Jumbos Abroad: Madrid Edition

Like many Tufts students who have chosen to go abroad for a semester, former Web Communications social media intern Veronica Richter, A11, used her blog to document her experiences in Spain. After two months of testing the local culture, Richter has compiled a list of helpful suggestions and advice for students who are considering spending a semester in a foreign country, especially the program in Madrid. From romantic expectations to culinary ones, Richter’s impressions are sure to be useful for those who are already imagining what their experience will be like.

Her first piece of advice?

HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS. At all. I expected to not have to deal with culture shock–I was wrong. I expected I would be hanging out with Spanish people 24/7–was wrong about that too.

To read more, visit her blog.

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Empowering Egyptian Women Through Song

“A cultural exchange program-meets-American-Idol” is how Laila Selim, A10, describes a project she is working on in Egypt. Collaboration between American company Share the Mic, Egyptian company Nile Promotions and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo has resulted in a program to “support Egyptian women’s right to be heard.”  “Sing Egyptian Women” is a competition to find the best singer in Egypt, while giving the finalists training in leadership communication and music along the way.

The competition has narrowed to 16 singers. Visit the Facebook page for “Sing Egyption Women” to meet the contestants and vote for your favorite.

“Sing Egyptian Women” has also garnered attention from The Huffington Post and Ahram, the most widely circulated newspaper in Egypt.

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EPIIC on the Web

The 2011-2012 EPIIC symposium, a four day event that took place from February 22 to 26,  was comprised of lectures and panels discussing various aspects of this year’s subject, “Conflict in the 21st Century,” and was put on by the Tufts Institute of Global Leadership. While tickets to the full symposium could run up to $75 a pop (the price was largely discounted for Tufts students and alums), the IGL made it possible to stay in the know no matter where you were, both during and after the symposium. You can scroll back on their twitter account to check out great EPIIC quotes or see their Flickr albums for photos of the many events and speakers.

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Training Students as Leaders

Eugenia Lee, A11, is a program associate with the Dignitas Project, “a non-profit organization focused on developing passionate, ethical, and results-driven school and community leaders in underserved communities around the world.” She recently wrote this blog post about a boys and girls training in Kenya’s Mathare Valley.

We often talk about children as the leaders of tomorrow but this is a powerful opportunity to start today, where it matters.

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Birthright Trips to Israel

Two groups from Tufts Hillel traveled to Israel over winter break for Birthright trips. Check out the blogs from bus 392 and bus 153. Samantha Tye, A13, from bus 153, shared the following thoughts from her trip to Masada:

Spending the morning at the top of Masada is a perfect model of what this Birthright trip has been for me. Sure I was craving breakfast, and shivering inside my borrowed IDF jacket, but our trusty guides managed to provide an experience that was packed with fun, excitement, learning opportunities and a chance to consider our own beliefs.

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Cosplay Culture

Professor Susan Napier, director of the Japanese program at Tufts, sat down for an interview with Cosplayer Nation.

To learn more about Prof. Napier, read this profile of her from 2007.

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Engineers Without Borders, Around the World

This past winter break, teams from Tufts’ Engineers Without Borders chapter headed to work on projects around the world. Check out their blogs from Uganda and El Salvador.

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The Case of Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

Last fall, students in the political science department’s course Conflict and Natural Resources examined the role of natural resource endowments and scarcity in national and international conflict. Groups were tasked with finding an innovative way to present on the topics of oil, diamonds or minerals. Justin G. McCallum, A13, Melissa Karp, A13, Julie Kalt, A12, and Amy Calfas, A13, created the following video as a call to action for producers of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds.

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After Nollywood

This fall, Tufts Magazine featured Bic Leu, A07, a Fulbright Scholar and project manager for Del-York International, a communications company that is helping to set up a media production training program in Lagos, Nigeria. The feature contained a blog post detailing Leu’s experiences doing on-site research on the Nigerian film industry, known as “Nollywood.”

As my stay in Nigeria drew to a close, I became more and more grateful for the opportunity I had had to meet so many amazing individuals and accumulate so many eye-opening experiences. I found I had also amassed evidence showing that Nigerian society has, by and large, benefited from Nollywood. I observed that a standard movie employs fifty to a hundred people and indirectly provides work for many others, thanks to collateral industries, from the yam vendors who supply the set caterer to the DVD manufacturing plants. At that rate, modern Nigerian cinema supports hundreds of thousands of jobs annually. That’s significant in a country that the World Bank estimates to have a 25 percent youth unemployment rate.

Recently, she blogged about a visit to Brazil that added more perspective to her Nollywood knowledge:

I feel extremely fortunate that my Nollywood immersion has come full circle. After being introduced to Nigerian cinema in Jonathan Haynes’ Long Island University office, my education was cemented on the set of Tunde Kelani’s Ma’ami in Abeokuta in October 2010 – just two weeks after my arrival in Nigeria on the Fulbright grant. I am so honored to complete my Nollywood research with these two amazing individuals, as well as be joined by new friends who have supported me along the way – Alex Andrade, Jamiu Shoyode and Hakeem Adenekan.

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Tufts Grads put the ‘Fond’ back in Fondue

Slow Foods, an international non-profit organization that specializes in the defense of environmentally friendly, great tasting food, has had quite an influence on some Friedman School foodies. This past November, Elaine Siew, N12, took pleasure in hosting a Swiss-style fondue adventure for her fellow Slow Foods members. On the Slow Foods Tufts Blog, she explains in detail the assortment of cheese and chocolate fondue cooking options that seem to be both titillating to the taste and fun for groups of friends to share together. She describes the experience as:

a beautiful evening celebrating everything that is good and right about Swiss cheese, and proving yet again that you can never, never have too much cheese.

For more words of wisdom from Slow Foods Tufts, be sure to check out their blog for regular updates!

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