Perspectives: Feedback from ZSEIFS Alumni
One month after each ZSEIFS experience, OIP followed up with the alumni about their participation in the ZSEIFS and what they learnd from their time in-country.
“Definitely! It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot about a country and region that was previously unfamiliar to me. The group faculty travel experience was very valuable.” -ZSEIFS Ecuador Alum
“Yes. The experience prepares one to understand the opportunities to collaborate with other faculty in other countries in different ways, and specifically in research and in staff and student exchange programs.” - ZSEIFS South Africa Alum
"I would definitely recommend the program to colleagues in my department, college, and university. That the program allows each participant to pursue different goals and objectives (e.g., introducing course content from the target country, pursuing study abroad opportunities, and developing ties with partner institutions) would be a key selling point for me." - ZSEIFS South Korea Alum
"Yes – I have recommended the ZSEIFS program to others. This program was unique in the pre-in country studying and discussions that, as faculty we do independently toward our research, but the chance to get deeply into this from the vantage points of varied disciplines and then enact those interests on-site together was invigorating and deeply effective." - ZSEIFS Bosnia and Herzegovina Alum
“I knew virtually nothing about this region prior to my involvement in this seminar. Now I feel like I have a working knowledge of the culture, politics, and economics associated with Ecuador. Also, the diversity of the group helped me to see how everything is truly interrelated from an educational/instructional perspective.” -ZESIFS Ecuador Alum
“For my discipline, there is a large disconnect between rhetoric and practice. All of the formal information before the in-country program discussed best practices, but when I visited with schools and professionals, it was a stark contrast between what they say is being done and what is actually being done. Being able to see multiple perspectives was important in my understanding of my discipline in the region.” - ZSEIFS South Africa Alum
"Being able to see and experience Seoul, South Korea in person makes a huge difference. Adding lectures and readings that brought nuance to the war, economic growth, educational opportunities (and challenges) enhanced the experience significantly. I’m already a fan of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, so the contribution made by the trip mainly will center around putting me in touch with others on campus who care about promoting learning about South Korea." -ZSEIFS South Korea Alum
"There is no way I could have understood the region or had as much confidence going forward in doing teaching/research related to South Korea if I had not been involved in this program. I learned how to navigate the country and I came to understand what the goals of our partners and potential partners in Korea might be." - ZSEIFS South Korea Alum
"...The entire ZSEIFS process, from our readings and meetings to the on-site visits, information, and visuals, have given me not only a better understanding of the region but also of world history and of how current political realities are unfolding. I found the dialogue we were able to create across our disciplines to be enriching and hope that we are able to incorporate or include each other as we enact each of our intentions and outcomes in the next few years." -ZSEIFS Bosnia and Herzegovina Alum
“I’m more keenly aware than ever about the need to be incredibly organized and incredibly flexible. I’m also more familiar with WKU’s resources and support for study abroad as well as faculty-experts who can share their experiences.” - ZSEIFS Ecuador Alum
“I haven’t been a student for a very long time and sometimes we forget how it feels to be in a strange land with people you don’t know, experiencing different cultural norms and often a different language. This program, where I was not in charge, a stranger in a new place with people I didn’t know, has taught me to be more patient and sensitive to the physical and mental toll traveling abroad can take on most but especially on a young student unfamiliar with any of it.” -ZSEIFS South Africa Alum
"Yes, I learned more about the various options of student study abroad as well as how it works at the university level. This provided insight into developing a study abroad and exchange agreement with the universities." - ZSEIFS South Korea Alum
"Yes, the readings we did about international education helped me see issues with access to study abroad experiences, and talking with people while in-country (both at AU BiH and with colleagues planning to lead study abroad programs) helped me understand some of the logistics and planning involved in the process." - ZSEIFS Bosnia and Herzegovina Alum
"I am a much bigger proponent of study abroad curriculum having experienced it myself. I would love to be able to take all my students to BiH to learn about another culture as well as their specific disciplinary interests." - ZSEIFS Bosnia and Herzegovina Alum
Watch the videos below to hear from ZSEIFS South Korea alumni share their perspectives about the ZSEIFS.
Why Apply to the ZSEIFS?
Why Apply to the ZSEIFS?
What is the value of the ZSEIFS?