In this J-term study abroad course, you will have an opportunity to engage with people who are making a difference in their post-war environment (after years of recent civil war at the hands of the Khmer Rouge) in southeast Asia. This course will be taught through the eyes of the women and children of Cambodia, a country with a very young population having lost many men and elders to the civil wars of the recent past. It is also the poorest country in SE Asia.
We will meet local citizens, engage in service learning, study the political and religious background of the area from native experts, all while observing and learning about life in this land vastly different from our own. Specifically we aim to focus our explorations to the topics of human rights, the environment, children and women’s issues and the role the US has played in this nation’s history and current climate.
While visiting local sites we will learn about the challenges and opportunities that face people in modern day Cambodia, based on the past. We will visit both rural and urban locations including: the killing fields, temples, and a day-long boat trip along the Tonle Sap observing the floating villages along the way.
We will examine how peace after war has affected the citizens in multiple regions of Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, the village of Battambang, and Sihanoukville). Ethical questions will be a focus of our discussions as we look at the past and current state of the country. The course work includes informal (journal) and formal (paper) writing, as well as group and class presentations.