Grad Students Go Global, Too
Sunil Pahwa, a Kellogg School of Management student, studied India's dynamic film industry in Bombay in March 2004. Later, Rebecca Kahan, a third-year Northwestern School of Law student, spent her 2005 spring break with African human rights leaders in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Northwestern's graduate schools offer students the chance to enhance their curriculum through both short- and long-term international experiences. The Medill School of Journalism offers a global quarter, sending students to a two-week seminar at the American University of Paris followed by a 10- to 12-week writing or broadcast reporting residency in Africa, Asia, Europe or South America. Meanwhile, Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program has introduced a two-week seminar in London and Paris for students of global marketing.
Kellogg and law students can use their spring break as an international study opportunity. Student-led courses explore specific countries and industries before students conduct field research during the two-week break. Last year more than 300 Kellogg students and 150 law students studied in international settings.
Feinberg School of Medicine students participate in elective rotations in China, Mexico and South Africa, organized every summer by the Office of International Program Development.
Pahwa participated in Kellogg's 15-year-old Global Initiatives in Management program, which connects students with professionals for research opportunities in more than 30 countries. During Pahwa's field research on the Indian film industry, he met with the U.S. ambassador, Kellogg alumni, a founder of one of India's leading technology companies and other CEOs.
GIM makes international education a reality, according to Mark Finn, program director and clinical professor of accounting information and management. "We give students the most prominent and important role that they could possibly assume," he adds, explaining that GIM participants coordinate their own curriculum, develop research projects, organize guest lectures and meetings with industry leaders, and plan the two-week international field experience.
"This transcends any classroom experience," Pahwa says. "You learn so much about yourself through the entire process. It's absolutely the best thing I've done at Kellogg."
Kahan, a law student, participated in the International Team Projects program twice. She spent a semester preparing a group research project and planning a two-week field study in 2004 in Namibia and Botswana, studying legal issues facing the two countries in a debate about using the Okavango River for hydroelectric power. Kahan says the first trip was a tremendous learning experience, but she wanted more personal interaction with local people. "We spoke mostly with Americans who had come to develop southern Africa externally," she says.
Last year Kahan led curriculum development for another ITP trip to Africa. This time the class studied Tanzania, and Kahan's project on the legal aid system ensured that she'd interview clients at local legal clinics. "My group compared legal aid in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam," she explains. Exploring the differences between Muslim and Christian-based laws, the group investigated people's awareness of their legal rights and access to justice for the poor.
"My experiences with ITP shook up my normal routine," Kahan says. "It's so easy to keep your eye on academics and focus on your own country," she says, "but now I can't forget that there is a whole world outside of it." — H.K.