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Greetings from Deborah Friedman, Director of Asia Programs

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Hello Everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself since I will be the primary point of contact between the leaders in the field and Global LAB. Having led the India Spring 2009 program and managed those since, I know that the students will have an incredible experience. This is truly a program of a lifetime! Over the course of the semester, I will be supporting the group from here in the USA. Be sure to keep checking the blog as I will be updating it when internet is inaccessible for the group. Please feel free to contact me at deborah@global-lab.org.

Here is a little bit more about me...

In the words of Edmund King:

"The key for me is always putting myself in the position of being a foreigner. What I mean by that is forcing myself to question my beliefs and the framework of how I live my life."

While these words belong to someone else, they illustrate how I live my life both personally and professionally. I believe that one must be willing to remove oneself from the safety and security of one's own natural environment to truly discover one's place in this world. Experiencing and savoring other cultures is an unparalleled path to personal growth and discovery. I am privileged to be able to journey down this path with you.

I was born and raised in New York City and have been fortunate to experience places near and far. I spent four years at University of Wisconsin-Madison for my undergraduate education, studied abroad in Australia, lived in Vermont while obtaining my Masters in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute, and spent some time in San Francisco taking a life coach training course. I have led international educational exchange programs to Belize, New Zealand, Kenya, Costa Rica and visited 10 countries on an around-the-world college semester program. My thesis, The American Gap Year, examined the Gap Year trend in America from college admissions advisors' perspectives and I have presented this research globally. While I was managing UNICEF's personal and professional development program for staff members and their families, I facilitated trainings in five Latin American countries. All in all, I have been to every continent except for Antarctica!

Congratulations to the students for choosing the road less traveled. I look forward to hearing about your experiences over the next couple of months.

All the best,

Deb
deborah@global-lab.org