Outside the comfort zone

What happens when you step outside of your comfort zone? Stein Brunvand, Martha Adler and Monica Porter asked that question this summer as they stretched their students—and themselves—to the limit during Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU) programs in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

“I believe deeply in that getting outside of your comfort zone and actually going to another country—where things don’t work the way you think they should work and you can’t go back to the comfort of your own little room or apartment at the end of the day—is a powerful learning experience,” Adler said.

GIEU, run through U-M Ann Arbor, supports University of Michigan educational and intercultural projects that take students out of the traditional classroom and into a global learning environment. This year, the program funded 10 projects—open to students on all three campuses—with UM-Dearborn faculty and staff leading two of the experiences.

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