(Portland, Ore.)—Lewis & Clark graduate students gained invaluable intercultural experience for future work in family therapy through a new partnership between the Graduate School of Education and Counseling and Menoufiya University (MU) in Shebin El-Kom, Egypt.
Traveling to Egypt in March, eight Lewis & Clark students participated in an immersion course at MU, created by Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology Teresa McDowell and MU faculty. The course, which was designed to focus on cross-cultural understanding and enhance cultural competence, brought together Lewis & Clark and MU students for a series of intensive learning experiences in and out of the classroom.
“There was an important emphasis on clarifying and attempting to correct common misconceptions of the Middle East and of the United States,” said McDowell, the coordinator of the Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy (MCFT) program. “The Menoufiya University faculty’s plan of integrating formal lectures with field experiences and informal learning opportunities offered all of us excellent learning opportunities.”
The group from Lewis & Clark worked closely with 10 MU students, studying topics such as the status of women in Egypt, the rights of Muslim women, domestic violence in rural and urban Egypt, and cross-cultural misconceptions. More than 100 MU students also participated in various lectures.