This story was written by Maggie Lawrence, Independent Florida Alligator
Academics from across the globe began a six-week program Monday to learn about U.S. foreign policy at theUniversity of Florida with the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of State.
UFs political science department received $250,000 from the State Departments Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to conduct the study program.
The State Department selects academics who are not accustomed to the U.S. in order to familiarize them with American society, said Ido Oren, UF political science professor and codirector of the program.
The program, which ends July 20, will consist of four weeks of study at UF and two weeks of tours in Miami, Chicago and Washington, D.C. This is UFs first time receiving the grant.
Oren said only about half of the programs 18 participants had ever been to the U.S.
The participants are expected to apply what they learn in their classrooms at home.
Robert Tambe-Ebot, a participant and lecturer from Cameroon, said it is a unique opportunity for him to combat ignorance of American foreign policy in his country, which he said breeds hostility toward the U.S.
When I get back home, I can share new ideas with other academics, TambeEbot said. And with politicians. Why not?