Minutes of the International Education Committee Meeting

March 3, 2010, 1:10 – 2:30 pm, 326 Cartwright



Dave Anderson, Deborah Buffton, Gary Gilmore, John Greany, Sheri Ross, Futaba Okamoto, Brock Bennett (student).


Consultants to Committee:  Jason Kouba (Representative from OIE), Eric Kraemer (Director of INS).   


Guest:  Peter Stovall, Scott Stine


Meeting was called to order 1:10 pm. 


  1. Approval of minutes

Motion:  will be done electronically by Friday 3/5/2010

  1. First Read Proposed trip Peter Stovall to Bolivia


    1. May-June 2011 Trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia
    2. Objective:  Students experience Bolivia culture through the public school system and cooperative
    3. Joint venture with archaeology field school with Dr. McAndrew (UW-L). 
    4. Questions/Discussions

                                                              i.      Service activities and educational activities

1.      Recommendations two options for students.

2.      Look into two course options (Peter will investigate).  

                                                            ii.      Variable credit options

1.      Summer – number of credits for financial aid.  Is it prorated?

a.       A student needs to be enrolled in 6 credits in order to be eligible for aid for a summer program.  HOWEVER, not all 6 credits need to be taken during a study abroad program or a specific session.  The student must enroll in 6 credits for the entire summer for which there are three sessions.

2.      International stipend available to offset cost

                                                          iii.      Look at other departments (ie, International Studies) to link course objectives and experiences. 

                                                          iv.      Meals – identity locations where safe food

                                                            v.      Language skills – identify the minimal requirement to lessen the work load on the faculty leaders. 

                                                          vi.      Workshop sessions prior to departure.  Instruction on cultural requirements, provide maps, and language training. 

    1. Follow-up activities

                                                              i.      Financial Aid options (linked to number of credits)

                                                            ii.      Course options (1 versus 2 courses) and number of credits

1.      Other departments for sponsoring

                                                          iii.      Modifying course objectives to link experiences more directly as the two objectives are refined. 

                                                          iv.      Modify proposal with addendum addressing questions/issues. 


  1. Post trip review Scott Stine- J-term India Post Trip Assessment (Appendix A)

                                                              i.      Discussion regarding the trip

                                                            ii.      Motion: Accept the report as written (8,0,0)


Meeting adjourned at 2:20 pm



Respectfully submitted:  J Greany

Appendix A

India J-Term 2009 Post Trip Assessment


A post-trip assessment report is required and is to be submitted to the Office of International Education within the semester following your trip.  The director of the trip abroad should also report in person to the International Education Committee.  This section of the proposal should include the date by which the report will be submitted, as well as an overview/outline of the planned report.  The format of this section is open, but it should demonstrate that the report will provide appropriate commentary while addressing the following issues:


a.       A brief description of the program (for example, to which UW-L course(s) the program is applicable, the program goals, the sites of the program and the dates of the program).


The India J-term study abroad experience was a program with the main goals of exposing UW La Crosse pre-health profession students to the health care system in rural India and Indian culture as a whole. The program took place from December 29th 2008 to January 21st 2009.  Credit was offered under the course  H-P 350 Topics and Health Careers.


b.      the number of participants on trip (faculty + students+ others)


There were 20 total participants on the trip.  Myself, two graduate student co-leaders, one male and one female and 17 students.  All the students were female.


c.        Changes in the actual implementation of the program from what was proposed (for example, changes in personnel, changes in itinerary, changes in sites visited and changes in activities), and the impact of these changes.

Pre-departure changes:

Due to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai over Thanksgiving many concerns were expressed from students and parents about the safety of traveling in India.  In particular, there were quite a bit of concern about our plan to take the train from Bangalore to Delhi.  To address these worries we changed cancelled the train tickets and ended up flying from Bangalore to Delhi.  Since the train ride would have taken 2 days and the flight was only 4 hours we ended up spending more days in Bangalore.  During these 2 days the students shopped and were able to see other tourist attractions that we otherwise wouldn’t have had time to see.  We were able to continue to stay at the Bangalore University where we stayed our entire time in Bangalore. 


Spontaneous mid-trip surprises:

As a whole the trip went according to how I had planned it.  There were only two mishaps for the entire trip.  The first mishap occurred on the second to last night.  The second part of our trip we went to Delhi and did what is called the Golden Triangle Tour.  I had arranged with a travel agency to book all of our hotels, transportation and meals for this tour and for the time we spent in Delhi.  Everything was going fantastic until we arrived back in Delhi after having gone on the three day Golden Triangle tour.  The hotel we were supposed to stay at in Delhi for two nights ended up not having enough rooms for us all to stay in the same hotel.  On top of not being in the same hotel the hotels were not exactly of the highest quality or anywhere near it.  Because it was already 11:30pm when we arrived we didn’t have a choice but to stay one night at the two different hotels and split the group.  After talking with the travel agency we were able to get a different hotel for the last night that we spent in Delhi and everything worked out great after that. 

The last surprise happened at the Delhi Airport.  We arrived at the airport around 10:30pm with plenty of time to catch our flight that left at 1:30.  Once we had entered the airport and our bus left we found out that the departure was delayed and that it was now scheduled to at 6:30am.  Eventually the plane was delayed again until 9:30am.  Since we were already in the airport and our bus had left we had to spend the night in the Delhi airport, which was not exactly the most fun way to end the trip.   



d.       Any logistical problem or other problems encountered during the implementation.

The main logistical problem that we had during and after the trip was actually paying the PES institution for our stay there.  We tried to wire money to an Indian bank several times with no success.  I tried to take money out of an ATM in India and this also didn’t work.  This process was finally resolved in September of 2009 after many emails and miscommunications.



e.        The degree to which actual revenues and expenses matched the budgeted values (please consult OIE for this information.)

See .


f.         The degree to which the curricular goals and objectives were achieved please include any post-trip assessment measures.

The course objectives are below:

  • Students will have a clearer understanding of the health care system of India
  • Students will discuss with Indian doctors the challenges that the Indian culture and society present to providing adequate health care in India
  • Students will learn about the diseases and treatments that are most predominant in rural India
  • Students will learn about the cultural, religious, and socioeconomic factors that effect health care in India
  • Students will gain a better understanding of Indian history and culture by visiting various cultural and religious sights
  • Students will gain an appreciation of the wealth and privilege that we as American citizens enjoy

After reading these over I feel as though the trip succeeded in meeting these course objectives.  We did do a post trip assessment however only 5 of the 17 students completed it. 


g.       Recommendations for a subsequent program, and/or how would you do things differently.

 There are several things that I will do differently if I offer this same program again.  So that I don’t write a short novel I will try to put everything in a bullet format.  In no particular order:



·         Use cashier checks that are mailed to the university as payment instead of relying on money transfers.  Getting payment to PES was by far the most difficult logistical task.

·         Have another faculty or staff help organize the trip.  Grad students were fantastic but the end responsibility was on me and it would have been nice to have another equal member to help plan and be responsible for the trip

Actual Program:

·         Depending on the makeup of the group I would still like to take the train somewhere in India. 

·         I would organize our stay at the medical school differently so that:

o    The students had more free, unorganized time to spend with the Indian students

o    The students had more time to spend in the hospital job shadowing and interacting with the doctors and nurses

o    We provided more background on the places we visited prior to getting there so the students would have a better understanding of what they were seeing. 

·         If it is possible I would try to change the dates that the trip would take place.  January is the best for weather but with my teaching load and not having January as a replenishing and basically a mental health month made for a long year.


Right now I am in the very early stages of making a connection with an organization called the Karmapa Health Care Project. (KHCP) (http://www.karmapa-healthcare.org/khcp-e.htm)  This is an organization that I became familiar with through the Buddhist center here in La Crosse that I am a part of.  The basic goal of this organization is to help give health care services to a group of Buddhist monks and nuns that are living in India and Nepal. 

If I were to create a trip with this organization the focus of the trip would be to either help rebuild a school that is needed there or to help give basic health checkups and services to the monks and nuns.  The main focus of the trip would be on this service learning aspect.  The students would have to learn about Buddhism since we would be working with Buddhist monks and nuns but there would not be any required Buddhist activities that would be required of the students.

  Some of my reasons for wanting to work with the KHCP include: providing a more meaningful and hands on experience for our students, helping a group of people that are in need instead of just being passive viewers of the people and poverty that is in India, the increased ease and efficiency of working with Germans to organize the Indian portion of the trip, and of course it is more meaningful for me personally to be helping the Buddhist organization that I am a part of.  I am aware of the potentially sensitive aspects of working with an organization that is focused and so tightly connected with a religious organization and would appreciate any guidance and/or feedback the IEC has to make in this regard.

Working with the KHCP is in the very early stages and there are many things to work out still for both sides.  I wanted to let this committee know the situation early to make sure I am not putting energy into something that will not be approved later on down the road.  Thank you.