Augustana students embark on inaugural trip to Vietnam
2009 Feb 3A group of nearly 30 Augustana students will spend the next four weeks on a first-ever Augustana international study experience in Vietnam. The South Asian country will serve as the backdrop to an international learning encounter in which students will take three Vietnamese culture-focused courses, participate in a service-learning project and travel. The inaugural trip idea was developed and proposed by business administration department chair and associate professor Ann Ericson, who taught in Vietnam during the summer of 2007 and has visited the country several times. Along with Ericson, Augustana professors David Crowe (English), Mariano Magalhaes, (political science) are accompanying the students and will each teach one course Vietnam. The three courses will serve as a learning community, bringing together knowledge of the country's distinctive history from three different areas of study, as well as providing context for the places in Vietnam where the students will live and visit. Before leaving Augustana, the students took part in a one-credit preparatory seminar to expand their knowledge of Vietnamese culture, history and geography, and to learn expectations for interpersonal interactions while in Vietnam. Crowe, who will teach a Vietnam War literature course while abroad, has visited Vietnam in the past, and is optimistic about the trip. "Already we've seen our students gaining what we want them to gain-they're very interested in the history of Vietnam, the importance of the war for both of our countries, and Vietnam's current struggles politically and economically. ... It's amazing how enterprising and friendly the Vietnamese are, and how much they want to show us their beautiful country," he said. The students will also take part in a service-learning project while abroad, spending a day interacting and playing with local daycare and primary school children, aged 3-12, in the Phu Tho Province. The Augustana group plans to purchase toys, sports equipment and art supplies for the Vietnamese children. From your area, this includes:
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