Students travel to South Africa to study human rights
In May, nine students traveled to South Africa with Professor Dan Connell to study the state of human rights, two decades after apartheid. The class is one of Simmons' study abroad travel courses, which gives students the opportunity to travel for two to four weeks with a professor while earning credits.
During their journey, the students blogged about their learning experiences in an unfamiliar country that has struggled with many changes. They explored gender equality, the fight to keep culture alive, and in some cases, discovered similarities.
An excerpt from Students to students - unsuspecting commonalities:
Some texted on their cellphones. Some peeled oranges and examined their yield. Many took trips to the bathroom. Others flipped through articles and clamored on their laptops.
As I sat there observing my African peers, I felt like I was thousands of miles away. When the question and answer portion of the talk came around, I was shocked by the engagement of the students. Those who had been working on assignments or texting on their phones were actively and intelligently participating in the conversation.
After the lecture and discussion, I questioned Ugandan student Sylvie Namwase about the level of activity during class. She chuckled as she said they all had an assignment due the following Monday and had been frantically working on it since the previous week.
Even African students procrastinate - another unsuspected commonality.