The cornerstone of OTI is travel to conflict regions that participants study. We have developed a robust model of Experiential Education that combines the intensive study-abroad trip with extensive pre-trip education. As a result of the OTI experience, students return to campus more educated, nuanced in their thinking, and empowered to inspire others through education and action.
OTI’s trips are unique in that they allow students to actively engage with politicians, community leaders and leading academic experts from all sides of a regional conflict. In addition, students hear from and discuss the perspectives of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious leaders, and victims of the conflict, in order to acquire a comprehensive view of the often difficult reality experienced by people living in the region.
Crossing physical and psychological borders daily, students are constantly confronted with diverging impressions, narratives and perspectives. Each night the group gathers to discuss, debate and reflect on the day’s experiences. They gain a holistic understanding of the conflict regions and return home to share their experiences with their communities.