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Why MSID? (2 full days left in the US)

July 30, 2010

From the “MSID Educational Philosophy” section of my program guide:

Students often report that study abroad changed their lives… Such outcomes are important goals of the program, yet the preference of MSID is to speak of transformation, not just of change.

Transformation is about far more than the acquisition of specific knowledge and skills. It is about the spirit as well as the mind, about values as well as ideas, about relationships as well as self-knowledge, about action as well as understanding. Change happens; transformation is intentional. It is a response, an attitude. It is renewal and growth.

Personal transformation is closely linked to the urgent task of societal transformation. It can be argued that the planet has never faced such a pervasive threat to its survival as today. The crisis manifests itself in many ways: severe strains on local and global environmental systems; growing political, social, and economic insecurity; a rapidly widening gap between rich and poor, between powerful and powerless; growing cultural homogenization; and an erosion of the human spirit. MSID strives to help its participants develop a critical understanding of why the world is in crisis and to examine what that understanding might imply for the way they lead their lives.

That’s why.

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