For many Middlebury Institute students, the winter term is the perfect time to take some of the theories and practices explored in fall courses and apply them to real world issues and projects. In January 2016 students could choose from courses offered on campus as well as in Rwanda, Chile, Spain, Nepal and Peru.
The Institute offers Immersive Learning Funding for students who seek to enhance their learning through courses, guided trips, and independent projects that are relevant to their field of study. Students also receive scholarships to conduct independent research and attend conferences in the United States and other countries, or to take advantage of professional opportunities afforded to them through their studies. Many students choose to stay in Monterey and take intensive winter term courses while others seek experience and adventure abroad.
Close to thirty students will be traveling to Chile for a seminar practicum focused on Chile’s history of democracy and dictatorship, human rights abuse, and transitional justice. The course is taught by professor Jan Black and Judge Juan Guzman who is best known as Chile’s prosecutor of General Pinochet.
Professor Paige Butler will be taking a group of students to Spain to explore onsite management of international education programs in Madrid, with Middlebury’s Madrid School Abroad, Sede Prim, serving as the primary case study for the course.
Professor Phil Murphy will be taking a group of students that have been designing a research initiative as part of a fall semester course to Peru where they will implement their research. The research project is a cooperation with the Middlebury Institute alumni founded and run Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development.
Two recent alumnae, Molly McKeon MAIEP ’15 and Amanda Bensel MAIEP ’15 will lead a program in Nepal where students will explore the effectiveness of different mechanisms for disaster response after the devastating April 25 earthquake. Bensel served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and returned back there last summer to work on disaster relief projects.
Finally, many students will earn a certificate in international development and social change through DPMI Rwanda, the popular training program for development professional offered in various locations to Institute students and other qualified applicants. Students will learn important skills related to project planning, facilitation and partnerships as well as social marketing. After seven days of intensive classroom instruction, students devote their time and energy to working on a “real-life” client project for Partners in Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Participants also have the option of arriving a week early and visit Rwandan government and NGO offices in Kigali.