Visiting Marta Centre in Riga, Latvia
This summer I took undergraduate students from Millikin on a three week immersion to the Baltic States including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland by myself with six students from different majors. The course was POLS 321 Politics of Borderlands and it focused on migration and issues along the borderlands of the European Union. We traveled over 1,330 miles on 8 buses, 3 trains, and 2 ferry rides through four countries. We had a jam-packed schedule with 17 days of lectures, museum visits, and cultural excursions demonstrated in the course packet in my supplementary teaching materials.
I geared the class to build on the contacts I have made over 20 years of visits to this region as a student myself and through my fieldwork research. I wanted students to learn from local experts about the politics and history of this region firsthand. We visited all three parliaments of the Baltics States and received tours on the political systems and parties in all three countries. We also visited Marta Centre a shelter for women who have been trafficked in Riga and learned about the work that they do rehabilitating victims of human trafficking. Here we all are at Marta Centre in Riga with the director Iluta Lace.