31 countries decisive for eradicating extreme poverty

The UN goal to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 is not on track in all countries…read this short article from Norad and click on the countries to see what challenges they are facing. As you can see, there is a strong link between lack of democracy and governmental structures and extreme poverty. You can find the complete report Leave No Country Behind – Ending Poverty in the toughest places here.

Day Zero

Day Zero– sounds like a sci-fi movie. Acopalypse now.  But – what is it? Why is it happening? What can be done about it? Are there other places in the world that face the same problem? This will be the topic for our Tuesday class. You will be working in groups and use a padlet to share your findings about a water crisis. Answer the 5 ws: where, what, when, why, who.

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Gap Year

Watch the first episode of the series Gap Year 

Discuss in your groups:

What is a gap year?

Why does the travel writer they meet on the plane warn Sean and Dylan about going to China? Where should they go instead? Why do you think she says this? What is the reason they are going to China?

What is the difference between Sean and Dylan when it it comes to their background and what they did before they went on this trip?

What stereotypes of and prejudices against American tourists do we see in this film? How are they treated differently at the music festival on the wall? Comment especially on the experiences the Chinese-American girl makes.

Do you think a series like this can teach us something about culture and cultural stereotypes? Give reasons for your answer.

If you were to do a gap year, what would you like to do?

Homework for Wednesday Feb 7th.

Read chapter 10 of the Reluctant Fundamentalist and comment on the different conflicts which can be seen in the novel:

  • a conflict between Changez and the American
  • a conflict between Changez and the United States
  • a conflict between Changez and his workplace (Underwood Samson)
  • an inner conflict between Changez and himself

Find reasons/explanations for each of these possible conflicts.

Also, comment on the two quotes from chapter 10, from a conversation between Juan-Bautista and Changez:

“Have you hear of the janissaries? “No,” I said. “They were Christian boys,” he explained, “captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. they were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to.”

“There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war.”

Study and Work Abroad

Do you plan to study abroad? As part of a degree, or as an exchange student? Our class has looked into the benefits and challenges of studying abroad and we have read various texts, blogs and  looked into the practical aspects of studying abroad (such as ANSA, Lånekassen, NOKUT).

Task 1: Choose a university/learning institution in a country you would like to know more about, and make a presentation and share this with your group. Your presentation should last approximately 5 minutes and you should include what you can study there, what it costs, what activities they offer and why you would like to study here.

Task 2: Write a personal letter or statement to the university/learning institution that tells about yourself- your hopes, ambitions, life experiences and inspirations. You could focus on your background and how this has shaped your dreams and aspirations, or tell about a personal talent or quality, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. How does this relate to what person you are? Remember to write persuasively. Here are some samples of a personal statement and you could also listen to Tim Minchin’s nine life lessons speech for inspiration.

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Outsourced

Outsourcing of companies is a common phenomenon in our globalized world. Todd, the main character of “Oursourced”, faces numerous challenges as he experiences a new culture with different traditions and ways of communicating.

After having watched the film, write a text in which you discuss what cultural differences Todd has learned about and must overcome in his encounter with the Indian culture. Discuss some of the scenes where this is visible and discuss the change Todd goes through.

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