What happens when you ask a former Israeli tank commander and a Palestinian doctor from the West Bank to share a dorm room for three weeks in the U.S.? The answer will soon unfold as part of San Diego State University’s Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation.
The program, which runs through July 17, brings students from the world’s most conflicted regions and developing nations to spend three weeks in an intense leadership and conflict resolution workshop.
VIDEO: 2008 Hansen Summer Institute Fellows Visit with Mayor Jerry Sanders
Sixteen university students from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Georgia and others, will join five SDSU students in the ambitious endeavor: learn conflict resolution skills they can take back to their country to begin to help solve deep-seated problems.
“People-to-people, and particularly foreign student-to-American-student exchange programs like this one, create more long-term understanding because through their interactions, foreign policy gets personalized,” said Ron Bee, director of the institute.
Success back at home
For the past three years, SDSU’s one-of-a-kind program has been teaching the skills these students need to go back to their homes and help build a more peaceful future. Students from the previous two years have gone back to their home countries and started non-governmental organizations, worked for the United Nations or other public policy or non-profit organizations.
On July 9 and 15, you can hear directly from several international participants during two SDSU Live interviews.
Read more about the Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation.