This video was created by students at the American University in Kosovo with assistance from Professor Daniel Cosentino in the Multimedia and Visual Communication concentration. Thanks to the following participants: Anila Qehaja (Sophomore), Arelinda Lila (Senior), Astia Doci (Sophomore), Blond Gerqari (Senior), Deniz Tortoshi (Alumnus), Fir Meta (Senior), Gemza Burgija (Junior), Gonxhe Mula (Senior), Liridona Sopjani (Senior), Marigona Kastrati (Senior), Rina Hapciu (Freshmen), Rita Saraci (Senior), and Valbona Hoti (Junior).
Teachers can learn as much or even more than students do in the classroom. That’s why I end many of my classes at RIT by saying to the students, “If you’ve learned half as much as I have, the class has been a success.”
For me, the potential for this great personal learning experience exists everywhere – in an RIT classroom, in an online class, in a non-credit training class. And it is pretty much guaranteed when I visit one of our international campuses.
Going to a campus in another country is challenging and exhilarating. Fortunately, our international schools understand the challenging part and roll out the welcome mat. They understand that visiting professors need some help with currency, transportation, office space, food, and who knows what else, particularly when we are so focused on getting our classes ready.
When I’m scrambling around working out the details for my stay in Kosovo or Dubai, two issues are always on my mind: what will the students be like and how should I adapt my teaching for them?
I know that the students come from very different cultures from my own and have had very different life experiences. And the courses I have taught overseas, business communication and a graduate course that examines issues from a critical thinking perspective, are sensitive to culture. Both require students – and me – to examine issues from others’ points of view. Needless to say, I can’t come in and tell students what to think. I can present research, theories, case studies and processes but, aside from processes, I have no intention of telling them what to conclude about many of our topics.
So each class is ripe for light bulb moments – or conflict and frustration.
The result is usually, thankfully, a thoughtful examination of information, an engaging conversation and, I hope, a good learning experience for the students. I have to admit that I sometimes get so interested in where they are personally coming from that I have to make sure to keep things moving along. Their personal stories are so compelling.
In my experience, our international students are overwhelmingly eager to learn, grateful for the opportunity to be in school and respectful of my role. They are fun to be around, knowledgeable about the United States and glad that our professors don’t have the dictatorial classroom style that many experienced earlier in their lives. What’s not to like about that?
I’m no expert on cross-cultural teaching but having taught internationally several times now, I have to say that our international students have more in common with our students at our Rochester campus than they have differences. Part of this is because RIT is such as an international institution but part is, in my opinion, because of the commonality of humankind no matter where we come from. Each person is unique: some are loud, others are quiet. Some are sure of themselves, others are not. And if you challenge them to think, they will give it the ol’ college try. Sounds pretty much like any classroom.
I am always trying to see how culture impacts the courses I teach. I probably did this too much when I first taught overseas. But it is what makes it fun and stimulating and why I learn so much, maybe even more than the students do.
“RIT is already one of the most engaged universities internationally you will find anywhere in the world.”
See full article: RIT University Magazine_Fall 2012
RIT Global is very proud to inform you that an RIT student Maxwell Scott from the Center of Multidisciplinary Studies( CMS) and an RIT Alum Miguel Adames came together to conducted research in Kosovo. They have used this unique international opportunity to learn by collecting data and surveying people in Kosovo about their knowledge of lead contamination. We are so proud of Max and Miguel who traveled, learned and shared their knowledge with the Kosovars! We are sure that this exciting summer will stay in our friends’ memories forever. What a wonderful way to spread their knowledge and improve the world we live in!
Mimoza Kurteshi and Anjeza Alaj, RIT-American University in Kosovo alumni who earned a Master of Science in Professional Studies degree, share the progress of the infrastructure development projects they have managed while working for the Kosovo Department of Engineering and Building Management. The MS in Professional Studies degree with concentrations in public policy and administration has greatly enhanced their civil service careers in the fields of architecture and civil engineering. Coursework such as a special topics course in infrastructure and natural resource development taught by RIT professor Dr. Francis Domoy provides students with knowledge and skills which can be directly applied in the workplace and impact the development of Kosovo. Below is a project update shared by Mimoza and Anjeza.
MANAGING THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE KOSOVO INTELLIGENT AGENCY AND MINISTRY OF KOSOVO SECURITY FORCES BUILDINGS
Architectural and construction designs of buildings are the principal direction of the Kosovo Department of Engineering and Building Management (DEBM). It executes the architectural design of facilities corresponding to initial permit documentation and assignment for architectural of building projects.
- Both buildings are in process of design and building at the same time, always according to European Standards for the design and construction for such facilities.
- Total area of both facilities is about 10000m² for Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces and 7000m² for Kosovo Intelligence Agency.
- Buildings will provide working and accommodation space for the local and international staff – around 600 officials for both buildings.
While designing facilities, the DEBM uses modern and flexible solutions for interiors which are reflected in the design-projects.
Design-project and construction works
Being one of the most important phases of the project, the design-stage includes both the exterior and interior of the buildings. The design is developed by creating the architectural and artistic image of an object with constant consideration to its functional purpose. At final stages of the project realization, the design team also works out utilitarian and aesthetic aspects for environment creation.
After approval of preliminary designs for both buildings, the construction teams started work first with KIA (Kosovo Intelligence Agency) on September 2011 and on November 2011 with MKSF (Ministry of Kosovo Security Forces).
The pictures below show the construction of the Kosovo Intelligence Agency building.