In order to ensure our faculty has meaningful intercultural immersion experiences that will enable a higher level of understanding and engagement on related issues with our students, Appleby has developed a summer cultural immersion program. Engaging with the World Leadership School, our teachers have been participating in a diverse set of experiences with the common goals of developing their own cross-cultural competencies, exploring the integration of global experiences into their classrooms, experiencing global issues curriculum, and developing global partnerships with other schools and classes in different parts of the world.
Examples of faculty development trips that have taken place include:
Located in a lush tropical rural environment, the group was integrated into a program focused on strengthening local schools as a strategy for preserving surrounding ecosystems and investing in rural health. The program included a service project within the community of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, within the rainforest of northern Costa Rica, working with a focus on sustainable travel and tourism.
Appleby teachers also worked with local Costa Rican teachers as part of a Teacher Training Summit, during which both shared knowledge, ideas and inspiration.
At the end of their stay in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, the group proceeded to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose to participate in a three-day Living in a Flat World: Global Education Conference. Here, faculty were able to learn more about varying perspectives and programs internationally related to their work in educating for globally connected, 21st century students.
With its diverse ecology and cultures, Peru is a fascinating country to visit, and an excellent location for significant intercultural experiences. The Appleby College Peru cultural immersion program was located in the Sacred Valley, near the Inca capital of Cusco. Wedged between the snow-covered mountains of the Urubamba Range and the cloud forest dropping to the Amazon Basin, life in the area has largely centered around farming potatoes and quinoa.
Hosted by families in the village of Patacancha, a traditional Andean weaving community that has held onto its trade and language, Appleby faculty were immersed in their Quechua-speaking community. They were able to observe traditional Andean lifestyles as they participated in a service project working with the Awamaki Weaving Project to improve the skills of local Quechua women to increase their access to the market.
In addition to the warm and rich integration into the community received, the group also had the opportunity to explore the geography and culture of the Sacred Valley, including visiting significant historic ruins with a visit to Machu Picchu as the highlight.
Participants in the Tanzania program had the chance to work alongside students and teachers at Banjika Secondary School, located in Bashay Village near the town of Karatu, Tanzania. Banjika is one of the few rural secondary schools in Tanzania to have a computer lab and a satellite internet connection. The school is working on a solar power system for the computer lab and focusing on computer training seminars for teachers and students.
Bashay Village is a diverse, mixed tribal community comprising Iraq, Chagga, Masai, Nyiramba, Mang’ati, Pare and Nyaturu. The community predominantly depends on farming and herding cattle for a living. The Appleby group was fortunate to experience homestays in this welcoming community.
In addition to working on their service project with the Banjika School, Appleby faculty had other very memorable experiences as they explored the region. This included taking in a day at the Rwandan Tribunal Courts, a safari in the Ngorogoro Crater, and views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.