Students in the Road to the White House class at Cascadia Community College recently participated in a real-time learning experience with students on the other side of the globe. In a videoconference at 6:30 p.m. Pacific time on Monday, Oct. 20, Cascadia students had a dialogue with students at two universities in Indonesia, where it was already 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Cascadia students described different aspects of the U.S. presidential election process to students at Gadjah Mada University and the University of Indonesia, and they answered questions from them. Instructors at Gadjah Mada University told Cascadia students about the process used to elect a president in their country; they were surprised to learn that there are more than 30 political parties in Indonesia and they asked questions about how voters are able to make decisions with so many different issues and agendas.
“Our students were really surprised by how much Indonesian students know about the U.S. and its political process. Learning about the Indonesian election process expanded our students’ global perspective and helped them understand some of the specific ways in which the U.S. is different from other places in the world,” said Cascadia political science faculty Erin Richards.
Cascadia President Bill Christopher visited Indonesia earlier this year as part of an Institute of International Education tour in Southeast Asia. Discussions he had with Indonesian education leaders during the trip opened the door to this unique global learning experience. ♦