]TSI Orientation Manual



    ITD's staff and faculty look forward to your arrival in Amherst and your participation in this year's Teachers Summer Institute.  We have prepared this manual in order to provide you with information about the program and to serve as a guide for preparing for your stay in the US.  ITD is dedicated to working with you throughout the program to ensure that your experience here is as productive and enjoyable as possible.


    ITD is a private, non-profit organization, specializing in designing and implementing exchange programs for educators, community leaders, businesspeople, health workers, government officials, NGO representatives, and other professionals.  We also conduct academic programs for high school students and teachers, and university students and professors. 
    ITD is situated in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, a well-known educational center and home to the “Five Colleges.”  Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Amherst Colleges are all regularly ranked among the top 20 American liberal arts colleges.  Hampshire College is a pioneer in student-centered curricula, and the University of Massachusetts is internationally recognized for its graduate programs.  Amherst is set in semi-rural western Massachusetts, a quiet and beautiful region.  It is a 2-hour drive from Amherst to the state's capital, Boston, 3 hours to New York City, and 8 hours to Washington, DC.
    ITD was founded in 1985 and has conducted over 230 international programs since then.  Our projects have been funded by the US Department of State, USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations, the Peace Corps, foreign governments, and private business.  Over 3,500 participants have come to us from more than 100 countries spanning the globe. 
    Although ITD is not a university, we have active working relationships with university professors, international consultants, and professionals in a variety of fields, as well as national and local government and non-governmental organizations.  For the Teachers Summer Institute, ITD has tapped the Five Colleges for many of the lecturers and staff, including the Academic Director, Professor Frank Couvares of Amherst College's Departments of History and American Studies.  
    Staffing for your program also includes Julie Hooks Davis, the Project Manager; Edgardo Rothkegel, the Administrative Coordinator; Kaye Dougan, the Program Secretary, and Abril Navarro, the Logistics Coordinator.  Eli Liebman, Signe Erickson, and Caroline Rives are the Program Assistants.  This team will work closely with one another and with you to assure a top quality program and experience for you here in the States.

    This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  Participants in “Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI)” such as this one are among the approximately 150,000 individuals who participate in exchanges managed by ECA each year. Other ECA exchange programs include the Fulbright Program and the International Visitors Leadership Program. Through a range of academic and professional exchanges, ECA seeks to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.
    Now that you have been selected to take part in a U.S. Department of State exchange program, you are invited and encouraged to register on Department of State alumni website, at https://alumni.state.gov/landing-page.


The program has as its major theme contemporary political, social, and economic issues in America, with the arts and pedagogy as minor themes.   Although it will emphasize current issues, the program will also provide enough historical background for clear comprehension of the evolution of American society.  
The goal of the program is to increase your knowledge and understanding of the U.S. in order to enhance the scope and depth of the high school courses you teach or support.    We plan to achieve this by providing:
·    High quality, interactive sessions, led by accomplished US academics
·    Presentations, panels, and site visits led by practitioners outside of the university in the fields of museum management, government, business, music, and immigrant services
·    Access to town and university libraries
·    Support to you in developing individual or small group research projects to be used directly in your work, e.g. lesson plans, teacher training materials, and articles for publication in professional journals.

After the six-week program, each of you should have fulfilled the following program objectives:

●    Have an improved knowledge of current affairs and issues in the US, an understanding of their development, and familiarity with respective players and interest groups
●    Have developed an ability to “read” cultural phenomena – sites, events, artifacts – in terms of the ways that they represent American history and values, define or obscure historical events, and present conclusions to cultural dilemmas
●    Have produced and shared a research project that explores a theme introduced by, or related to, the Institute
●    Have experienced a variety of teaching methodologies, which may be incorporated into your own professional work
●    Have developed professional and personal relationships with fellow participants and American academics and non-academics that last well beyond the summer, and that support, through your teaching, and expand the scope of education about the United States abroad.

During the “academic residency” portion of the program in the first three weeks – in Amherst – you will explore the U.S. in morning lectures.  Each morning will consist of two sessions: from 8:30-10:00 and from 10:30-12:00.  The break from 10:00 to 10:30 will provide time for coffee, tea, and snacks, and additional discussion among yourselves and with the morning presenters.  We ask all presenters to make at least a third of their sessions interactive, i.e. Q&A, small group discussions, case studies, or debates.  Most afternoons of the program will consist of workshops or local site visits, often related to the morning's presentation. 
Weekly evaluation/looking ahead sessions, and research time, will be held on Fridays.  Weekends will provide some free time, or be used for travel or cultural activities relevant to the overall curriculum.  Although the course is designed to be intensive, time has also been scheduled for rest, leisure, and socializing with fellow participants and local families.
The study tour, during Weeks 4 and 5, are comprised of a number of visits and activities, with several lectures.  Week 6, back in Amherst, is dominated by the preparation and presentation of the research projects/lesson plans. 
You will have one day per week during the academic residency component, and two days during Week 6 to spend on research and writing, resulting in a lesson plan that explores one of the debates within American society, or, if you are not a classroom teacher, another type of research project.   Early in the program the research sessions will include meetings with Institute research advisors and individual or small group work.  During Week 1 you will be asked to identify your research project topic, so we encourage you to give this some thought before you arrive. 
With assistance from the Academic Director and two other research advisers, you will be encouraged to approach the development of your research project from an interdisciplinary point of view derived from your experiences during the program, so that data drawn from history, literature, art, government, and/or law might be used.  If your research project is a lesson plan, it should emphasize critical thinking, writing assignments, and classroom activities for your students that will lead to debates and uncover underlying issues.
Research project examples from a recent group are: “Women's Rights in the 19th Century,” “Mainstreaming in Special Education,” “Emily Dickinson: ‘My Life Had Stood – A Loaded Gun,'”
and “FDR, Superman and the Common Man.”

    Below are scheduled cultural activities. 
In Massachusetts: Emily Dickinson Homestead, Historic Deerfield, community cookout, Independence Day Fireworks, and Boston's Freedom Trail.
In the West:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Temple Square, Cowboy Barbeque, and Yellowstone National Park.
In Washington:  Washington Monuments; Smithsonian and other museums; United States Capitol Building; the National Archives; and the Library of Congress.
In New York City:  Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty, driving tour of the city, walking tour of lower Manhattan, the Empire State Building, art museums, and guided tour of United Nations.
You may wish to take part in other cultural and recreational activities during your free time.  For example, a group of you may want to organize a soccer/football game, attend a concert, or go to films or theater performances.  You will receive a cultural allowance to cover the cost of these extra-curricular cultural activities. 

In order to help you get to know “ordinary Americans,” we will match each of you with Amherst-area families who will invite you, individually or in small groups, to dinner once during the first three weeks of the program.  We hope that you stay in touch with these families throughout the program, and maybe beyond.

The following are brief biographical sketches of the core faculty involved in the academic component of the program. 
Academic Director: Frank Couvares
    Prof. Couvares is a Professor of History and American Studies at Amherst College and currently holds the E. Dwight Salmon Endowed Chair at Amherst College. He specializes in 19th – 20th century U.S. social and cultural history and has published extensively, especially in the area of the history of censorship.  He co-edited Interpretations of American History: Patterns and Perspectives (7th ed.).  During this program Professor Couvares will lead a number of group discussions and research sessions, as well as deliver lectures on a variety of topics.
Research Advisors: Barbara Madeloni and Kathleen Ralls
    The Research Advisors will advise and assist you in research and preparation of your lesson plans / research projects.  Professor Madeloni is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts.  She is the director of teacher training, and has a strong interest in social justice in education, and in the development of reflective partners.  Ms. Ralls is a Social Studies teacher at nearby Northampton High School, which has 900 students.  She has recently served as School Coordinator in ITD's Norway 2012 high school exchange on climate change. 

ITD considers participants to be self-motivated adult professionals.  Therefore, exams, tests and quizzes will not be used to evaluate your performance. The following are the requirements for all Institute scholars.
●    Attend all scheduled course activities, including lectures, discussions, films, and field trips. 
●    Actively participate in class discussions and exercises. 
●    Complete reading assignments.
●    Design a lesson plan/research project relating to the teaching of American Studies and growing out of the Institute themes. 

Institute participants who meet the requirements of the course will receive an ITD Certificate of Course Completion. 

Your international travel will be arranged by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in your home country. Please be in touch with your Embassy or Fulbright representative regarding your international travel if you have questions. 

    On June 15, you will be met at Bradley International Airport (Hartford, Connecticut) by ITD staff, carrying “ITD” signs.  Please note that staff will wait for you at the baggage claim area.   If no staff person meets you on arrival, please call Edgardo Rothkegel on his cell phone at (413) 221-9325 or Abril Navarro on her cell phone at (413) 559-1121.  If you are unable to contact Edgardo or Abril, please call the ITD office at (413) 256-1925.
    If your flight has been delayed or changed we will contact the airline to try and find your new schedule.  However, it would be helpful if you tried reaching us as well with this information.
Once you have connected with an ITD staff person at the airport, they will assist you with your luggage and transport you by van to Amherst, one hour away.  They will then help you settle in and provide you with an orientation packet.  On Saturday, June 16, Julie Hooks Davis will bring you to the dining hall for breakfast, lead ice-breaker activities, and do a tour of the Amherst College campus and downtown Amherst.

The first three weeks of the program take place on the campus of Amherst College.  Here you will be housed in single rooms in the college's Seelye Dormitory (20 participants) or in the nearby ITD House (10 participants).  Fans will be provided since there is no air conditioning in the buildings.  One to three people will share each bathroom.  Fresh towels and sheets will be supplied every week, but you are expected to maintain your own rooms.  Both dormitories have a living room with a television, and a computer area.  Eight PC computers will be available to you at the ITD House, and another eight at Seelye Dormitory.  For those of you coming with laptops, wireless access is available.  Adapters can be bought at the nearby Radio Shack store the first weekend of your stay for about $15.  (For those interested in purchasing a computer here in the U.S., our staff can assist you with this.)
ITD will provide each dormitory with local and national newspapers every day.
During the study tour in Weeks 4 and 5, any luggage you do not need may be safely left behind in Amherst.  When you return to Amherst in Week 6, all 30 of you will be housed at Seelye Dormitory.
Note: No smoking is allowed indoors in most buildings in the US.  Amherst College forbids smoking within 25 feet (8 meters) of college buildings.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided at Valentine Hall Dining Commons on the Amherst College campus, from 7:00-8:30am and 11:00am-1:00pm, respectively.  A wide selection of food is provided there, including vegetarian, and you may eat as much as you like.  Pre-packaged halal and kosher meals can also be provided, with advance notice.  You will receive a dinner allowance which can be used either at Valentine or off-campus.  Amherst and the nearby city of Northampton have a wide variety of restaurants ranging from inexpensive fast food to moderate and expensive gourmet.  International cuisine is also available, for example: Italian, Indian, German, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Moroccan, Greek, French, Mexican, Persian, Argentinean, and Thai.
At the college, you will have access to recreational facilities including tennis courts (bring your own racket), a swimming pool, a gymnasium, and soccer and baseball fields. You may also use the Five College libraries, although you may only check books out of the Amherst College Library.  You will also receive library cards to the Jones Library, which is Amherst's public library and provides access to valuable databases.  Books, papers and journals are available for purchase in the numerous bookstores in the Amherst area.
Almost every type of religious service is available in the Amherst area.  These include Islamic prayer services on Fridays, Jewish services on Saturday, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox services on Sunday, and Buddhist temples are available for worship and meditation.

ITD will provide transportation to field trips and for cultural excursions in 7- and 15-passenger vans.  In Amherst, you will also have the opportunity to use the public bus system serving the local area.  ITD will provide bus schedules so that you are able to travel independently during your free time.
On July 7 you will fly from Bradley Airport to Salt Lake City, Utah.  On July 10, a chartered coach will be used for travel to Yellowstone.  On July 14, you will fly from Salt Lake City to Washington DC.  Another chartered bus will meet you there, bring you to New York City on July 18, and then back to Amherst on July 20.  ITD staff will accompany you during the entire two-week study tour.

The following allowances will be disbursed to you by ITD during your stay in the U.S.  These allowances are sufficient to cover all your costs; no additional money need be brought from home unless desired.

Dinner Allowance            $13/day (Amherst)
As mentioned above you will receive breakfast and lunch at Amherst College on the days you are in Massachusetts, including weekends.  You will receive $13 per day in allowances for dinner.  The dinner allowance period begins on June 16 and end on July 27. 

Incidental Allowance            $10/day (Amherst)
You will receive an incidental allowance to cover the cost of personal items at the rate of $10/day while you are in Amherst.  Your incidental allowance will also begin the day after you arrive in Amherst.

Meals and Incidentals – Study Tour    $43-$63/day
During the study tour you will receive an allowance that will cover your combined meals and incidental expenses: $43-$53 during the Western Component, and $63/day in New York City and Washington DC.  The cost of meals provided by ITD will be deducted from these allowances.

Book/Cultural Allowance        $600
This allowance is for purchase of textbooks and for entrance to extra-curricular cultural events.

Mailing Allowance            $100
This allowance is for shipping books and other materials home by mail at the end of the program.  Alternatively, you could use this allowance to cover the costs for overweight/extra luggage. 

Note: In the U.S. tipping is customary at restaurants, hotels, and in taxis.  Restaurant waitstaff expect a tip in the amount of 15-20% of the total bill, either added to the bill or left on the table.  Hotel housekeeping staff appreciate a $1-$3 tip left in the room each day with a note, or the whole amount at departure.  Taxi drivers can be tipped at 10-15%, depending on the service.  All of these workers earn low wages and rely on tips for the majority of their income.  Many restaurants automatically add the tip to a bill for six or more diners, so we advise you to examine your bill and consult waitstaff if you have questions.

During the study tour you will share a hotel room with one other participant.  The hotels (with the exception of the New York hotel) will not provide breakfast.  Housing in Yellowstone National Park will be clean but very basic, with bathrooms outside of the rooms, no internet, and limited cell phone service.  Please be prepared for this variation in facilities for the two nights in Yellowstone. 

The style of dress both in Amherst and on the study tour is, for the most part, casual. Blue jeans or pants, shorts, T-shirts and sneakers are common and regularly worn by men and women.  While traveling, people normally dress casually also.  We recommend that you bring at least one set or more of formal clothes for special functions such as the State Department visit.  You should also consider bringing clothes for sports and exercise: e.g., swimming suit, tennis shorts, and running shoes. 
You will be expected to do your own laundry.  Coin operated washing and drying machines are located in the Amherst College dormitories, where it will cost about $2 to wash and dry a load of clothes.  At the ITD House the laundry facilities are free.  Ironing boards and irons will be available in both dormitories.  During the study tour you may use the laundry service at your hotels, although this is rather expensive.  Irons and ironing boards are provided in all hotels, except in Yellowstone.

While you are attending the course you may receive mail in Amherst at the following address:
Your Name
c/o  ITD/TSI
447 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002

    You will have access to a telephone in the dorms in Amherst.  You will receive the telephone number upon arrival.  In case of emergency, people can also telephone you or send you a fax at the following numbers.
ITD Telephone and Fax (ITD offices are open from 9:00 to 17:00 Monday through Friday):
Phone: (413) 256-1925
Fax:    (413) 256-1926
Local Calls:  Local calls in the Amherst area are free.
Long Distance Calls:    To make long distance and international calls you can use telephone cards.  We will provide you with your first telephone card on your arrival so that you may contact home immediately on your arrival. 
Faxes:  You may send and receive faxes through ITD or Amherst College or ITD for a small fee.
    For information regarding computer access, see the section on the Amherst College campus, above.

    You will be staying in the time zone called "Eastern Standard Time, (EST)" which covers all of the eastern United States, including Massachusetts, New York and Washington, DC.  In the West, the time is two hours earlier.  This zone is four hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time in the summer (GMT -4).

    Summer in Amherst and the East Coast runs from mid-June to early September.  Flowers are in abundance and trees are completely covered with green leaves.  The temperatures can range anywhere from 24 C to 35 C during the day, and 13 C to 24 C at night.  The air can sometimes be quite humid. You will find that most buildings, restaurants and hotels are air-conditioned, although many homes are not.  During the summer season, it rains approximately once a week, sometimes accompanied by lightning and thunder.
    The weather in the West will be comparable, although nights will be cooler in the mountains of Yellowstone.

    During the program you will be enrolled in the U.S. Department of State Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE).  The ASPE health benefit plan covers any accident or injury you sustain while you are here.  The policy does not cover preventive services like regular check-ups, blood tests, dental check-ups, etc.  If you get sick and need medical help, please speak with an ITD staff person, and we will assist you immediately.

While you each have U.S. Department of State contacts in your home country, the U.S. Department of State Program Officer for this institute is Ms. Patricia Mosley.  She may be reached at:
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/A/E/USS)
2200 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 632-9437

You will be provided with paper and a pen for taking notes and a canvas briefcase for carrying books and papers to class.  Here are some additional items you might find useful to bring from home:
1. Medication that you are currently taking (access to prescribed drugs will vary in the U.S.)
2. Medical history if you are under treatment or prone to illness
3. Non-prescription remedies that you may commonly use (herbal, etc.)
4. Extra pair of eyeglasses, personal hygiene products that may not be available in the U.S.
5. Music (Cassettes/CD's of your favorite music)
6. Umbrella, rain coat, and/or light jacket
7. Sports equipment such as tennis racket.
8. A small token or gift from your country as a thank you to presenters or dinner host family.

NOTES: United States Customs forbids the importation of unsealed foods and agricultural products.
Participants are fully responsible for their luggage and other property at all times.  ITD and its staff are not liable for theft or loss of personal property.

Below please find the countries which will be represented in this year's institute:
Cote d'Ivoire
France (2 participants)
Norway (4 participants)