I come from the State of Oregon, but have spent the last four years working in NE Thailand with the Center for International Education and Exchange (CIEE); a study abroad program for U.S. undergraduate students.


While at CIEE-Thailand, I gained direct experience planning and facilitating a community-based study abroad program.  The program employs a participatory learning model to help students understand the complexities surrounding development and globalization issues.  Students learn by exchanging with members of Thailand’s grassroots peoples’ movement, but do so within the context of a group process that challenges them to work with one another to decide collectively what an appropriate response is to what they are learning and experiencing.  Students tend to return to the United States as informed and engaged global citizens; impelled to continue their educational process and community engagement.  Some former students have even started their own non-profit, the Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange, in an effort to be reciprocal and work in solidarity with the communities they learned from in Thailand.


The transformative pedagogical approach that CIEE-Thailand applies towards education, and the transformative impact I have seen the program have on students’ lives, prompted my application to the Center for International Education.  While at CIE I hope to gain a firm grounding in the concepts and theories that inform libratory pedagogy and non-formal education, as well as develop a strategy for building more transformative and participatory learning centers around the world that are rooted in peoples’ movements and struggles against oppression and injustice - rooted in a belief that another world is possible - but simultaneously provide contexts where young American students can feel empowered to make a difference.


I look forward to my time at CIE and building relationships and connections with those new to the CIE community, as well as those who have come before.


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CIE Graduate