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T.I.P.S To Study Abroad: Simple Letters for Complex Engagement Paperback – April 13, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Anu Taranath (AT) is a speaker, facilitator, and educator. She teaches at the University of Washington Seattle about global literatures and postcolonial studies. Awarded Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” designation and the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award, AT is also a Fulbright Specialist. As a member of Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, she engages with a wide range of participants from public libraries and retirement homes to government agencies and colleges. AT founded a study abroad program to India in 2003, and consults with faculty on issues of social justice and global engagement. More info about her work can be found at www.anutaranath.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Flying Chickadee (April 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989626334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989626330
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christine A. Stickler on August 1, 2014
This book is must have for travelers of all kinds.
As an educator, university administrator and traveler, I was thrilled to be introduced to Anu Taranath's book: T.I.P.S. To Study Abroad: Simple Letters for Complex Engagement. As a follower of Dr. Taranath's work I knew I would be exposed to a thought provoking and stimulating approach to reflecting on cultural engagement and I was not disappointed.
Reading the experiences and reflections of the "Letterwallahs", the undergraduates who traveled to India with Dr. Taranath, made me cry, laugh and wonder at the awareness and deep reflection they experienced by using this approach to reflect on the challenges and awakenings they experienced. I can't imagine a better tool to share with students embarking on a study abroad trip. Being asked to think about issues of social justice, privilege and their connection to the people and ideas they encountered was obviously a challenge that made them come back from their trip thinking of the world and their place in it through a much different lens.
I have already envisioned many ways of utilizing this book and have recommended it to colleagues as well. By expanding the definition of "study abroad" this book is a valuable tool for anyone who is embarking on a journey of exploration. From beginning work at a new community agency in your own city as part of a service learning experience or new career path to setting forth on a personal trip, this book provides a detailed and engaging practice for reflecting on that journey and the new people and experiences we encounter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Olivia on June 18, 2014
I participated in this study abroad program, and the T.I.P.S letter writing assignment was truly one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. Writing the letters encouraged me to think more deeply about my experiences and interactions throughout my time in Bangalore. When I sat down to write a letter, I thought about the perspectives of other people as well as how my interaction with a certain thing, idea, or person related to other experiences I had been having. Travel presents a wonderful opportunity to think deeply, and I think that readers will find that letter writing can be a valuable form of journaling. This book will also encourage readers to think about the joys and complexities of traveling somewhere new, and how interesting it is to think about both the similarities and differences between the place in which you're traveling and your home. Since I've been back in Seattle, I still enjoy writing letters and find it to be a great way for me to reflect on different aspects of my life in a new way.

The letters in this book are relatable, and although they tell the story of our collective experiences in Bangalore, they illustrate so many ideas and feelings - power, privilege, identity, happiness, confusion, excitement, and many, many more. Every reader will connect with at least one of these letters, whether they have traveled or not. T.I.P.S To Study Abroad is a great read for anyone who has traveled in the past and anyone who plans to travel in the future!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shazia R. on July 23, 2014
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T.I.P.S. To Study Abroad is a beautiful and inspiring book for students and teachers engaged in study abroad programs as well as anyone who travels to unfamiliar places. On a trip to Bangalore, India, Dr. Anu Taranath's students write letters to Things, Ideas, People, and their own Selves. They share their frustrations and criticisms along with their insights and their sense of wonder. As the students learn, the reader learns.

And what we learn is how to think about the world in which we live. In a letter entitled, "Dear Generosity," one student wrote, "When is it ok to be sure of my opinion and my culture? When will I benefit most from keeping an open mind and momentarily letting go of my westernized lens?" These are the questions we should all be asking when faced with other cultures.

Even more important, I think, was the fact that these students share what studying abroad has taught them about their own homes. In a letter entitled "Dear Plastic Water Bottles," I read "It is so easy for us to proudly and loudly 'live sustainably' in Seattle, where the highest quality water to be found is flushing our toilets and cleaning our gutters." This is international education at its best, the way it should always be. And this book can help us get there.

Shazia Rahman
Professor of English
Western Illinois University
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I found that in a traditional paper writing assignment, there are always the questions of "Am I doing this right?", "Is this what the teacher wants?", "Do I sounds like I know what I'm talking about?" The letter writing medium gently nudges us to ask instead "Does this feel right?", "Is this what I want to say?", "Do I sound like me?" to ground us back into our inner voice and actual outer experience. This project has actually sparked a deep shift in me, I am actively learning to listen to my inner voice because when I feel more connected to myself, I feel myself more connected to the world.

This book is for parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, teachers, learners, travelers, homebodies, anyone who has ever asked a question, anyone who has ever been too shy to ask, "Who am I? What does who I mean in this world? How do I compassionately relate to people? How do I feel whole?" I think a lot of the key themes (identity, difference, home, privilege, love, etc.) could apply to anyone.
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