Bangladesh Summer Program

Contact: Yasmeen Mohiuddin • 931.598.1462

Brochure: Bangladesh 2011

This study abroad program, centers on a course on “Microfinance Institutions in South Asia” with a community engagement component. It is five and a half weeks in duration – 2 weeks of study in Sewanee, and two and a half weeks of extensive travel with academic instruction in Bangladesh and another country of the region (India, Thailand, or Cambodia). The program offers credit for one and a half courses and takes place from May to June. The program will be in its twelfth year of operation in 2014.

The Bangladesh Summer Program is a truly unique program, without any parallel at any university in the U.S. or abroad. It provides an opportunity for students to have a life changing experience by witnessing first-hand the silent revolution in Bangladesh that has enabled millions to get out of the vicious circle of poverty. This full immersion program in international development focuses on intensive interaction with the 2006 Nobel peace winner Grameen Bank and BRAC (world’s largest nonprofit) in Bangladesh. Students get the unique opportunity to observe, review, and evaluate operations of the Grameen Bank and BRAC in remote villages and to conduct interviews and focus group discussions with poor women borrowers at their homes and in their villages to learn how poverty lending is done, how peer groups are formed, how repayment is assured, how women are empowered, and how economic and social change occurs. They also take field trips to United Nations World Food Program projects and sites focusing on economic and social development that are inaccessible to tourists and even to education tour groups. They also have extended personal meetings with the “world’s greats,” Nobel Laureate Dr. Yunus and Mr. Abed, and with the head of UNWFP.