International Education: Connecting U.S. Students with South Africa

On Thursday, November 16, 2017, the students of the Faculty of Letters attended the public lecture International Education: Connecting U.S. Students with South Africa delivered by Dr. Frances Murphy from Eastern Illinois University, Fulbright U.S. Scholar 2017-2018 at ULIM.

Spending a school term in South Africa is an excellent way to study abroad and gain cultural experiences along with completing the internship requirement for a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. Frances Murphy, a professor at EIU and her colleague, Dagni Bredesen have taken groups of students to South Africa to study social assistance and culture. Students visit NGO’s, work in schools and community centers, and have opportunities to live in an urban and also a rural setting. From study abroad experiences, (journeys) students gain a cultural understanding of people and places different from where they live. In 2006 when the very first study abroad program to South Africa was underway, the group was in Cape Town and learned that then; Senator Barak Obama was traveling in South Africa and was going give a speech. The students were able to hear his speech and have a photo taken with him afterward. It was a few months after that when he announced that he would run for the presidency of the United States. Hearing Senator Obama was a high point for the students’ trip. Students anywhere can pursue the goals of study abroad which are to see things in a new way by visiting geographic sites to learn history and culture; enjoying the experience of seeing new things and meeting new people, and applying what they learn about people and places to help others in communities with volunteer work or internships. A project that engages with individuals and communities provides students with the experiences of determining the needs and interest of a group; planning and preparing for an event; organizing tasks to work together as a team, and evaluating the results of the project for the participants and the students. These are skills that are essential in professional life for which students are preparing. Working with people and finding out how to help others in a meaningful way is the way to make Moldova a better place than it already is.

During the lecture the III-rd year students of the Faculty of Letters had a chance to perform a practical training in simultaneous translation, assuring Romanian version of the lecture.