Study Tours

The Consortium is pleased to offer local study tours for North Carolina teachers. The tours are designed as meaningful immersion experiences for teachers to deepen their understanding of Middle Eastern cultures. Visit our Past Tour pages (2015, 2016) to learn more.Thank you to all of the teachers who participated in our pilot study tour on August 11, 2015! This tour was featured in the UNC University Gazette. Read about it here.

*Please note that the 2017 program is currently FULL. We are now accepting names for a waiting list.poster

Connecting the Middle East to the Southeast: A local study tour for educators on Middle Eastern food
August 15, 2017,  9am-5pm | Duke University, North Carolina

This one-day professional development program will offer a meaningful experience for teachers to deepen their understanding of Middle Eastern cultures and foodways. By creating an immersive “study tour” environment, the program will provide a global experience for teachers without leaving NC. The day will begin with a lecture by a scholar of Middle East studies. Then, we will travel to a variety of food establishments in the Triangle area.

In preparation for the tour, teachers will complete readings to provide background knowledge on Middle Eastern food cultures. Teachers may earn up to 10 contact hours, or 1 continuing education unit, by successfully participating in the entire Study Tour. 8 hours will be earned on the day of the program, and 2 hours will be earned by completing 4 readings with reading guide prior to the tour.

22 teacher participants will be selected for this program. This program is free, and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Application Guidelines:
*Open to all currently practicing K-12 educators and curriculum coordinators in North Carolina.
*Teachers must intend on teaching in the next consecutive school year.
Please contact Outreach Coordinator, Emma Harver, at or 919-962-6732 with any questions.

*details subject to change, please click here for full itinerary details
8:30-9:00am          Registration and Light Breakfast
9:00-9:15am          Welcome & Introductions
9:15-10:30am        Introduction to the Middle East: Cultures, Politics, and Environment
10:45am-12:00pm Power of Food in Connecting to a Cultural Identity: Turkish Culture
12:30-1:30pm        Immigrant Experience and Food Politics: Mediterranean Lunch & Discussion
1:30-1:45pm          Explore Mediterranean Deli Grocery
2:10-4:00pm          Food and Religion: Israeli Food, Jewish Food, and an Interactive Cooking Experience
4:15-4:50pm          Curriculum Connections
4:50-5:00pm          Evaluation

To expand upon the one day study tour experience, preparation for the tour includes completion of four reading guides. These short, informational articles or resources are to further your understanding of food and cultural identities, food and the immigrant experience, and food and religion. You may choose the four out of the following six reading guides that appeal to you most from this reading syllabus (though we recommend reading everything) to complete this summer. We will collect the four reading guides at the workshop on August 15, or they can be returned to as you complete them. Completion of four reading guides is required for receiving all 10 PD Contact Hours.

Here’s what teachers had to say about their experience:

“Now having been in a Mosque, learning the facts from the readings, and attending the Study Tour, I can feel more sure of myself when teaching this part of the curriculum” -6th Grade ELA & Social Studies Teacher, Eastern Wayne Middle School

“I feel that I have a better understanding as a whole of the religion, a deeper respect for the individuals, and a desire to be more loving, accepting, accommodating, and protecting of future students.” –6 & 8th Grade Math & Science Teacher, Eastern Wayne Middle School

“This was one of the most thoroughly interesting and valuable programs I’ve attended.” -11th Grade English Teacher, Southern School of Energy and Sustainability

“Talking to real people who practice the faith on a daily basis helped put Islam in perspective. I feel like I have a tiny more intimate look inside, which will help me dispel the myths my students have.” –9th Grade World History Teacher, South Caldwell High School

“This program should be mandatory for every school employee.” -School Social Worker, Doris Henderson Newcomers School, Guilford County Schools