New course for Fall 2016

Refugee Crises: My Home, My Identity, My Story

In the upcoming fall semester the ESC is offering a unique class “Refugee Crises: My Home, My Identity, My Story,” in which students will explore the concept of cultural identity through the current refugee crisis. The issue is examined from academic and personal perspectives by interacting with local officials, volunteers, and by visiting companies, museums, and non-profit organizations in Heidelberg. The hands-on, seminar format course is designed to develop not just content knowledge, but also to build skills in independent critical thinking, writing, and public speaking.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees figures from June 2015 it was estimated that 573,828 refugees and asylum-seekers has reached in Germany, and this number was expected to double by the end of the year. Throughout the course students will explore the social, economic, cultural and political conditions that forced millions to leave their homes as well as the long-term implications of these movements on various global and regional policies.  Beyond research, students will review myriad of sources from poems, to news articles, to journal articles, to works of art.

Studying abroad means facing differences in culture, national character, values and beliefs, and this diversity of experiences helps students develop a sense of cultural empathy and understanding, foster creativity, competitiveness, and flexibility. Being able to understand and deal with one of the most pressing issues of our time will give equip students with ability to adapt and empathize with new cultures and thus prepare them for their future global careers.