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Global Perspectives on Democracy

Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on New Media –
Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka


Charlottesville, Virginia: May 31 – June 25, 2010


As part of the Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on New Media sponsored by the Study of the U.S. Branch in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs , the University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with Relief International was pleased to host Global Perspectives on Democracy – New Media (GPD – New Media).

This program provided 20 undergraduate students from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka with knowledge on the use of new media and its importance to journalism, freedom of expression, politics and civic engagement. The four week academic residency was hosted at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Students also learned about the foundations of American history, government, rule of law, pluralism, and freedom of expression on the Grounds of the university founded by President Thomas Jefferson and at sites throughout Virginia. They participated in exercises on leadership, management, team building and the necessity of civic engagement to a healthy democracy and had structured opportunities to interact with students and members of the public.

The course schedule included an ongoing new media project, classroom sessions with special guest speakers and Center for Politics staff, site visits, internships, reading assignments, student presentations and more. Each speaker session concluded with an open question and answer opportunity where the students were encouraged to ask questions based on the presentation as well as on related issues that their nation or region may face. Students finished the academic residency with thoroughly enhanced knowledge on how new media is vital to contemporary journalism and freedom of expression, and a greater understanding of American history and culture.

Sabhanaz Rashid Diya recounts her experience as a GPD - New Media participant.

Concluded Exchanges and Events:

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Global Perspectives of Democracy continually evaluates new exchange and event opportunities. Contact Daman Irby, Director of Global Initiatives, at irby@virginia.edu or 434-243-8475 for additional information.