People have inquired: Why India? It's an intriguing question, really. Why would anyone choose India to spend a semester? Well, the answer is that India chose me. God works in out lives in great ways - if we let Him. Last fall when I began exploring the 'study abroad option' I found that my criteria did not necessarily revolve around place - at least, not in the way we generally think about a place. I avoided choosing a place to study based on tourism, resume, exoticness, or even culture. I found that I was more interested in the program. I was more interested in the pedagogical philosophy. I was more interested in exploring news ways of thinking about God's Creation and His people.
I stumbled upon Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID), an amazing program with a history back to the 1970's. I've been around long enough to know that anything that is older than me has probably been doing something right. The 70's? You mean that decade when my parents graduated from high school? The decade that inspired a great sitcom?
MSID bases their teaching on experiential learning: "an experiential study abroad program carefully linking structured experience to more conventional kinds of classroom learning. MSID’s design encourages students—through reflection and action—to move toward a deepening awareness of the structures and dynamics that make the world as it is, as well as one’s own role in maintaining or transforming those structures and dynamics." The body of this quote will inspire the body of this blog in the next few months.
So when I say that "India chose me" I mean that little signs emerged to let me know that I made the right decision. It's amazing what happens when you put people and ideas ahead of everything else...