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Junior Year Abroad Network 2006/2007

Publication

Junior Year Abroad Network Annual Report 2006-2007

Junior Year Abroad Network Annual Report 2006-2007

2007

In December 2007, an initial cohort of participants in Berkley Center's Junior Year Abroad Network (JYAN) presented reflections on their time spent living and studying around the world. As JYAN participants, students immerse themselves in diverse settings from England to Egypt to China and write...


Letters

Anne Barton-Veenkant on Religion and Divides in Brazilian Society

June 29, 2007

Religion in Brazil, as in every other place on Earth, plays a central role in shaping the morals and ideals of society, but what we often forget is that the...



Mela Norman on the San People of the Kalahari Desert

June 4, 2007
"The beautiful landscapes are devoid of people. Except for the little people of the Kalahari - pretty, dainty, small and graceful - the Bushmen. Where any other...

Emily Liner on Catholicism and Islam in France

May 28, 2007

I had a hard time thinking of a topic for this letter, because I didn’t want to revisit Catholicism or Islam in France.  But there’s no avoiding...



John Stewart on Catholicism in Argentina

May 18, 2007

After studying abroad in Chile for a semester, traipsing around Bolivia and Peru for my summer vacation, and witnessing the profundity and diversity of religious...



Hafsa Kanjwal on U.S. Intentions in the Muslim world

May 17, 2007

Last week, I had the opportunity to hear a former ambassador from the United States to Egypt speak at the American University of Cairo. After addressing his views on a...



Charles Prahl on the Relationship Between God and South Africa

May 14, 2007

In 1948, the National Party of DF Malan won a majority of the seats in the South African parliament. It was an astounding political victory given that the party...



Hammad Hammad on Religion as a Political Tool

May 9, 2007

Egyptians are, for the most part, confused about what role religion should have in their everyday life. One of my Professors (a Christian) recently explained her fears...



Alanna Hughes on Commercialization and Religion

April 18, 2007

Could it really be possible that two more months in São Paulo have not dramatically altered my original perspective on religion in Brazil? While I hesitate to...



Ana Maria Thomas on Easter in Spain

April 18, 2007

I am nearly twenty-one years old and the Easter Bunny still visits my house. Twenty years of practice have honed this holiday rabbit’s basket-filling skills to...



Sarah Delaney on Religious Conflict in Ireland

April 16, 2007

When I arrived in Ireland earlier this spring, I expected to be bombarded with news and information about the Northern Ireland conflicts. The religious violence was...



Owen Sanderson on Global Migration in Europe

April 16, 2007

Global migration fuels the nexus between religion and politics. Living in Europe spring semester, and traveling throughout the region, I have experienced this dynamic...



Hilary Winn on the History of Religious Diversity in Turkey

April 12, 2007

During the Ottoman Empire, the people of Anatolia defined themselves largely by religion, and those who shared the religion of the ruling family considered themselves...



Flavia Menezes on Religious Affiliation in France

April 7, 2007

It was not too long ago when Canal +, a public television channel in France, aired a news segment about Nicolas Sarkozy, current presidential hopeful and then still...



Juliana MacPherson on Seperation Between Church and State in France

April 5, 2007

With the 2007 presidential elections fast approaching, France has reached a new point in the debate on laïcité—the country's version of separation...



Mela Norman on Religious and Cultural Diversity in South Africa

March 30, 2007

To imagine South African society is an exercise in thinking in parallels, recognizing the inherent duality which results from centuries of rule under a regime which...



John Stewart on the Andean Influence on Catholicism in South America

March 21, 2007
Riding on horseback through the Sacred Valley in Peru, my attention was grabbed by a unique phenomenon: Every single one of the small mud and straw huts that spread...

Julie Yelle on the Public Celebration of Religious Holidays in France

March 20, 2007
Yuletide in Menton, France announced itself this year with the sudden appearance of winter decorations adorning the towns, shops bursting at the seams...

Charles Prahl on Islam in South Africa

March 9, 2007

Walking along a ridgeline that parallels Table Mountain, the majestic mountain around which Cape Town furls itself, I came across something most unexpected. It was a...



Brittany Gregerson on Cultural Diversity in South Africa

March 6, 2007
Approaching Cape Town from the airport, one is struck first by an aggressively Mediterranean landscape—very Cádiz in the summertime—and a grand bay...

Dorothy Voorhees on Religion and the Presidential Elections in France

March 6, 2007
With under 50 days until the first round of the presidential elections (the primary paper here, Le Monde, has a countdown going), French political life is reaching its...

Alexandria Motl on Catholicism and Identity Issues in Spain

March 2, 2007
Writing this second letter has proved quite difficult for me, which surprised me – I never thought writing about religion in Spain would be a difficult...

Katharine Davis on the Role of the Catholic Church in Politics in Chile

March 1, 2007
Chile has traditionally been a Catholic country, and almost 90% of the population continues to be at least nominally Catholic today.  Church and state were...

Emily Liner on the Dwindling Numbers of Practicing Catholics in France

March 1, 2007

In the random draw for a host family in Lyon, France, I was given a very devout Catholic family with four grown children and one still at home. My host mother, who...



Owen Sanderson on Religion as a Catalyst for Political Change in Northern Europe

February 20, 2007
Religion catalyzes political change. Acting as an architect of development, it provides an axis for national interaction and vector for modernization. Over the past...

Anne Barton-Veenkant on the Unorthodoxy of Religion in Brazil

February 16, 2007
Clear divisions and explanations dont come easy for Brazilian society. There are no clear lines between race, cultural background, or religion. Brazil is a country...

Sarah Delaney on the Societal Impact of Catholicism in Ireland

February 16, 2007
After living in Ireland for a month, I have realized the integral nature of Catholicism in the nations daily life. Down the road from my apartment is a beautiful...

Hafsa Kanjwal on Islam and Education in Egypt

February 13, 2007

This past Friday, I visited the great Al-Azhar Mosque, part of what the guidebooks here call “Islamic Cairo.” Egyptians are easily amused by the title; the...



Hilary Winn on the Tension between Religiosity and Secularism in Turkey

February 13, 2007
During the reign of the Ottomans in Istanbul, the ringing of church bells was outlawed in the city, as no sound was allowed to compete with the Muslim call to prayer....

Hammad Hammad on Perceptions of Religion, Social Class and America in Egypt

February 12, 2007

A taxi driver recently told me that the United States is the foremost driver of splitting people apart utilizing religion as a force. “Look at us here in...



Alanna Hughes on Religion in Daily Life in Brazil

February 12, 2007
"E você é católica!" Less than 72 hours into my 6 months in Brazil and a minute into my first conversation with my host family, I had already been...

Juliana MacPherson on Secularism and Catholicism in France

February 12, 2007
The intersection of religion and politics in France is a complex, and at times even contradictory, phenomenon. Although France and the United States both assert a...

Flavia Menezes on Secularism in France

February 12, 2007
"My father was an atheist, a free thinker." Spoken by a French diplomat in a small and informal dinner party, the phrase offers a significant amount of insight into...

Ana Maria Thomas on the Changing Role of Religion in Spain

February 12, 2007
I once, for a midterm, wrote an absurdly lengthy essay detailing macro, meso and micro levels of secularization in both the United Status and Europe. (Professor...

Emily Majka on Gender and Islam in Syria and Egypt

January 6, 2007
For my second letter from abroad I wanted to compare two Arab countries in which I have spent roughly three to four months respectively: Syria and Egypt. At the...

Alex Schank on Tensions between Shari’a and Democracy in Egypt

December 19, 2006
The Shari'a, or Islamic law, is an essential part of the Islamic religion for many Muslims, and today poses interesting questions for Islamic countries wrestling with...

Elizabeth Bowers on Current Catholic-Protestant Tensions in Ireland

December 18, 2006
Upon arriving in Dublin this September, it was difficult not to be impressed by the beauty and serenity of both the Irish people and the Irish countryside. Having an...

Charlotte Drew on Tensions between Law and Religion in South Africa

December 1, 2006
One of the most fundamental principles upon which South Africas current judicial system rests is the notion that all people are considered equal under the law. The...

Julia McCarthy on Atttitudes Toward Abortion in Japan

December 1, 2006
Carved into a cliff overlooking the Pacific, Hasedera pulses with life. Children tease the wide-eyed carp greedily surfacing, their mouths opening and shutting like...

Todd Wintner on Reform and Conservative Elements in Egypt

December 1, 2006
A previous letter described the looming identity crisis evolving within Egyptian society as it struggles to overcome both internal and external social frictions...

Dmitriy S. Zakharov on Jews in the Czech Republic

December 1, 2006
Despite, or perhaps because of, its history as the scene of armed conflict between Protestants and Catholics, the Czech Republic is a remarkably atheistic country....

Stephanie Kelman on Pluralism in Denmark

November 24, 2006
Denmark's presence in the world became a bit more noticeable after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting Muhammad in September 2005. What started as a...

Clare Orvis on Visiting a Buddhist Temple in China

November 19, 2006
I had the chance to travel to Kunming city in Yunnan province a few weeks ago. The trip began as an excursion to travel throughout southern China, which is about as...

Tim Fernholz on Trends in Religion and Politics in Egypt

October 10, 2006
Where do you begin to write about religion and society in a country where the two are so intertwined-and you're trying not to cover the same ground as your colleagues?...

Elizabeth Bowers on Historical Catholic-Protestant Tensions in Ireland

October 1, 2006
Pride. After spending time in Ireland, this trait can be clearly recognized in its people. Pop culture often stereotypes the Irish as stubborn and proud. While not all...

Katharine Davis on the Social Impacts of Religion in Tanzania

October 1, 2006
When I was signing up for classes at the University of Dar es Salaam, some of the required information came as something of a surprise. After name, age, address, and...

Charlotte Drew on Religion and Politics in South Africa

October 1, 2006
This essay shall focus on the intersection of politics and religion through the lens of African Traditional Religion. African Traditional Religion, most widely...

Brittany Gregerson on Islam and Gender Relations in Zanzibar

October 1, 2006
On my last trip to Zanzibar, the sky was aflame; the water was lavender silk. In Zanzibar, one wants to believe that beauty begets beautythat the overwhelming...

Stephanie Kelman on Lutheranism and Family Values in Denmark

October 1, 2006
With a land mass not much bigger than twice that of Massachusetts, including 406 islands, and 5.5 million people, Denmark is a unique country in more ways than one....

Emily Majka on Ramadan and Iftar in Egypt

October 1, 2006
Perhaps Islam in Egypt is no more apparent than in this holy month of Ramadan. From about 4:30 am to 5:30 pm and from September 24th through October 23rd all of Egypt...

Julia McCarthy on the Meaning of Religion in Japan

October 1, 2006
The link between the recent appointment of Japan's new Prime Minister, the contested purpose of a Shinto shrine in the heart of Tokyo, and heated protests in China and...

Alexandria Motl on Catholic Religious Practice in Spain

October 1, 2006
One of the main pillars upon which the United States of America was founded was the novel idea of separation of church and state. Many of our countrys founders were...

Alex Schank on Coptic Christians in Egypt

October 1, 2006
Ask most Americans on the street to generate categories describing the people of the Middle East, and you will probably get responses like: "Muslim," "extremist,"...

Dorothy Voorhees on the Decline of Religion in Politics in France

October 1, 2006
In writing about the impact of religion on French politics today, it is almost easier to phrase the problem as the impact of the lack of religion on French politics...

Todd Wintner on Pluralism and Identity Issues in Egypt

October 1, 2006
It has been over fifty years since Nasser first attempted to forge a cohesive Egyptian identity under the banner of Arab Nationalism. Today, the Egyptian people...

Julie Yelle on the Integration of Muslim Youth in France

October 1, 2006
As home to an estimated four to five million Muslims, the largest Muslim population on the European continent, France faces a distinct challenge to address the...

Dmitriy S. Zakharov on Secularization in the Czech Republic

October 1, 2006
A number of varying and often opposing currents are currently playing out in the realm of religion in the Czech Republic. To begin with, there are the lingering...

Clare Orvis on Private Religious Practice in China

September 29, 2006
Religion to me means not just respect for things around you, it also encompasses belief and a joy in creation or in life and a thankfulness for what we are given. That...

Clare Orvis on the Absence of Organized Religion in China

September 21, 2006
China is simultaneously exactly like any other bustling commercial city I have ever been in and at the same time on a daily basis I encounter a hundred things that are...