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Study Abroad Sans the Glamour: Soldiers Take Classes in Iraq

Study Abroad in Iraq? The headline jumped out of the Daily Beast, and I knew I had a story. Until, that is, I read it and learned the average American student cannot register for a semester in Baghdad the way they can in Strasbourg. But mon Dieu!, someday soon they will.

As for now, only US service members can sign up. Courses like child psychology, American government, and cultural anthropology are offered in makeshift classrooms, ranging from tents to conference rooms once reserved for Saddam Hussein.

Last November, the University of Maryland began offering these classes, as it's been doing for over 50 years on military bases in Asia and Europe. Students, who juggle six to seven 12-hour work days per week, usually only take one course at a time, but can earn two- and four-year degrees along with masters.

The fact that classes are being offered indicates Iraq's increasing stability and new sense of normalcy. It allows students to leave the rigidness of military life, if only for an hour, to be called by their first names and discuss ideas openly.


Join The Conversation
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Me too, harmony. :(
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
That's such a great thing for the service members.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
This is great that it's extending to these hot zones. Military Bases have offered college classes for some time. I took Advance Algebra at Diego Garcia. I used to sit by the ocean and do my homework. sigh. I miss the ocean.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I'm glad they're getting the opportunity to take in-classroom studies. I tried the online thing while I was underway and it was impossible to get the participation points after a 12 hour shift... all I could thing about was shower/sleep. That said, things like "being called by your first name" is something military folks don't care about. Unless your rank is put in front of it, it's the same difference to us.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I am glad this outreach is in Iraq especially for the servicewo/men. The organization I work for has been doing this for some years at bases allowing soldiers to further their education through distance learning. Fabulous idea!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Thats really great that they can do this. its nice to hear good news about that region every once and awhile. Not that there isnt good just isnt reported.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Honestly, I don't know that I want to go study abroad in Iraq right now. I'm glad service members can participate if they want. I'm sure it's a good way to take their mind off the fight for a while.
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