Everyone who receives the Minor Field Study scholarship as I did needs to attend at 3-day course in Härnösand at the SIDA partnership forum. I attended the course in mid June and the course was better than I could ever imagine. I learned from experienced lecturers and met other people who were going to travel to countries in all the corners of the world with the MFS scholarship
During the course we talked about the world and in particular the developing world and how it can look differently depending on from which perspective you choose to see it. It’s important to be aware of the image that the West conveys, which is often constructed of stereotypes made to make the Western world look better. We learned that, as field workers in the developing world it’s important to be aware of the stereotypes and that they sometimes can be positive. In any case, it’s important not to reinforce them. Because we want images of all countries to express diversity.
We were also told that as field workers it’s important to know a country’s history. It’s important because it makes it easier to communicate with people if you know their background. For example, one thing that all of us attending the course had in common was that we were all going to countries which had at one point in modern history been occupied or controlled by another country. And of course, it’s also of great value to know a few things about the current situation in the country.
At the end we were told that field worker who are being aware of these things will be able to observe and analyze things that we see with new eyes. Noticing how people talk to each other, how they talk about other countries and how they reason around everyday problems. Finally, having a great understanding of what the world looks like and trying to understand the country you are going to, will create and awareness bringing the rest of the world closer to you.