In 2023, I was checking out LinkedIn when I happened to stumble across a job opening with the School for International Training (SIT). I wasn’t looking for a job, but the title of the job opening caught my attention: SIT was looking for Visiting Faculty to teach in its International Honors Program (IHP) Study Abroad program called Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning and Politics. Curious, I decided to learn more.
When I read the job description, I couldn’t believe how much it aligned with everything I love to do — and with my values. The program explores issues of urbanization, and social and spatial justice in New York City; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Barcelona, Spain; and Cape Town, South Africa. Participating college students learn how citizens live, work, and organize to advance more just and sustainable urban environments. The program highlights the following (quoting from the SIT website):
- Live and study in four global cities undergoing rapid change and facing unique challenges across four continents.
- Explore how politics, economics, culture, and geography shape built urban environments.
- Learn how to critically “read” a city and understand complex interconnected urban systems.
- Meet renowned academics, thought leaders, elected officials, and NGO staff members.
- Observe the community activism, media, and businesses that produce thriving urban environments.
How could I not apply to an opportunity like this? It was literally a dream position for me — and as it turns out, I was selected as the Visiting/Traveling Faculty. As I write this, I’m already in New York City, and by February 9th will be traveling with our students to Argentina, Spain and finally South Africa, spending four weeks in each of these countries. I’m teaching two courses along the way — one on Urban Politics and Development and the other on urban research methods (Contemporary Urban Issues). Students also take two additional courses with local instructors in each city.
I will be writing about my experience in the program and know that it will be a life-changing experience, also shaping the future of TerraViva Journeys. In May I will return to my home base of Miami and to my work with TerraViva Journeys, but in the meantime I’m thrilled to share this good news!