A Rich Meeting Ground: RD Gras in Prague

Dear Friends,

Our company vision is a lofty concept: to enhance global understanding through travel and education. Once a year, I see the manifestation of all that we do and aspire to do become tangible. We call it “RD Gras,” a playful term coined by none other than one of our RDs (Resident Directors) years ago. During RD Gras, Academic Travel’s study abroad division, CET Academic Programs, convenes its worldwide team, including all CET DC staff and every Academic and Resident Director from all our campuses abroad, in one place, for one week in January. This month we met in Prague, Czech Republic.

Hector Cruz-Feliciano, CET's Brazil Program Director, presents.

Hector Cruz-Feliciano, CET’s Brazil Program Director, presents.

Our Prague Team presents on Traveling Seminar to Auschwitz.

Our Prague Team presents on Traveling Seminar to Auschwitz.

We came together from the U.S., Japan, China, Vietnam, Jordan, Tunisia, and Italy, and were hosted by our hard-working team in the Czech Republic. We invited valued partner universities to join us from American University, UNC-Chapel Hill, Cornell University, Syracuse University, Brandeis University, Elon University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We presented challenges and discussed solutions; we tossed around old and new ideas and brainstormed; we translated and interpreted; we listened and were heard; we explored and discovered. Sessions included Traveling Seminars; Career Integration; Managing Overseas Staff Transitions; Case Studies of Recent Student Emergencies; Maximizing Internships Abroad; Teaching Students to Read the City; CET in Brazil; Managing Student Language Acquisition Expectations; Graphs, Photos and Visuals; and much more! The forum was energetic, inspiring, respectful and fun. No one held back, everyone contributed, and all came away enriched.

A view from Cesky Krumlov Castle tower

A view from Cesky Krumlov Castle tower

In reflecting on this past week, I marvel at how rare such an earnest convergence of ideas and minds is and how appreciative I am to work with a team and with partners of this caliber. We have created a culture born of cultures. It is this diverse provenance, where we share a common purpose, which makes us come together in such productive harmony. Thank you, Team CET! And thank you to our valued partner institutions and the fine people who lead their education abroad strategies!

Kate Simpson

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