This summer the Jordan Program, the Ghana Program, and the Russian Language Institute are all moving to online/remote learning and teaching. As it became clear that international travel and group experiences would not be possible in March due the ongoing COVID-19 situation, faculty and administrators came together to develop plans to move their programs online for Bryn Mawr College students. The information below outlines how three of these programs are working to continue to provide educational and cultural opportunities for students and maintain and even continue to develop partnerships that support them.
The Arabic Language and Interdisciplinary Learning Program (Jordan Program), rooted in partnership between Bryn Mawr College and Sijal Institute in Amman, is being offered as a remote learning and teaching experience for the summer of 2020. Students will not be traveling to Jordan, but will instead participate in online courses where they will advance their knowledge of the Arabic language and their understanding of the Middle East. Students have the opportunity to participate in two five-week sessions of intense Arabic language learning (beginner through advanced depending on their placement), and content courses ranging from cooking, to politics, to the arts and literature of the Middle East. In this third year of the program, two Bryn Mawr College instructors from the Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology Department (Professor Jennie Bradbury and Ph.D. Candidate Matthew Jameson) will create and co-teach a course titled Past, Present, and Future: The Archaeology of Jordan and the Middle East. Classes will be held over video conference with 15 hours of language learning and three hours of content courses per week, alongside extra-curricular lectures and cultural activities.
The BiCo Ghana Lagim Tehi Tuma Program (LTT Program) is an undergraduate summer action research fellowship program, currently offered in collaboration between Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, the University of Development Studies, and the community of Dalun in Ghana's Northern Region. The program provides opportunities in Dalun for Bi-Co and Ghanaian students to collaborate as interns mentored by leaders in locally-led NGOs (a preschool, a community radio station, an information and communications technology center, and a cultural performance group) that facilitate thinking and learning around education, power, history, and post-colonial relationships between the U.S. and Ghana. The goal of LTT is to engage Black study and Black Studies in ways that open questions about what education is and can be, and to situate these questions within reflection and study—of the local language as well as academic reading and inquiry-based research. This summer, the program's eighth year, it will take place online, using the opportunity to open new avenues including deepening the language learning component, strengthening connections with former participants, creating modules out of the summer reader that students use, and increasing the number of guest speakers, including with potential new higher education partners.
The Russian Language Institute (RLI), a highly focused eight-week curriculum designed for intensive Russian language learning, will run in an online/remote learning format for intermediate and advanced level Russian in the summer 2020 session. In its remote format it will no longer be considered an in-country immersion program, but it will retain some of the extra-curricular activities including workshops, lectures, teas, and film discussions. Program participants will receive daily instruction with classes held three hours a day via one-hour Zoom meetings (adjusted slightly to accommodate those in various time zones). There will also be accompanying one-on-one or small group tutoring sessions for 15 minutes a day.