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Reading & Rewriting the World

Paulo Freire and Donald Macedo note in Literacy: Reading the Word and the World that “Reading the word is not preceded merely by reading the world, but by a certain form of writing it or rewriting it, that is, of transforming it by means of conscious, practical work.” Pitzer College students are rewriting their own worlds as a result of their conscious, practical work in communities abroad. The community is their classroom. The curriculum is an intellectual loom on which students connect lectures and readings by local experts, homestays, internships, study trips and community-based research projects into a new understanding of place and themselves.

—Carol Brandt, vice president of international programs

As you read this, Pitzer College students and faculty around the world are…

Study Abroad

Dumelang. Le kai?: Playing by the rules of local women’s softball and studying the rules of Setswana in Manyana and Gaborone, Botswana.

Study Abroad

Kasto mitho Nepali bolnu huncha!: Discussing religious practices in Nepali with a host grandmother after a lecture on the confluence of Buddhism and Hinduism in Darjeeling, India.


Study Abroad

Biodiversidade e mudanças na cultura Macuxi tradicional: Interviewing villagers for Professor Leda Martins’ National Science Foundation project on biodiversity and changes in traditional culture of the Macuxi in Roraima, Brazil.

Study Abroad

Chinese GreetingFaculty planning studies on the intersection of neuroscience and traditional Chinese medicine around the treatment of heroin addiction at the Neuroscience Institute of Beijing University.

Study AbroadBravo! and Good on ya!: Getting a peer’s perspective from local friends and roommates in Parma, Italy and Adelaide, Australia.


Study AbroadPura Vida! and Global-Local Research: Deepening field work in public health in San Jose, Costa Rica, into a research presentation at the Pitzer College International Undergraduate Research Symposium.


1. Setswana: Hello, how are you?
2. Nepali: You speak Nepali well.
3. Portuguese: Biodiversity and changes in traditional Macuxi culture
5. Italian and Australian English: Well done!
6. Costa Rican Spanish: Everything’s great!

Immersion with Xiao Jie

After being in Beijing for a short while, almost 2 weeks right now, I realized that I did not have enough knowledge to do many of the cultural excursions, cultural activities, and what not. I would like to eventually have enough time, language skills, and guts to be able to fully experience China. . . . While trying to find an immersion activity to do, I saw the example in the syllabus about learning a Chinese song. To make a long story short, I learned that my roommate, Xiao Jie, loves Avril Lavigne and Wong Fei….We had a music swapping night where I gave her some of my Avril Lavigne songs, and she gave me some of her Wong Fei songs. Because of this, I asked her to teach me her favorite Wong Fei songs as one of my immersion activities. The song is Ni Kuai Le Suo Yi Wo Kuai Le, (You’re Happy so I’m Happy). Xiao Jie was kind enough to write out the lyrics to the song for me. After writing the lyrics, she read it to me first and then we read it together. Then, she went line by line, explaining and interpreting the lyrics to me, going into detail about the subtleties in the song that someone who did not know Chinese would not get. It was very refreshing to learn the meanings behind certain phrases. Every-thing became clearer to me.

from Cheryl Yin’s ’07 fieldbook, Pitzer in China, Fall 2005

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