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Deep culture

Over at “Communicating Across Boundaries” guest writer Jody Fernando posted “More Than a Tourist: Living Deeply Across Cultures.” Fernando’s post introduces us to the ideas of Joseph Shaules about getting more deep into cultures. I particularly enjoyed reading about “Engagement” and “Language Learning.” More of Shaules’ work can be found here, including a generous sample of his new book. It all reminds me of Melibee’s “How to Meet People Abroad” series posts. In the series we have made a determined effort to advise visitors to new cities about ways to enact such engagement with the local communities and get deeper into the culture(s). We’ve discussed Seattle, Paris, Lebanon, Dublin, Rabat, London, and more.

 

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Dr. Woolf’s relfections on the meaning of community

An enjoyable read on what “community” means today, particularly with all the niche communities that are now at our fingertips. I disagree, however, that “If we have a sense of belonging to something, it tends to be independent of geography.” Part of what I often miss being abroad is interacting in the physical communities I know from the US, and some of my greatest joys here are when I feel a part of the geographical communities.

The American West

And speaking of geographically based communities, the managing editor at the High Country News has written about differing views on what the “American West” really is or should be. Reminds me of my Whitman class about the “New West” (before it was a semester long trip).

Wildlife habitats in US cities

Explains growing focus on efforts in US cities to provide a variety of follage specifically for wildlife. I wish they had included more information on this claim: “Urban ecology and urban wildlife programs are also proliferating on university campuses.” Nevertheless it is exciting to see positive action in cities since urban wildlife, particularly birds, are many people’s first and primary exposure to nature.

Green Passport

In May I started as the Coordinator for the Green Passport Program. The program encourages connecting study abroad (including interning and working) with sustainability and does this mainly through a pledge to focus students and travelers on green and culturally aware actions and by providing resources to both students and education abroad professionals. GP has a Facebook page and I have been working on getting the other resources available via a web page that will be ready soon. If anyone has any good resources that they would like to suggest please comment below or email me at greenpassportprogram@gmail.com

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