Andrew Pratt recalls feeling less than qualified when he first embarked on his own research as a McMaster Scholar to Cambodia, but with plenty of preparation and collaboration with the Cambodia Learning Community, he soon felt confident and eager to share his knowledge. “The learning communities involved much work and preparation, but it all was worth it to see our projects succeed on the ground in Cambodia,” he said. “We were well-prepared for challenges from our teaching assignments to roads being blocked by water cows and monkeys … we had learned how to cope with any obstacles that came our way.”
Looking back on all of the opportunities he had at Defiance College, Andrew is grateful for the benefactors and supporters who made these initiatives possible. He said that the collaborative environment and self-directed research of the McMaster School “truly stretched me as a young farm boy from northwest Ohio.” The coursework and emphasis on teamwork were excellent preparation for graduate school. Andrew is currently in his first year of the Master of Arts program in TESOL/Bilingual Education at the University of Findlay. He has been busy volunteering on and off campus with the Japanese Kake Exchange Program and with his church. He also tutors international students and community members in the English language. Next summer he plans to apply his knowledge as an intern at a university in China.