OU hosts group of Pakistani educators

This summer, Oakland University’s Office of Global Engagement is hosting a group of 20 secondary education teachers from Pakistan. During their five-week stay, the educators will participate in Exchange for Pakistani Secondary Educators and Administrators (EPSEA) — an enriching program which focuses on classroom inclusivity.

The first four weeks of EPSEA will be led by faculty on OU’s campus. This initial portion of the program includes seminars that provide an overview of diverse learning and innovative teaching methods.

Once a week, the educators will visit Eaton Academy, a school in Birmingham that specializes in teaching students who learn differently. This experience will allow participants of EPSEA to observe diverse teaching methods in a classroom setting. 

During their stay in the United States, the Pakistani educators will be exposed to American culture through a variety of experiences. The group will enjoy guided tours of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Henry Ford Museum, family dinners and a picnic in Belle Isle.

“We have many fun activities planned for the educators,” Rosemary Max, OU’s executive director of global engagement, said. “During the first portion of the program, we will visit several interesting places in the Metro-Detroit area.”

For the last week of EPSEA, the participants will visit historical sites in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. In these cities, they will learn more about American history and politics.

“This unique aspect of the program will allow the educators to gain a better understanding of the differences between Pakistan and the U.S.,” Max said.

Once the group returns to Pakistan, OU faculty will stay in touch with the participants. Faculty will meet with the Pakistani educators three to four times virtually throughout the year to monitor the program’s success. 

The EPSEA program was made possible through a two-year, $400,000 grant from the U.S Department of Senate.

“[OU’s Office of Global Engagement is] very thankful for the U.S Department of Senate’s generous grant,” Max said. “Without this funding, this program would not have been possible.”

For the Pakistani educators, EPSEA is an experience of a lifetime. The program will equip them with valuable tools and knowledge to bring back to their own classrooms.

“It has been a pleasure working with the educators throughout the duration of this program,” Max said. “I am proud that Oakland University is able to promote inclusion internationally.”

OU’s Office of Global Engagement organizes a wide variety of international hosting programs such as EPSEA, while also overseeing Study Abroad participation and International Student affairs. Participants of the department’s programs are able to broaden their worldview while simultaneously expanding their knowledge of other cultures.

“I recommend that all students participate in one of our [Global Engagement] programs at least once,” Max said. “Although it may force individuals to step outside of their comfort zone, the knowledge and experience they will gain in the process is worth the initial discomfort.”