Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad--Bilateral Projects

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Summer 2012 Seminars for Postsecondary School Educators

| China | Oman and the United Arab Emirates |

Country: China
Seminar Title: Social Sciences in China
Tentative Dates: Four weeks, beginning in late June 2012
Participants: U.S. postsecondary educators, administrators, and media resource specialists in the social sciences and humanities (including, but not limited to, political science; economics, business and finance; sociology and demography; urban planning and environmental studies).

Program Content:

It is of utmost importance for U.S. educators to be able to provide their students with accurate and up to date information on and explanations of China’s new role as a worldwide economic powerhouse and growing geopolitical leader. The need to understand more about this country and the challenges it presents, not only to other countries, but also to China itself, grows daily. This seminar, with a focus on the field of social sciences, will examine China's economic system and growth, political and legal systems, and social and demographic changes within the context of traditional and modern history.

China is one of the most rapidly changing countries in the world today and is an exciting place to visit and study. Lectures during this four-week seminar will provide opportunities to understand better both the country’s past as well as its current concerns – social, economic and political. Complementary site visits will be made to places of historic importance as well as to those illustrative of contemporary society.

Prior to international departure, participants will gather in the San Francisco Bay area for a two-and-a-half-day pre-departure orientation program. This will provide an opportunity for Fulbrighters to get to know each other and have initial briefings on the topics mentioned below.

Once in China, the itinerary will include meetings, site visits, and discussions in four cities, chosen to provide opportunities to observe different aspects of China. Beijing, the capital of China, is home to many top universities, government offices and sites of historic and cultural interest. The first portion of the program will be spent exploring the capital city, including visits to educational and economic institutions, where specialists will lecture on Chinese history, politics, economics, and education, with the emphasis on the social science disciplines represented by program participants. Site visits to government agencies, media outlets, and historic and cultural sites will complement these lectures and provide first-hand opportunities to observe various aspects of this fascinating country.

Xi’an, the “cradle of Chinese civilization,” is located in central China and was the capital for eleven dynasties. Lectures on politics, government, ethnic minorities, and the social and economic aspects of the “develop the West” policy will be followed by visits to area educational, historic and archeological sites.

Shanghai is widely recognized as one of the most dynamic cities not just in Asia but in the world. Several days will be spent there examining topics such as its rapid economic growth, the rise of China’s Communist Party, and current urban issues.

The fourth city will be selected from among the following: Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, or Guiyang. At the end of the seminar, it will be possible for delegation members to choose to visit Hong Kong, partially at their own expense. Those who do so will spend three to four days attending meetings to discuss aspects of Hong Kong society of most interest to the group members.

The National Committee on United States - China Relations and the China Education Association for International Exchange will administer the seminar on behalf of the United States Department of Education and the Chinese Ministry of Education.

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Countries: Oman and the United Arab Emirates
Seminar Title: Oman and the UAE: Tradition and Change in the Gulf
Tentative Dates: Four weeks, from May 22 to June 22, 2012
Participants: U.S. teachers, administrators and media/resource specialists at the postsecondary education level

Program Content:

The Gulf region is one of the most dynamic, modern and forward looking in the entire Middle East. At the same time, its societies are deeply rooted in Arab and Muslim tradition. In this seminar faculty members from postsecondary education institutions will encounter two evolving societies in the region – Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While these two Gulf states share some similar challenges and other commonalities, each has its own unique history and has its own unique approach to blending tradition with change. Seminar participants will benefit from learning about the societies, their historical development, their relations with their neighbors and the rest of the world, and their evolving approaches to building solid economic, environmental, educational foundations for the future.

Specific topics to be covered during the Seminar will include the historical foundations of each country, its political system, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and its role in international affairs; movements toward greater economic integration in the GCC; how the energy sector is organized and its role in the economy and future of each country; the role and practice of Islam in each society; the role of expatriates in the economic and cultural life; the role of women; and globalization and its impact on economic, social and cultural life. In each country the seminar will also examine the educational system and the approaches to higher education in particular.

In each country, participants also will visit institutions and projects that are unique, such as Masdar City, Dubai Knowledge Village, International Academic City and Internet City in the UAE; and Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Petroleum Development Oman, Brand Oman, and the Sultanate’s public and private universities in Oman. Opportunities to meet local leaders in business, the arts, education and politics will be built into the schedule, along with visits to major cultural institutions such as museums, cultural centers, and historic sites.

The program will begin with a two-day pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. commencing Tuesday evening, May 22, 2012. This will be followed by two weeks in each country, ending on Friday, June 22, 2012. Participants should expect both high temperatures (high 90s to over 100 dgrees each day) and high humidity throughout the four-week seminar.

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Last Modified: 08/31/2011