which we support Institute students during the periods of time they are abroad.   Because our students engage the world in a wide variety of ways, it is important that we manage the risks that students take when going abroad.  To this end, in those instances when students are participating in an activity that is sponsored or supported by the Institute in any way, we are introducing new protocols designed to better manage the inherent risks of traveling abroad.

Beginning with the fall 2011 semester, we will initiate a new Institute policy requiring all students traveling abroad on any Institute-sponsored activity to register their plans and all contact information with the Institute prior to departure. We need this information in the event of any natural or man-made emergencies. 

Click here to read more

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

GSIPM Honors Summer and Fall Frontier Market Scouts and DPMI Plus Fellows!

With 2012 upon us, the Graduate School of International Policy and Management would like to honor the  service of Frontier Market Scouts and Development Project Management Institute professional immersive learning participants.

DPMI Plus Participants (summer-fall 2011)

Miho Yoshimura – Foundation for Older Persons Development, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Monique Ouffoue – INT, World Bank Group, Washington, DC and The Phillipines

Paul Bonwich – Peace Corps, Macedonia

Grant Ennis – Youth Iniatives Kenya (YIKES), Nairobi, Kenya

Kathleen Gordon – All Hands Volunteers, Belval Plaza, Rue Belval, Haiti

Tanilee Eichelberger – Centro Ecologico Akumal, Mexico

Rebecca Marcus – Futures and Options, New York, New York

Emily Patrick – Root Change and Legal Action Services, Windhoek, Namibia

 

Frontier Market Scouts (summer-fall 2011)

Grace Andrews (MPA ’12)
San Paolo, Brazil
Artsemisia Foundation

Megan Christenson (MBA ’12)
Ecuador
Yachana Foundation

Sean Brownlee (MBA ’12)
Cairo, Egypt
Nahdet El Mahrousa

Huston Hedinger (MAIPS ’12)
Beirut, Lebanon
Berytech

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

January 2012 Practica and Trainings

This January the Monterey Institute will offer practica in Chile, Egypt, Nepal, and El Salvador as well as two intensive on-campus training programs (FMS and DPMI).

Learn more about these opportunities.

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Team El Salvador 6 is Looking for New Applicants!

We are now accepting applicants for Team El Salvador 6!  Our online application is up and running.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Application Process:

  • Complete the online application and submit all materials (listed on online application) by October 1st.
  • Applicants will be notified via email if they have been selected for an in-person interview.  A portion of the interview will be conducted in Spanish.
  • Applicants will be notified if they have been accepted into the program.

About us:

Team El Salvador is a three-week practicum that provides professional, international opportunities for MIIS students to enhance development expertise, language skills, and multicultural competency through a partnership with La Coordinadora, a community-based organization in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador.

Through ongoing projects, we offer invaluable practical experience for burgeoning development professionals and linguists, while benefiting Salvadoran communities.

Contact us at:

teamelsalvadormiis@gmail.com

Visit our blog:

sites.miis.edu/teamelsalvador

Friday, October 1st, 2010

MIIS Southern Cone Study Tour Planned for January 2011

Assistant Dean Toni Thomas and Profs. Jan Black, William Arrocha, and Harvey Arbelaez will lead a MIIS study tour entitled “Southern Exposure” this January 2011 for 17-18 days. The group will travel to the Southern Cone of South America (Chile, Argentina, and Brazil).  

A student information session is tenatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 26 from 12-1pm in MG 102. Please check the GSIPM blog and Institute Events Calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Call for Applications: Conservation Leadership Practicum Jan. 10-21

The Conservation Leadership Practicum (CLP) is an innovative two week certificate course focused on delivering the necessary skills for current and future environmental leaders. Students in the program may be eligible for up to 6 units of credit from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

The program’s two weeks are divided into ten key skill areas taught by Monterey Institute professor Jeffrey Langholz and leading local and global conservation practitioners. CLP trainers are qualified professionals in the field from such organizations as Foundations of Success, Pact, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Big Sur Land Trust.

Cost: $1,800 for non-Monterey Institute participants, with a deposit of $500 due December 1st. $200 for Monterey Institute students, added to spring semester tuition.

When: January 10 through January 21, 2010

Where: Monterey Institute of International Studies

Application deadline: October 31, 2010

For more information, visit: http://www.miis.edu/academics/programs/conservationleadership

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Chile J-term Presentation: “Incomplete Transition and Indigenous Rights: Chile’s Mapuche Nation” May 4th

Who: All Students
What: Chile J-term Presentation
When: Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 6:15 PM (Please note the date change)
Where: Irvine Auditorium, Reception to Follow

MIIS Professor Jan Black’s 2010 Chile J-term class, in collaboration with Judge Juan Guzman’s Center for Human Rights Studies and Global Majority invite you to: “Incomplete Transition and Indigenous Rights: Chile’s Mapuche Nation.” Through videos and individual and team presentations, students will recount their experiences and findings about the challenges to and defense of Mapuche land and cultural integrity gleaned from interviews, lectures, field trips, and home stays in Mapuche communities.

For more information on this onsite course, please go to: http://sites.miis.edu/chilejterm

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

El Salvador J-term Team Monterey 4 Spanish Presentations, Thursday, April 22nd

Who: All Students
What: Team Monterey 4 Spanish Presentations
When: Thursday, April 22nd, 12 PM -2 PM
Where: Irvine Auditorium

Team Monterey 4 will be presenting in Spanish on Thursday, April 22nd regarding their different development projects realized during their time in El Salvador during January 2010.  Each team member will give a synopsis of his/her project and the different aspects of the project.  The presentations will be interpreted by a Translation & Interpretation team into English.

Come learn about the El Salvador J-term Development Practicum!

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Team Monterey 5: Seeking Leadership Candidates

Team Monterey El Salvador 2010 is accepting applications from individuals interested in a leadership position for the January 2011 Practicum.  Team Monterey leaders are responsible for program development, fundraising and marketing, communication and outreach, updating and developing website content and social media sites, logistics, recruitment and community engagement, etc.  The deadline to apply is Friday, April 16th.

Ideal Candidates will:

  • Speak, write and read Spanish at a 400 level
  • Understand the mission and goals of TM El Salvador and El Salvadoran history and culture
  • Have strong communication and organizational skills
  • Have experience living and working in rural communities of Latin America (or other developing countries)
  • Have a lucid understanding of the unpredictable nature of development work
  • Be personable, dynamic, patient, flexible and adaptable to changing program and project demands

Further information can be found on the attached announcement flyer and the Team Monterey blog:  http://sites.miis.edu/equipomonterey

If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to EquipoMonterey@gmail.com.