How lucky I feel to have had the opportunity to take part in such a unique, exciting, and enriching course. As I reflect back, writing this with a smile on my face, I feel so immensely grateful for being able to embark on one of the most rewarding, challenging, and exciting semesters I will probably ever have. This program was truly like nothing I have ever precipitated in. I’ve gone to sleep-away camp for 7 summers, and done organized trips—this is not like that. The Myanmar course does an incredible job of pushing students outside of their comfort zone, creating unique experiences, fostering authentic community connections, and most importantly it gives students the opportunity to excersize a degree of independence that holds students accountable for the trajectory of the trip. Throughout this course you learn the importance of being comfortable being uncomfortable. You are provided with a learning experience that no four walled space ever could. It’s not always easy--it’s rugged, it's difficult, it’s tiring, but it’s almost always interesting, rewarding, and new.
I also found it incredibly fulfilling to be able to immerse myself in a foreign place for such an extended period of time. My peers and I were able to learn so much about the place, the people, the language, the culture, and the traditions through reading written work from articles and books. We then discussed the content amongst each other. And then we were able to further our knowledge through speaking with people throughout the country and NGO leaders. We joked that we were leaving as “little Myanmar experts.”
The instructors that we had on course were truly some of the most lovely, interesting, smart, different, and kind people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They help shape my perspective and challenged me. I learned more than I ever could have hoped to learn from them. They go well beyond the definition of educator. They inspire, they teach, they care, they innovate, they learn with you, and they are always there for you.
If you like adventure, straying from the norm, being uncomfortable (in the best way), surrounding yourself with new experiences, having fun, laughing, the unexpected, and so much more—then this is the course for you. I assure you it will be an experience like never before.