Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Previous Practica

Members of Team Monterey El Salvador

Members of Team Monterey El Salvador meet with coordinators from the environmental program.

Experiential learning is a cornerstone of the Monterey Way. Whether on-campus or in a developing country, practica provide students with opportunities to explore real world contexts as freelance consultants, field researchers, and junior-level professionals. This page is for previous programs. View our current winter & spring practica.


This credit-bearing course was offered by Dr. Jan Black in collaboration with Bhutan's Royal Thimphu College. It looked at the pursuit of an adaptable model of autonomy for indigenous peoples. Visiting communities around the country, students sought elements of such a model through expressions of Bhutan's development philosphy of "Gross National Happiness."

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Caribbean Region

For this credit-bearing opportunity students participated in "mock delegation" to a meeting of Contracting Parties and NGOs on the Cartagena Convention. Students interacted with meeting delegates and UNEP's Caribbean Environment Programme on cutting edge regional strategies for the protection of human, health and coastal resources through the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution.



A delegation of students visited Chile for a seminar on the country’s history of democracy and dictatorship, human rights abuse, and transitional justice. The course was offered by MIIS Professor Jan Black in collaboration with Judge Juan Guzman, best known as Chile’s prosecutor of General Pinochet, and MIIS-­‐based NGO Global Majority.



Mision Gaia Ecotourism Project (Student-Led)

This program provided an opportunity for students to support the continuity of findings from last year's tourism assessment completed in concert with local community members in Minca, Colombia. With a substantial increase in tourism in the last three years, Minca residents have identified many foreseen benefits and four main challenges in the face of increased visitation. Through a partnership with Misiòn Gaia, a Colombian non-profit, students worked alongside local community members to support the development and strengthening of community-based rural sustainable tourism initiatives. With proper planning, tourism can be harnessed for good to address poverty, support sustainable livelihoods, contribute to conservation and celebrate cultural heritage.

The trip was open to all MIIS students and alumni, no prerequisites required. This experience is especially appropriate for students interested in small-scale business development, entrepreneurship and international development.


Changing Course for Changing Times Practicum

Cuba has much to teach about the costs and benefits of revolution and the costs and benefits of integrating belatedly a now globalized economy. The nature of the relationship between Cuba and the U.S., the relentless continuity despite dramatic change in the world around them, gives away the predominance in both countries of domestic interests and domestic politics in the design and execution of foreign policy.

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We have hosted our intensive DPMI training in Monterey, California, Cairo, Egypt, Kigali, Rwanda, Nairobi, Kenya and Washington, D.C.

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DPMI Project-based Practica in Cario, Egypt

January 2017 marked the launch of a new concept for DPMI. Participants consulted with a local or international development and SCO for 1-3 weeks and learned the approach to project development that is widely used in bilateral and multinational organizations such as USAID, the World Bank, and UNDP. In Cairo, participants were hosted by the American University of Cairo. Distinguished Middlebury Institute professor, Dr. Beryl Levinger, and Prof. Laila Moshneb, Assistant Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at AUC and DPMI Alumna supported the team remotely and on the ground respectively.

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East Asia: Japan and China

This is the immersive professional portion of the semester-long seminar on Foreign Policy, Trade, and Security in East Asia. It is aimed at robustly deepening the participating students’ understanding and appreciation of East Asia, with a particular focus on China and Japan and their relations with each other and with other regional countries and the U.S. Each student will choose her/his own research topic in consultation with the instructors.

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El Salvador

This is another rotating program which provides opportunities for students from all programs to enhance their development skills, language proficiency, and multicultural competency. Through a partnership with La Coordinadora, a Salvadoran community-based organization, students work on projects that promote sustainable agriculture, micro-business models, natural resource protection, youth empowerment, organizational capacity building, and more.

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Frontier Market Scouts (FMS)

The Frontier Market Scouts Program provides a 2-week training curriculum based in Monterey and DC that introduces participants to the world of social impact investing and social enterprise management. The training also prepares participants for the opportunity to work directly with social entrepreneurs and investors during a 6-month field program in emerging markets.

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Los Angeles, CA

The Praxis of Conflict Transformation: Poverty, Homelessness, and Violence in Los Angeles (Spring Break)

This course is led by Dr. Pushpa Iyer and covers conflict around racial tensions, extreme wealth, gentrification, gang violence, and other structural imbalances in the justice system.

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The Nepal Peace Building Practicum focused on understanding challenges to building peace after a Maoist led war in Nepal. Students met with government officials, local and international NGOs, former Maoists members as well as civil society members. Participants also traveled to Kathmandu, the Terai region and the Hill region and visited to the Mountain region.

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Team Nepal: Exploring the Implementation of Nepali Environmental Policy

Team Nepal partnered with the Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), a youth led not-for-profit in Nepal that works towards environmental sustainability and climate resilience. Before traveling to Nepal, students worked in tandem with HCI to create a research project design. During the J-term practicum, students utilized their newly built data collection tools in-country to research the implementation and response to the 2016 nationwide plastic bag ban. Students partook in many experiences complementary to their courses at MIIS including fieldwork in a rural context and working with interpreters. Students had the opportunity to participate in the third part of the wraparound course, Advanced Policy Analysis.



Peacebuilding in the Mindanao, Philippines

Led by Professor Pushpa Iyer, participant interacted with NGOs, INGOs, religious leaders, government officials, civil society members and members of peace zones in Mindanao. First hand information gained from these meetings will be analyzed as a group through regular debrief session. Outcomes will be presented through presentations at various forums and publications.

  • Academic credit: 0-4 units

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This program is sponsored by MIIS Center for Conflict Studies.


Vladivostok and Khabarovsk (Spring Break)

As part of the Graduate Initiative in Russian Studies fully funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, four MIIS students traveled with Professor Tsuneo Akaha

Who: Open to all MIIS students with Intermediate to advanced Russian Speaking and Understanding skills.

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Salinas, CA: Improving Community and Police Relations

The City of Salinas has received a two-year grant from the California Board of State and Community Corrections to improve Law Enforcement-Community relations. This initiative is focused around the "Why'd You Stop Me?" program, which trains community members and law enforcement officials to empathize with each other's perspectives. Salinas has hired the MIIS META Lab to evaluate the impact of the program. Students participating in this immersive learning course will assist with data collection, including surveys, focus groups, and interviews.

Research Question: What are the effects of activities funded by the Board of State and Community Corrections grant, primarily the "Why'd You Stop Me?" program, on Law Enforcement-Community Relations in Salinas, California?



Participants explored onsite management of international education programs in Madrid, Spain. Middlebury's Madrid School Abroad, Sede Prim, served as the primary case study for the course. MIIS students engaged with the Middlebury staff and undergraduate students to better understand the onsite perspectives of managing education abroad for U.S. college students. Participants also explored a variety of international education models through visits and project work with program providers and Spanish universities.

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