The Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding: Botswana
May 31-June 16, 2013
Dr. Evelyn Oka and Dr. Jodene Fine, 2013 Trip Leaders
Dr. Deborah Feltz, 2011 Trip Leader, 2013 Planning
Travel Dates: May 31 Depart Detroit
June 2 Arrive Gaborone
June 15 Depart Gaborone
June 16 Arrive Detroit
Lodging: June 1 Airport Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa
June 2-15 University of Botswana dormitory
Faculty: 2 Students: 10-15
The focus of the Botswana Fellowship is on the development of the whole child in the cultural context of southern Africa. The Botswana Fellowship provides opportunities for MSU doctoral students to better understand some of the challenges and opportunities facing Botswana’s children, youth and families (such as the geography, AIDS pandemic, patriarchal societal structure, reliance on eco-tourism and diamond industry), to learn about its system of social and health services, to provide insights into Botswana’s rich and complex cultural heritage, and to experience the magnificent wilderness and wildlife of southern Africa.
The Fellowship activities provide opportunities to learn about the contexts of child development in a country where the vast Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta, the mineral resources, and tribal histories define where people live, how they live, and their economic security. The possible activities include exposure to the economic pillars of Botswana: ecotourism, cattle industry, diamond mining, higher education, as well as to developmental contexts such as urban centers, rural villages, community centers, schools, clinics, and residential educational and rehabilitation programs. We will meet with leaders in education, health, sports, arts, and mental health to better understand the policy goals, structure, and services in these areas. We will also explore the cultural-historical roots of Botswana, the tribal heritages, the linguistic diversity, the family structures, the arts and music traditions, and their intersection with present day practices and societal issues. By moving the dates of the trip earlier, we will be able to visit more public schools before they begin their winter break.
Students are required to prepare a pre-trip Worldview Reflection paper in which they discuss their cultural perspectives and assumptions and beliefs about themselves as participants in today’s global environment. A second requirement is an academic presentation in Botswana on topics related to their research and educational interests. Upon returning from the trip, they will prepare a post-trip reflection paper. A fourth requirement is to prepare a group presentation to share what was learned about the trip at the College of Education’s annual Showcase of International Study Tours to Enhance Global Understanding. Finally, students are required to participate in a debriefing session.