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about Intercultural Eyes

I began this journey as a 17-year-old exchange student to Strasbourg France. This led me to study geography and, eventually, to my PhD from Syracuse University in 1985. I found my professional home at AFS in 1980, where I worked for nearly 30 years, most recently as the Director of Intercultural Education and Research in the international office. In 1991-92, I had the honor of receiving an Indo-American Fellowship from the U.S. and Indian governments for advanced study in India where I stayed for three months, learning about the re-entry experience of Indians who studied in the USA. In 2002 I had another chance for an exchange experience, living for two months in Lima, Peru while working with our AFS office there. I have never stopped being interested in cultures and languages, including my own.

Intercultural Eyes is about my ongoing journey as a geographer and as an intercultural explorer.

Bettina Hansel

Intercultural Eyes has been in published on WordPress since May, 2009.


1. Bettina Byrd-Giles - September 5, 2009

Hi Bettina. Came across you blog recently. Blog on!

Bettina Hansel - September 5, 2009

Thanks! I wonder: Did you find me because we have the same first name or because we both focus on intercultural topics? Thanks for sharing your blog.

2. Bettina Byrd-Giles - September 5, 2009

I just did a keyword search and your blog came up. I responded because of your name.

3. jessiev - September 16, 2009

bettina – have followed you and your work for years (i got my phd at u-mn, with drs mestenhauser and paige). found your great blog through david comp – i can’t wait to dig in! thanks for sharing.

4. Bettina Hansel - September 16, 2009

Thanks! I hope you find the site helpful.

5. peggy pusch - December 29, 2009

Betsy; i come back to your blog frequently because it is thoughtful and interesting. Thank you for exploring topics that have relevance but are uncommon.
Peggy Puschf

Bettina Hansel - December 29, 2009

Thank you Peggy! I appreciate the support.

6. Duncan Brown - May 20, 2010

Wow – I just stumbled upon this blog via AFS.org, I am an AFS returnee who has also studied geography as a result of my exchange and my interest in cultures. I’ve been in the workforce for 8 years but not in a field related to my study, and I really want that to change… so I look forward to reading your blog for some inspiration!

Bettina Hansel - May 20, 2010

Welcome to the blog, Duncan. More is to come, but little by little. I hope you enjoy reading the past issues. Betsy

7. Pablo Cornejo - November 30, 2010

Bettina, your blog is truly amazing. I’m surprised that I’ve just found it…I’ve been an AFS volunteer for about 4 years, AFSer to USA during 2006-07. Well, I’ll keep on reading!

8. Bettina Hansel - November 30, 2010

Thank you, Pablo! I don’t have the time I used to have to write frequently, but I will be writing again.

9. Meg Quinn - May 23, 2011

Hello Bettina – wonderful blog! I work at CIEE and have been searching for material to augment our intercultural course. I’m trying to track down the video (if there is one) of the Woolf/Skelly debate at NAFSA last year. Did you ever find it? I’m so excited to find your blog – what a treasure trove!

Bettina Hansel - May 23, 2011

Hello Meg,
Thank you so much! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do this. All the NAFSA sessions were at least audio taped, but I don’t remember a video. There may have been one. I would imagine you could buy the audio tape from NAFSA, as I remember buying specific audio sessions from them some years ago. At that time, we were mailed cassettes, I think, so that’s dating it. It was definitely entertaining!

10. Meg Quinn - May 23, 2011

Thanks! I haven’t had much luck finding it, but may end up just asking a friend who is going to Vancouver to track it down. Unfortunately I have to skip NAFSA it this year, as I’ve just had a baby. Will you be there?

11. Carmen Gloria Cuello - July 2, 2011

Hello Bettina, i’m Carmen, AFS’er from 2003, volunteer and chapter president in Santiago CHILE,
i just came across your blog and just as other people have said, i think it’s just wonderfull, funny and inspirational, i have only read the last 3 entries and i already “feel at home”.
I thinks it´s strange i didnt find it sooner but as usual in my afs research activities, everything has come to me when i need it the most.
Im putting together a local newsletter to share with the volunteers &families from the chapter and i wanted to ask for your permission for including some of your entries, in this case, “Issue 95 Peripherical Vision”
Thank you so much for the reflexions.

Bettina Hansel - July 3, 2011

Hello Carmen,
You are welcome to use this. I haven’t had so much time recently to add more blogs, but I do intend to keep writing.


12. Nadia - April 24, 2015

Hi Betsy I just came across your blog! I know that you are passionate about travel, but know I understand how much. Keep writing! This blog is a useful resource, especially for budding explorers like me!


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