"I want you to show them the United States, warts and all."
- General Colin Powell
Guided by the Department of Defense directive 5410.17, Informational Program for Foreign Military Trainees in the United States, all foreign military trainees and military-sponsored visitors in the United States are to be given every opportunity to obtain a balanced understanding of U.S. society, institutions, and ideals, and to increase their awareness of the basic issues involving internationally recognized human rights.
The field studies program consists of several field trips to various locations in the United States throughout the entire year of study. The objective of the program is to assist the Fellows in acquiring a balanced understanding of American society, institutions, and goals, in addition to their training and military experiences while in the United States. Studies include visits to private homes, industrial locations, cultural exhibits, farms, schools, historical points of interest and civic activities and events.
Participation in the Field Study Program has varying levels of participation based on whether a Fellow chooses to take the American Studies elective, but participation is highly encourage for every trip. It allows the Fellows to place their academic experience into the larger context of American society as a whole. The Field Study Program is considered a vital componenet to provide a balanced understanding of American society, institutions, and goals.
The program is conducted with frank explanation and free discussion of the following:
- U.S. Commitment to Human Rights
- Law of War
- International Peace and Security
- U.S. Government Institutions
- U.S. Political Processes
- U.S. Judicial System
- U.S. Free Market System
- Media and Free Press
- U.S. Education System
- U.S. Health and Human Services
- Diversity and American life
Fellows at the Apollo 11 Mission Control at NASA in Houston, Texas
Feedback From Our Students:
Current and past IFs have made the following comments regarding the Field Studies Program:
- “The size of the USA, the variety of culture and ethos across it, and the genuine warmth of the welcome; all were reinforced… I learned about people; what they think and why. This applies both to the people of the U.S. and internally amongst the International Fellows.”
- “[This field study] changed my previous experience of the U.S.—the sheer size of the U.S. I am looking forward to visiting different regions—what is the same? What is different?”
- “The U.S., the people and their land are very different and interesting as well. This huge country has so many facets, it’s impressive.”
- “Now I know that the people here are not as self-centered as I had previously thought… and that the United States is really a big country in every respect.”
- “Having visited Texas, California, Kansas and Missouri before, I was expecting Montana to be almost like those states. It isn’t. That’s what I learned, to my surprise. Every state here is a ‘country by itself’.”
- “America’s national power is evident not only through its size or quantity of material resources but the investment in education and the fact that brains are constantly being produced to propel development up to heights yet unimagined.”
- “I learned that friendship is the most important everywhere you go.”