Rural by Design provides support for international study to expand our understanding of rural life in a global context. One Kenyon student is working at a school in Chile that teaches self-sustainability by working in partnership with a local hotel; the school produces goat cheese, honey, and other products for sale to local stores and restaurants in nearby Santiago. A second student, born and raised in a nearby rural community in central Ohio, is investigating ecotourism in Costa Rica. A third student is working with the Bribri people in the remote Talamanca mountain range of Costa Rica to learn about their agricultural practices and assist in the improvement of their food quality. These and other students will return to Kenyon and share what they’ve learned with the local community through public presentations.
Faculty experiences abroad similarly enhance college and community by stimulating creative work in rural contexts that inform local teaching, scholarship, and public endeavors. A photography professor is documenting herbaria and botanical gardens in rural Italy to better understand their role in safeguarding species that might otherwise face extinction. An anthropologist is participating in a seminar on the interplay of landscape and culture in east Africa to better understand the challenges facing agricultural communities. An art professor is exploring family-owned vineyards in rural France and the dynamics of public life in nearby villages. And a biology professor is working with Kenyon and local high school students to conduct research and assist Tahuayo River communities in the Amazon.