Friday January 12th was an exciting day for the students at the IIIT Winter Student Program (WSP)! They shared their thoughts about the program, received the graduation certificates and headed off to begin a new journey with all the knowledge they acquired in the 10 days of intensive learning.
The Winter Student Program began on January 3rd and concluded on January 12th. It included 26 undergraduate students from different colleges and universities around the US, Canada, and overseas – Yale University, George Mason, Kutztown, Allegheny College, UC Berkeley, and other institutions. Some students came with basic knowledge of Islam while others had little prior knowledge. However, after learning from eleven prominent scholars, they all agreed that the program was an eye-opener that helped broaden their world-view. Throughout this residential program the students engaged in deep conversations with their instructors and peers.
WSP included a variety of courses and modules, including History and Methodology of Interpreting the Qur’an and Sunnah, History of Islamic Thought, Education in Muslim
Societies, Contemporary Islamic Thought, Islam in America,Rrenewal and Reform in Islam, and several others.
Students’ impressions about the program are best captured in their own words:
"I really appreciate the high level of professionalism. I have been to many different circles of Islamic study and I have worked for many employers, and based on this I can safely say that I was really impressed by how the whole program carried itself. Secondly, I really appreciated the kind-hearted and open faculty. Everyone was readily available and willing to help me in any way, shape, or form. Thirdly, the top-notch professors! Till this day I am amazed that I was able to “luck” my way into such a program which did not ask that I go out and travel to meet these scholars, rather the scholars traveled to meet with us. " – D. O., George Mason University
"Overall IIIT enlightened my understanding of Islam and expanded my opportunity for research. The winter program at IIIT provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to take intensive courses on Islamic studies that they would not have the opportunity to do at their universities. Furthermore, the lecturers chosen for this program are highly skilled and educated on the subjects they were teaching." – K. R., Kutztown University
"The benefits of WSP are countless and I am glad to have been able to attend the program and learn about Islam for myself. As a young adult, I often fear the future for not knowing what I am going to do with my future and how I want to continue life after my undergraduate career; this program has introduced me to so many different options and it has opened new doors for me to look into from Islamic Studies, Law, Peace and Conflict, Arabic, and Anthropology. " – Y. A., University of North Carolina - Greensboro
"Coming in with a fairly strong background in Islamic Studies, from an academic standpoint, the program allowed me to strengthen my knowledge and expand my abilities in critical thinking. It changed my thinking and I gained new ways of looking at the Qur’an and how it can be translated...The professionalism and knowledge which each professor brought with them to the program is unparalleled. I was very happy with the choice of professors." – I. C., Indiana University
"I want to express gratitude to those professors who combined humility and gentleness with challenging us with difficult questions. It was a privilege to learn from them and to see their example of combining excellence of character as well as mind." – M. B., Loyola University Chicago