Programs : Brochure
iSchool Tahiti: Place, Identity, and Traditional Knowledge (Outgoing Program)
- Locations: Tahiti, Tahiti
- Program Terms: Summer A-Term, Summer B-Term
- Budget Sheets: Summer B-Term
|Location||Papeete, French Polynesia|
|Academic Term||Summer B-Term 2018|
|July 21- August 18, 2018|
|Estimated Program Fee||$4,450|
|Credits||6 UW credits|
|Program Directors||Gabriel Gallardo; Chris Rothschild|
|Program Manager||Katherine Kroeger | firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Priority Application Deadline||January 31, 2018|
|Extended Application Deadline||February 15, 2018|
|Information Sessions||TBD. Contact Program Director for more information.|
|General||This course explores key issues around identity and place, cultural diffusion, and notions of community in the context of Tahiti, French Polynesia through understanding different systems of knowledge. We will engage students in an exploration that traces both the historical, geographic, and mythical frameworks that shape our understanding of the key role that the region has played in the Diaspora of Polynesian people across the Pacific.|
French Polynesia, and the island of Tahiti in particular, is an ideal site for exploring issues of “wayfiding” through the lens of place and identity, while engaging with Tahiti's long and rich culture of oral traditions. The islands in the region play a central role as the mythical hearth of Polynesian culture and as the source of the diffusion of Polynesian peoples (Diaspora) to islands across the Pacific. Drawing on Ma'ohi indigenous cultural identity and connection to land (Fenua), and delving into their traditional knowledge systems, we will engage students in an exploration that traces both the historical, geographic, and mythical frameworks that shape our understanding of the key role that the region has played in the Diaspora of Polynesian people across the Pacific. An important element of this program focuses on understanding the different systems of oral traditions and how to understand information they contain. The focus will be on Tahiti and the Pacific islands and we will attempt to help students understand the value of oral traditions as valid, critical, and credible sources of scientific information and not just cultural “stories”. This course explores key issues around identity and place, cultural diffusion, and notions of community in the context of Tahiti, French Polynesia through understanding different systems of knowledge.
The course content is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on scholarship from information science, geography, history, and anthropology to help students understand the cultural, social, and economic realities of this island society. Reading materials include authors from Polynesia and other regions of the world to add a comparative and cross-cultural perspectivesuch as observing/participating in local festivals and dance competitions; participating in local athletic events; visiting ancient places of worship; and interacting directly with a variety of Tahitian residents) will also broaden students' understanding of the Polynesian culture and world history. In addition, a Tahitian language component designed to augment the cultural immersion of students into Tahitian life will be a rich pedagogical element that will enhance learning.
The pace of life in Tahiti is generally much slower than in the US, which may test students' sense of timing and expectations of people with which they interact. We anticipate that the cultural and the learning experience will not be one-sided. The host-communities with which the students will be engaged will also benefit from the perspectives and lifestyles of participating students. We expect communities to also appreciate the interest that our students show in the local culture and language, and that the communities will be left with a lasting positive impression about visitors from the US.
Papeete, French Polynesia
Tahiti, Moorea, Fare Hape
The students’ primary housing is a compound that is leased by the local Tahitian coordinator. This location has served as the main housing facility since 2011 and is suitable for the needs of the program. For example, the students will share a large house that is equipped with multiple bathrooms, a kitchen, living room space, and outdoor patio. Electricity and potable water are included. The vendor accepts wire transfers for payments.
The course does not have specific prerequisites. However, we are looking to recruit students who are open-minded, positive, and eager to learn in a new and challenging environment. Students who are excited about experiential learning in a global context are ideal candidates for this program. Students from diverse backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply.
Physical Components: The program includes excursions to remote places that require moderate hiking through rough terrain. Water activities (e.g., swimming, canoeing, and sailing) are integral to the experience, so students will spend time in and around the ocean and local rivers.
This course explores key issues around identity and place, cultural diffusion, and notions of community in the context of Tahiti, French Polynesia through understanding different systems of knowledge. The course content is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on scholarship from information science, geography, history, and anthropology to help students understand the cultural, social, and economic realities of this island society. Reading materials include authors from Polynesia and other regions of the world to add a comparative and cross-cultural framework. Through lectures, readings, discussions, the writing process, and field work in the context of Tahiti that draws on the expertise of local residents and contributors, students will develop an understanding of “wayfinding” through the lens of place and identity and critically examine traditional knowledge systems. Students will also have an opportunity to learn the Tahitian language through a course module provided by a Tahitian instructor.
Learning goals include:
The course has three key learning objectives: First, students will learn and engage in discussions around the themes of identity and place, cultural diffusion, and notions of community drawn from interdisciplinary scholarship and place-based experience to understand the salient features of contemporary Tahiti. Second, students will gain an understanding of traditional knowledge systems, the types of information they contain, and how they are used and viewed by both Polynesians and Western scientists. Finally, through lectures, readings, discussions, the writing process, and field engagement, the class seeks to help students develop their critical thinking and writing skills. A strong emphasis on self-reflection through journal writing and other creative15%); 2) active engagement in field trips and other excursions (15%); 3) Daily reflective entries into journals (30%); and 4) weekly course content reflections based on prompts developed by instructor (40%).
This course will offer students an opportunity to develop a final project that focuses on their experiences and understanding of identity and place, oral traditions, cultural diffusion, and notions of community in the context of French Polynesia. Each participant will produce an essay that will serve as capstone project for participants of the 2018 Tahiti Study Abroad Program.
Learning goals include:
Each student will be expected to produce a high quality, reflective (5-7 page) essay that focuses on one of the themes of the course. The assessment framework will include: quality of writing; depth of engagement with course themes; and inclusion of bibliography.
Gabriel is an administrator with the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and an Affiliate Faculty in Geography. His academic interests focus on migration and settlement processes across the Americas and the Pacific. Gabriel has served on various campus committees and advisory boards focusing on international education, and has administered study abroad programs to Rome, Brazil, and Tahiti since 2001. He is a strong advocate of diversity in study abroad and international education.
Chris is a Research Scientist at the Technology & Social Change Group at the UW Information School. With experience conducting research in over 20 countries, his work focuses on information systems and the social and economic impacts of information access. Chris has been directing study abroad programs to Tahiti and Ghana since 2011.
Included in the program fee:
Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.
Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.
We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:
The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.
To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.
You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.
Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.
UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html.
Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting: https://www.state.gov/s/cpr/32122.htm.
For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.
The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at disability.uw.edu.
$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:
Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.