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Pura Vida and the Art of Being in Costa Rica

My time spent studying abroad in Costa Rica is the single most exciting experience I have had while attending Indiana University South Bend thus far! I knew while applying that I would have the opportunity to see amazing landscapes, try new foods, immerse myself in the Spanish language, and meet wonderful people, but I never expected how profoundly all of these experiences would affect me. Travelling to Costa Rica gave me a new sense of excitement about the world and a new appreciation for just being.

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As a college student, it can be very easy to become swept up by school work and before you know it, the semester is over and you realize that you haven’t eaten a decent meal, spoken to your family, or enjoyed personal time in months. While in Costa Rica, I became hyper-aware of my environment. Everything from the way the sun peeked through the trees to how people interacted on the street seemed so new and exciting to me. I suddenly wanted to just soak up every part of my day, from the way my footsteps sounded on the tiled floors in my bedroom to the sounds of children laughing at the school behind the Academia in Nicoya. I do not usually spend very much time on my phone or on social media to begin with, but while travelling I did not see any value in them at all. Why should I care about someone’s Crockpot recipe from BuzzFeed when I can learn to make Casado from my host mother? The engagement in the communities and the connections between people are palpable. People wave on the street and enjoy the simple company of others. Now that I have returned home, I realize that some of these same sensations I had in Costa Rica occur in South Bend as well, they just don’t seem as profound because I have learned to take them for granted.


It can be difficult for someone to get rid of their sense of entitlement to small pleasures, but in doing so I feel that I am more alive. While in Costa Rica there were several excursions that allowed me to indulge in simple yet amazing experiences. Swimming in the pools of cold water at the base of the Fortuna waterfall made me relax and take time to clear my head. Kayaking in the ocean allowed me to use my physical abilities to accomplish a goal. Finally, painting and teaching children in Nosarita and Belen made me realize that I do not need to be a super hero to make a difference in people’s lives, I only need to be a human with helping hands and an open heart. I may never be able to return to that waterfall or see those kids again. Other people will swim at the waterfall and other students from IU South Bend will teach English, but I personally have been impacted by these places in ways that others may not. Everything was uncomplicated while in Costa Rica and I want to try to continue to live an uncomplicated life filled with adventure and happiness.


It may seem cliché to say that only ten days in Costa Rica can be summarized with Pura Vida. It is probably even more cliché that after this trip I want to embrace Pura Vida as much as possible, but that is the truth. There is no reason for one to live a complicated, unhappy life. I know that there will always be problems and stresses in life and that sometimes those complications and stresses are unavoidable. I have learned however, that despite the troubling parts of life there are still a lot of good parts of life. There are endless places to explore, numerous cuisines to sample, and a seemingly endless amount of people on this planet who are ready and willing to open their hearts and homes to you, if you only take the first step, preferably with a smile.



Study Abroad in Iceland

This summer, IU South Bend students have a unique, first time opportunity to study abroad in Iceland.

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Iceland is a very unique nation. It is a 38,610 square miles island (roughly the size of Indiana) that has about 332,000 permanent residents (roughly 3x the size of South Bend). Without a standing army, the island nation-state is protected by a small coast guard [1]. Egalitarianism is not only valued, it is practiced and Iceland has one of the lowest income gaps and is frequently ranked in the top three women-friendly nations in the world [2].

During the trip, students will reside in the Hunafloi and Skagfjordur region near Holar University College. Students not only will learn how Iceland maintains a modern economy that places an emphasis on the sustainability of the country’s natural-based resources, but also how it balances this with the fact that it is a nation that is growing as an ecotourist destination.

With the deadline looming (February 1), International Programs has asked the trip leader, Dr. Terri Hebert, the following questions:

International Programs: Why study in Iceland?

Dr. Hebert: “Iceland is such an amazing place, unlike any other place I’ve visited before. From the first time my feet touched the moss found growing on the lava rocks to seeing chunks of ice float past me from thousand-year-old glaciers to walking right up to a bubbling cauldron of some sort of sulphuric mixture, that place captured my senses. Also, Iceland being one of the friendliest and safest parts of the globe eases one’s caution about traveling in today’s world.”

International Programs: What can Iceland teach U.S. citizens about sustainability (or even the larger world)?

Dr. Hebert: “Iceland has weathered rather huge financial challenges and emerged quite strong. This speaks to the creative spirits of Icelanders. It also holds a message for us to consider – about overcoming our own challenges in life. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep looking for possible solutions. And in the midst of it all, remember to be kind and help one another.”

Dr. Hebert: “Right now, Iceland is facing another challenge – that of increasing numbers of tourists, all wishing to see the nature that awaits them there. To accommodate the thousands of people traveling to Iceland, more and more tourist-related buildings and roads are being constructed, but often at the expense of the very thing which draws people – the unspoiled beauty and wilderness. Eco-tourism is a hot commodity. The country is in the midst of finding balance. It is an interesting time to visit and speak with various people affiliated with the changes. Great for business majors, sustainability majors, health care providers, education students, and always art/photography majors!”

International Programs: Is there any other insights, or points that you would like to emphasis?

Dr. Hebert: “If anyone has ever wondered what it would be like to step into the Arctic Circle and see it teaming with wildlife, or visit the place where Game of Thrones is filmed – then this is that moment. Often people think, why should I want to go somewhere in the summer that is freezing? This is a misconception as the summer temps range from the mid-60s in the day to mid-40s at night. The food is very good, too – especially the cheeses and the chocolate.”

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For more information and applications, please click here.


[1] Insight Guides, 2017.

[2] “Best and Worst Countries for Women, from Iceland to the U.S. to Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The Daily Beast (September 18, 2011).

International Education Week November 13-17

International Speaker Series & Events November 13-17
All talks are open to the public

IU South Bend History Club: “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself”- Thursday, November 9th in DW 1001 at 6:30pm with an introduction by Dr. Froysland
The IU South Bend History Club will be sponsoring a showing of the film “And Starring Pancho Vila As Himself.” There will be a brief introduction by Dr. Hayley Froysland, expert in Latin American History. The film tells the true story of Hollywood following and filming the hero and/or vigilante Pancho Villa throughout northern Mexico and the southern U.S. The film uses real footage of the original Hollywood documentary, but also delves into the events surrounding what motivated the studios to create the film in the first place. All students are welcome to attend.

Le Cercle Fraçais: Fall trip to Chicago – Saturday, November 11th
The French Club will take the South Shore train to the city and will tour the French paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as visit the French Market. All 15 seats have reserved for this trip, but contact French Club Advisor Heather Jones to see about being added to the waitlist 

Dr. Anurag Pant, “The Cradle of Civilization: India? Some Evidence from Archaeology, Mythology, Rituals, and History” Monday November 13 10am DW 1285.
Originally from India, Dr. Anurag Pant received a BE in computer engineering from Mumbai University and a Master’s degree in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. Dr. Pant is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Leighton School of Business and Economics and teaches courses related to consumer behavior and marketing research.

Oliver Shao, MA “Music and Humanitarian Governance in a Kenyan Refugee Camp” Monday November 13, 11:30am in DW 1135
Oliver teaches introductory approaches to cultural anthropology and upper level classes on African popular culture, global hip hop, and forced migration. He is completing his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Brian Cwiek, MA “Historical and Modern Perspectives on China” Monday November 13 4pm DW 1175
Brian Cwiek is a Ph.D. candidate in the Departments of History and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University Bloomington with fields of specialization in Modern Chinese and Islamic Central Asian history. He was a Future Faculty Teaching Fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year in the Department of History at Indiana University South Bend.

Dr. Jeff Luppes, “Why Germany Matters” Tuesday November 14, 10am EA 2102
Dr. Jeff Luppes teaches all levels of German language, literature, and culture. His favorite courses to teach are beginning language classes. His greatest joy as a teacher is helping students discover what they find most fascinating about German culture.

IU South Bend French Club and Translate for Toddlers “Poetry Reading and Translation” Tuesday November 14 and Thursday November 16 12:00-12:45 Fireside A& B
Students and faculty will be reading poetry and children’s books in French. There will be a transla-thon too – all are welcome to come and help up transcribe students’ translations in books for toddlers which will be given to immigrants in the SB area.​ Speakers of languages other than French are welcome to help and join the fun too! If you cannot attend either session in the Grille, Mme Jones will be hosting a French poetry slam in her class (DW 1160) on Monday Nov 13th, from 10:45-11:15. Contact if you wish to present during her class, or attend her class as a visitor.

Dr. Caren Rossow & Dr. Lars Schlereth, “Viking Economics: Preventing Poverty, Healthcare for all, A Balanced Life, and Some of the World’s Happiest and Most Productive People in Swedish Scandinavia” Tuesday November 16, 1pm DW 1290
Dr. Rossow is an assistant professor of health care administration, and currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in management principles, health policy and advocacy, ethics, and healthcare human resource management.  She has a passion for travel and has participated in thirteen study abroad and service learning trips to five countries, most recently co-leading trips to both Sweden and Belize.​
Dr. Schlereth serves as the Analyst for IU South Bend’s Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance where he constructs the University’s budgets and helps departments make funding decisions. He lived in Uppsala, Sweden while researching his Masters before going on to England to earn his PhD from University College London.

Dr. Jamie Smith & Dr. Shawn Nichols-Boyle ““Everybody’s Irish: Exploring Irish Heritage, Exploding Stereotypes, and Discovering Modern Ireland” Tuesday, November 16 at 2:30 p.m. DW 1275
Dr. Shawn Nichols-Boyle is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Director of the English as a Second Language Program She leads a study abroad experience to Ireland. Dr. Nichols-Boyle received her Ph.D. in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin and lived in the Dublin area for five years.
Dr. Jamie Smith is Associate Professor of Political Science; he teaches classes on American Government and Urban Politics. His research explores the politics of urban development in numerous contexts. Prof. Smith studied in Dublin, Ireland, as an undergraduate student, worked as an intern in the Irish Senate, and has traveled extensively in the country on several return trips.

 Connie Peterson-Miller, MA, “Clothing, Culture, and Controversy” Tuesday November 14 5:30pm. DW 1290
Connie Peterson-Miller is Director of Admissions and International Student Services. She has traveled throughout the world and sees a global education at the center of the IU mission. She is a passionate advocate for international students and the importance of intercultural skills and knowledge.

Chloe Archaumbault, Ashley Eaton, Susan Ward, and Dr. Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker, “Why Study Abroad?” Wednesday November 15 from 9:15-9:45 DW 1175
Chloe studied in Athens Greece in 2016; Ashley studied in Belize in 2016, and Susan studied in Florence in 2015. Dr. Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker is the director of international programs and wants to see as many students as possible to travel and study with IU South Bend; she is a history professor and leads a trip to Berlin and Prague.

Philipp Mischke, “A German Students’ Perspective on IU South Bend” Wednesday November 15, 10 am EA 1023
Philipp is an IU South Bend undergraduate student from Berlin, Germany, with a major in Integrated New Media and a concentration in Video and Motion Media. He is currently tutoring German, Math, and Speech on campus and serves as a peer mentor for one of the first-year seminars. His mother, who works as an airline flight attendant, has sparked his interest in traveling at an early age, which helps explain his curiosity about different cultures, cuisines, religions and their countries.

Mya Yee Nandar, “Burmese Women: Oppression within Oppression” Wednesday November 15, 1pm DW 1285
Mya Yee Nandar is an IU South Bend graduate student from Burma/Myanmar and currently a registered nurse at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Granger. She has delivered public lectures at the University of Hawaii as a guest lecturer for Gender and Women Studies focusing on Burmese current issues. She is also a speaker on behalf of the St. Joseph Medical Foundation on the matter of Burmese refugee communities in Indiana

 Dr. Elaine Roth, “Pyramids, Ruins, Volcanos, and Film Festivals: Visual Spectacle in Mexico” Wednesday November 15 4pm DW 1175
Elaine Roth teaches Introduction to Film Studies, Film Adaptations, and Women in Film, among other film studies classes.  In 2012 and 2013, she co-directed IU South Bend’s study abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Dr. Louise Collins & Dr. Cathy Borshuk, “O Canada: Gender, Human Rights, Society” Thursday November 16, 1pm DW 1290
Dr. Louise Collins teaches introductory ethics and critical thinking to students beginning their college careers, and she also enjoys teaching upper level classes in ethics, social philosophy, and feminist philosophy. She completed her PhD at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in Canada.
Dr. Borshuk is a social psychologist with recent research interests in beliefs about domestic violence and the criminalization of women. She teaches core courses in Psychology as well as joint-listed courses with WGS such as Women & Madness and Violence against Women. She is a dual Can-USA citizen who completed all her education in Canada

Dr. Terri Hebert & Dr. Zach Schrank, “Iceland” Thursday November 16, 2:30pm NS 111
Dr. Zach Schrank teaches Sociological Theory and Environmental Sociology, and his research interests include sustainable consumption and alternative economies.  Zach is excited to serve as a co-leader on the Iceland study abroad program. He and his wife visited Iceland in 2007 and have dreamed of returning ever since. Zach has also traveled to Japan, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Austria, and Czech Republic.
Dr. Terri Hebert teaches science education and methodology to education majors early in their senior year. Terri loves to travel and will serve as trip leader of a new study abroad Iceland program, where she most recently spent two weeks. Dr. Hebert has also traveled to England, Peru, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Amsterdam. She is also leading a group of educators this summer to Costa Rica to participate in watershed activities.

IU South Bend Sustainability Program Chasing Ice Thursday November 16 from 4-7pm SAC 223-225
Watch the film Chasing Ice, which received the 2014 News and Documentary Emmy award for Outstanding Nature Programming. Professor Terri Hebert will provide a short introduction about the film, and she and Zach Schrank will lead a two-week study abroad trip to Iceland in summer 1 2018

International Student Organization Thanksgiving Friday November 17 at 2pm in the Grill
The International Student Organization invites all IU South Bend international community to come and share an International Thanksgiving Lunch with us in the University Grill on November 17th at 2 p.m. The event is sponsored by Student Government Association and International Student Organization.

IU South Bend History Club: Chicago trip– Saturday, November 18th
The IUSB History Club will be taking the South Shore train to the Chicago Field Museum on Saturday, November 18th. The Field Museum boasts one of the best collections of historical artifacts in the country. The student fee for the trip is $15.00 plus the cost of food. The money will buy the student’s round-trip train ticket in addition to museum admission. If you are interested, please bring $15.00 in cash to Dr. Willig in DW 3273 to sign up. For more information or questions, please contact


Get involved in international education week

For international education week November 13-17, 2017, international programs and international student services will present an “International Speaker Series” with 30-minute topical presentations on international themes and countries across the world.


We would welcome the chance to include students, faculty, or staff as speakers. These talks will occur in scheduled courses to give students a chance to hear about these subjects. Faculty can present in their own class, invite a guest speaker to their class, or arrange to speak as an expert on an international topic in a colleague’s course. Students who have traveled on study abroad trips or have international experiences or expertise are also welcome to get in touch with international programs staff and discuss the possibility of a presentation during international education week.  Contact Lisa Fetheringill Zwicker, director of international programs, at for information.

Selected study abroad trips for 2018

Exploring International Healthcare Systems – Sweden
Explore Sweden’s health care system, which is ranked by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as one of the best healthcare system in the world.  Learn key facts about this country’s historical and social development, governance (healthcare law, monitoring and policy, and county councils), financing, and private and public healthcare services. Stay in one of the most beautiful cities of the world.  Enjoy cultural excursions in the land of the Vikings!  Spring course with travel dates May 18-26, 2018.​ Estimated costs $3939.80. Students will enroll in HSC-L 330 or POLS-Y 594 (3 Credits).
For more information contact trip leader Professor Caren Rossow

Business and Social Responsibility in Greece
Explore applied principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability from a Greek/European perspective, in Athens-Greece. Participate in experiential learning, comprised of visits to corporate, government, and NGO offices.  Enjoy cultural excursions to marvel in the glory days of ancient Greece, the birthplace of Democracy. Take BUS-B399, a Gen Ed course, during a 4-week trip with travel dates during Summer II, 2018.​ Estimated costs $3,000. Students will enroll in BUS-B 399: Business & Society (3 Credits).
For more information contact trip leader Professor Harry Vasilopoulos

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention – Belize
Learn the secrets of medicinal plants on the Maya medicine trail.  Climb to the top of Xunantunich, one of many Mayan ruins, and see where Belize meets Guatemala, explore the pitz stadium where the Maya would play the infamous ball game, Pok-A-Tok.  Most importantly, make a difference in children’s lives by creating and delivering unique health promotion lessons to kids ages 4-14; and work alongside health professionals to help provide health screenings and referrals to the local children.  All majors are encouraged to apply, no health care experience required. Students will enroll in HSC-N 390 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
For more information contact trip leader Professor Kristyn Quimby

O Canada: Gender, Human Rights, and Society – Montreal and Ottawa
Join us for a new, affordable and exciting trip to Canada in spring 2018. Students will learn about Canadian concepts of rights and freedoms, including Indigenous people’s, women’s, LGBTQ, and refugee rights. We will also study contemporary approaches to reconciliation and justice in Canada, as well as policies on immigration, multiculturalism, health care and family. Ten-day travel to Ottawa and Montreal will take place between spring semester and Summer Session I. Ottawa is the beautiful, green capital of Canada, while Montreal is renowned for being the old center of French Canada, with café culture and vibrant multicultural neighborhoods. We are planning an exciting line-up of activities: sightseeing, public art, tours of Parliament, conversations with local experts, Indigenous walking tours, hands-on history and more! Take advantage of banded tuition! No extra tuition fees will be incurred for students studying full-time in spring semester at IU South Bend. Students will enroll in WGS-B 399: Gender, Human Rights, and Society (3 Credits).
For more information contact trip leaders Professors Louise Collins and Cathy Borshuk

Writers, Fighters, and Urban Transformation – Ireland/Northern Ireland
Explore the ancient and the modern in Ireland / Northern Ireland with IU South Bend International programs during Summer 2018. On this trip to Dublin (Republic of Ireland) and Derry (Northern Ireland), students will tour castles, take in stunning coastal views, and learn from some of Ireland’s leading scholars. Pre-trip, students will take two IU South Bend courses fulfilling general education common core requirements; in ENG-T 190 the focus is on Ireland’s celebrated literary culture and divisive history, including the migration of many Irish to the United States. In POLS-B 399 students will explore the impact of globalization on Ireland’s largest cities and their residents. Students will enroll in ENG-T (Everyone’s Irish) and POLS-B 399 (Urban Politics and Policy).
For more information contact trip leaders Professors Shawn Nichols-Boyle and Jamie Smith

Sustainability – Costa Rica
Travel in beautiful Costa Rica, “the Green Republic,” as you learn about environmental conservation, the challenges of eco-tourism and the principles of sustainable development. Explore environments that range from volcanic cloud forest to tropical coastline as you learn about efforts to preserve the natural beauty and diversity. Stay with families in a small city rich in traditional culture and home to some of the longest-living people in the world. Improve your Spanish in small conversation classes from beginning levels to fluency. Teach English and provide health information during a stay in a nearby rural community.  Open to all majors and all language levels. Students will enroll in ANTH-B399 Sustainability in Costa Rica.
For more information contact trip leader Professor Scott Sernau

Spanish Language and Mexican Culture – Mexico
This is a unique opportunity to spend four weeks studying language, history, culture, and society in Mexico. Students enroll in six credits of IUSB courses. The Spanish courses are taught on the campus of the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca. The institute is located in a lovely 19th century estate surrounded by private gardens in the colonial center of the city. Details about the courses associated with this class are coming soon.
For more information contact trip leaders Professors Elaine Roth, John Davis

Drawing and Sculpture – Florence, Italy
The Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts, in cooperation with The Office of International Programs offer an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself for four weeks in the rich culture and art of Florence and Tuscany. In the heart of Florence, Santa Reparata International School of Art will be our campus away from home. During the weekends there will be field trips and onsite classes to various Tuscan towns, and other regions. These classes may be used as an elective for many non-art students, and for a degree requirement for most art students. The estimated total cost of the program will be $4,700 plus 6 credits tuition at IU South Bend. Students will enroll in FINA A399 Art, Aesthetics and Creativity (3 credits) and FINA-S497 Independent Study in sculpture (3 credits).
For more information contact trip leader Professor Dora Natella

Icelandic Land Ethics: Sustainability of Natural-Based Resources
Come learn about the sustainable practices of Iceland’s natural-based resources amid her growing tourism market. Explore Iceland’s rich history as it pertains to the development of a deep and abiding land ethic among her inhabitants. Stay in a postcard-like setting on Holar University College’s campus nestled in a lush valley between two large mountain ridges in the north central region of Iceland. Enjoy excursions to witness fire and ice at its best, as well as the creatures that live there: seals, puffins, whales, and others. Students will enroll in SUST-B399 (3 credits).
Travel dates are May 28-June 10, 2018. Estimated costs $3500.00.
For more information contact trip leader Professor Terri Hebert,
This trip is pending final IU approval

The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová

The first Deans’ Seminar in the 2017-2018 series will be held on Friday, September 15, 2017. Kelcey Ervick, Associate Professor of English, will present her research entitled “Biographical Collage: Telling Life Stories through Fragments and Found Texts.” We will meet in the UCET Peterson Classroom (NS245) at 12:00 noon. You are welcome to bring your lunch and a drink. 

Bozena-Front-Cover200“My God,” wrote Virginia Woolf, “how does one write a Biography?” Traditional biographies often unfold in a linear way, with the biographer providing a spoonful of story to make the facts and information go down. But this approach may reflect more of what Phyllis Rose calls our “Anglo-American respect for fact” than our understanding of how life works; real life is complex and impossible to capture in linear narrative. My last two books have taken the lives of little-known women in history as their subjects, and my approach to this feminist recovery project has been more akin to collage than traditional biography. Collage is the art of cutting-and-pasting existing words and images into new arrangements, often dissociating material from its original context. The result can be both disorienting and thrilling. My 2013 book Liliane’s Balcony is a work of historical fiction that imagines the life of Liliane Kaufmann, who, with her husband in 1934, commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, but who is scarcely mentioned in its extensive histories. My new book The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová focuses on a Czech fairy tale writer who is remembered in film, statues, and currency, but is scarcely known outside of her homeland. Both books include archival materials, letters, primary texts, and documentary sources about the subject. In this seminar, I’ll discuss the research methods, narrative strategies, and feminist theories that informed my writing of these two nontraditional books. 



New Study Abroad Trip to Iceland in 2018

Iceland, affectionately labeled the “Island of Fire and Ice,” is known for its volcanoes and glaciers. However, there are also impressive waterfalls, places offering solitude and silence, and beautiful sandy beaches stretching for miles.


Slated for Summer 2018, IU South Bend will sponsor a new study abroad program for students to experience this magical place. Using Holar University College, located in Holar in Hjaltadalur, as our base, we will explore places such as Snaefellsnes (the mystical volcano known as the entrance point to the planet’s interior, made famous by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth), Reykjavik (the world’s northernmost capital), Gullfoss (Iceland’s best known waterfall, also labeled the “golden falls”), Vestmannaeyjar (comprised of 16 small islands – Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the chain – and is one of the world’s newer volcanic creations), and Akureyri (Iceland’s second city having the country’s most photographed attractions).

The purpose of the SUST-B399: Human Behavior & Social Institutions course, besides exploring the places listed above, and others, is to investigate through assigned readings, onsite explorations, and interactions with native Icelanders the sustainable living practices occurring there, including those embedded within the country’s social, scientific, political, and educational institutions, and contrast them with what is currently evidenced within the United States. The goal is to develop a critical and analytical skill set necessary in becoming global citizens guided by mutual respect and trust.