A three-week seminar at UNO prepares military and civilian personnel to live and work in Afghanistan.
The 41st class of the Afghanistan Immersion Seminar graduated last week. The program explores Afghanistan’s culture, history, and modern government. Participants also learn how to speak Afghanistan’s native language, Dari.
Tom Goutierre is Dean of UNO’s International Studies and Programs. “We try to help them understand the various complexities of Afghan society, so that they don’t go in to situations with kind of a stereotypic, monolithic impression, because it’s a very diverse society. And we try to give them an appreciation for the successes Afghans have had in the past when they have had a very well-functioning constitutional monarchy.”
Goutierre says that’s important to U.S. interests, as well as to government agencies’ work with Afghan programs.
Since 2008, more than 600 military and civilian personnel have graduated from the program.