Invited by English Department, Prof. John Ramsburgh from University of Michigan, the United States, accompanied by Mr. James Hagengruber, Cultural Officer at the US Embassy in Sarajevo, on the 14th of December took part in Linguistics Week. In extensive debate on English Studies and Multiculturalism, both English Department’s academic staff and students had the opportunity to exchange opinions and insights about diverse aspects of these subjects
Firstly, Dr. Ramsburgh made a visit to Linguistics Corners Fair organized by English Department. After a short presentation of each corner, both Dr. Ramsburgh and Mr. Hagengruber paused by the Debate Corner desk and tested their knowledge in the quiz organized especially for the fair. As a prize for the correct answers, students gave them the badges with a Linguistics Club logo.
After the Corners visit, Dr. Ramsburgh made an introduction and opened a debate and questions session. Students wanted to know why to study in America, and the audience was surprised that Dr. Ramsburgh first decided to give the reasons why not to study in the U.S. Reasons were those that studying in America is rather expensive, long distance and exam-oriented activity. On the other hand, the reasons why to study abroad is that it gives the opportunity to get immersed in English language, get excellent education in one of the top universities in the U.S., the credibility students get after studying in one of those universities and multicultural society. The last point led us to the next issue, which was the advantage of being a part of that kind of society.
As Dr. Ramsburgh believes, multicultural societies are rare and therefore a great opportunity for interaction. He gave an insight about Bosnia and Herzegovina as an example of multiculturalism which gives us a degree of expert just by who we are.
The relaxing atmosphere didn’t stop the audience to arise some serious questions about the current situation considering the demonstrations held in America these past few weeks. Dr. Ramsburgh tried to explain all parts of a complex governmental structure starting from the definition of democracy over the week fields of candidates to the priorities each side of government has.
In the conclusive part of the debate Dr. Ramsburgh stated that living in piece with the world requires living in multiculturalism, and that the only way to make this world a better place is to be aware of the problems and to work together for the better world. Finally he stated that multiculturalism is not something we earn, but something we were just been lucky enough to be born in and for that reason need to be thankful for.
At the end of the lecture, Dr. Azamat Akbarov, Head of the English Department thanked and presented a Letter of Appreciation and small souvenir to Dr. Ramsburgh on behalf of the International Burch University.