Master of Arts (MA)
Participating in education abroad (EA) programs has been a part of my learning that began long before I ever considered going to college. As a sailor in the U.S. Navy in my late teens, I yearned to make some sort of connection with the communities I would visit overseas. I did this by participating in community service projects that my ship sponsored. My earliest cross-cultural experiences that I can recall were playing basketball at a Somalian orphanage, visiting children at a hospital in Bahrain and while painting a Thai primary school. Although they were short programs (and perhaps a bit short-sighted), they kept me out of the bars and provided me with a way to meet the people of the lands I visited and to learn from them.
My joy of learning through international experiences increased with each opportunity. By the time I was a senior at Michigan State University, I was known as the "study-abroad junkie" among some international educators. Unlike a junkie though, I was a bit more selective in my choice of "fixes." I have always been a passionate and idealistic person, so the programs that intrigued me were those that challenged participants to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.
Now, as an international educator, I hope to make a contribution to the field so that intriguing programs like those mentioned above may grow and prosper. I also would like to see other students learn from their experiences abroad as I did, so that they may be inspired to make a difference someday, somewhere. Finally, I would like to see these programs contribute positively to the host communities as well.
International and Comparative Education
Fox, David, "Education Abroad Programs with a Social Change Component: Making them Work for Participants and Host Community Members" (1996). Capstone Collection. 1163.