Education Student Completes Overseas Experience in Context Program
SAGU graduate student Heather Nesbit recently returned from her Education Experience in Context in Bangladesh. The Experience in Context Program provides opportunities for education majors to study in a multicultural context for a semester. The program enables students to have valuable interactive experiences with students of diverse cultures. Nesbit is the first student to complete the program.
In December 2006, Heather graduated from SAGU with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She came back to SAGU in 2008 for graduate work. Heather is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Principalship, which she plans to complete this Spring, as well as an MA in Missions.
“I chose SAGU because I felt the Lord called me here to get an Education degree,” said Nesbit. “I knew that I was called to be a missionary, and the longer I was at SAGU I began to see how the two worlds of education and missions fit together.”
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Heather taught in North Africa. During this time, she began to see the need for trained educational administrators. According to Nesbit, “Many of the creative access fields are now using education as a platform for outreach. A Principalship degree allows me to be a part of the creation, design, and implementation of these educational platforms.”
Nesbit travelled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, for the Fall 2009 semester to participate in the SAGU Education Department’s Experience in Context program. The Bangladeshi culture has a unique blend of Muslim and Asian influences. It is a densely populated country in which many people live in dire poverty.
While in Bangladesh, Heather worked with Larry Smith in preparations to launch a Bangladeshi branch of Global University. Nesbit also helped develop the Christian Teacher Training Institute (CTTI) program and worked with Home of Hope. Because of the low literacy rate in Bangladesh, education is an excellent inroad for the gospel. CTTI provides basic pedagogical instruction for local teachers through visiting teachers from the States. Its goal is to raise the academic standards of the village schools.
“I owe a huge thanks to the entire Education Department for allowing me to do this internship,” Heather commented. “It is an understatement to say that it has changed my life and helped me come alive. It has helped me see how education can truly be missional and how I can fit into that mission.”
According to Nesbit, “SAGU has thoroughly prepared me - through having missions minded professors, SMA, and giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Experience in Context program - to walk on to the hardest, most extreme fields in the world and begin to do what God has called me to do.”
Heather plans to go back to Bangladesh in August. She will complete her missions degree through Distance Education while she works in the teachers college in Bangladesh. Nesbit hopes to pursue doctoral work in Intercultural Studies at AGTS.