Fulbright University Vietnam and Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH, United States) recently signed their first exchange agreement, a teaching and learning collaboration between both institutions titled “Connected Courses in Vietnamese Studies”. Connected courses represent a new approach to international exchange in education: while the courses offered at each university will not be identical, their learning objectives and content will be jointly designed and coordinated by their respective instructors and taught simultaneously at both institutions. The first pairing of Fulbright-Dartmouth courses is scheduled for the Fall term starting September 2020.
These innovative courses are structured in two phases. First, during the co-learning component, 18 students enrolled in their respective universities will investigate, in parallel, the topic of development in contemporary Vietnam through an interdisciplinary approach. The instructors will draw on methods and analytical perspectives from History, Environmental Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies to examine development in Vietnam since the 1980s. During this first phase, students from both institutions will work in teams of six – three from each university – and interact with each other via video conference links and other electronic communication. Members of each of these joint Fulbright-Dartmouth teams will co-design a group research project on a topic related to the themes of the course, to be conducted and completed during the visit of the Dartmouth students to Ho Chi Minh City.
During the second phase, in December 2020, the Dartmouth students and their instructors will travel to Vietnam for a three-week intensive program of in-person interaction and co-learning with their Fulbright peers. This intensive program will include guest lectures, film screenings and meetings at the Fulbright campus, as well as joint field trips to sites in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. This is also the time when the joint teams will conduct their research fieldwork. At the conclusion of the three-week period of intensive co-learning and exchange, each team will present research findings to the other teams and to members of the Fulbright community.
Professor Nam Nguyen, who initiated the program at Fulbright, commented that “this exchange program is an unprecedented chance for Fulbrighters to study, research, deliberate and innovate with their peers abroad. Our hope is to see new perspectives emerge from thematically similar yet distinct educational contexts. By connecting Fulbright University students to the wider world of international academia, we designed a fundamental experience of transnational collaboration and multidisciplinary research, from digital platforms to physical fieldwork.”
Professor Nam is currently co-designing the connected courses with Edward Miller, Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth. “For Dartmouth, this collaboration with Fulbright is an opportunity to build a new kind of international education exchange program,” Miller explains.
“Instead of merely sending Dartmouth students to take classes at a university in a foreign country, we are working closely with Fulbright faculty to allow students from both institutions to engage in structured co-learning with each other. As the premier liberal arts university in Vietnam, Fulbright is the ideal partner for us because of our shared values and our shared commitment to academic excellence.”
About Dartmouth College:
Founded in 1769, Dartmouth is a member of the Ivy League and consistently ranks among the world’s greatest academic institutions. Dartmouth has forged a singular identity for combining its deep commitment to outstanding undergraduate liberal arts and graduate education with distinguished research and scholarship in the Arts and Sciences and its four leading graduate schools—the Geisel School of Medicine, the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. More at https://home.dartmouth.edu/