Ramzi Asali, representing the Department of English and Communication, participated in a workshop on “Educating Culture and Democracy” held at New York University’s Florence campus in Italy from Oct 12-15. The workshop, organized and sponsored by the U.S Department of State, gathered selected alumni of U.S. Exchange Programs to share and discuss the practical application of their acquired knowledge. Its primary objectives included fostering networking, building partnerships, and promoting collaborative research, especially among the participating academics. Mr. Asali assumed a crucial role as a key panelist on the “Intercultural Communication and Global Citizenship” panel, one of eight panels featured in the workshop.
The event provided Mr. Asali with a valuable platform to showcase the pedagogical approaches employed in his courses, aimed at enriching the global perspective and intercultural competence of his students. He shared his experiences and best practices with fellow attendees, and the workshop served as an excellent opportunity to connect with 45 faculty members and researchers from diverse countries. In addition, the workshop paved the way for potential collaborations, exchanges, and joint research endeavors between Bethlehem University’s Department of English and Communication and the academic institutions represented by the participants. One noteworthy initiative emerging from this collaboration is a virtual exchange program, designed as an extracurricular activity within the “Intercultural Communication” course at Bethlehem University and its counterpart at the University of Montana in the USA. This collaborative effort will involve weekly virtual sessions, facilitating discussions on various political and social issues, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the intercultural competence of students and dispelling misconceptions perpetuated by mainstream traditional and social media.
This pilot project is expected to grow and expand to include broader virtual and in-person activities, acting as a pivotal step toward further internationalizing Bethlehem University.