A Few Great Places to Study Off Campus

By Amy Beck

East Village Coffee Lounge East Village


498 Washington St in Monterey

  East Village Coffee Lounge is a popular study spot for MIIS students. The lounge has three rooms, all with different vibes. The main room has the coffee bar where they serve certified organic and fair trade coffee, loose leaf tea, beer and wine, as well as sandwiches, paninis and pastries. The food, coffee and tea are delicious and enjoy a good reputation. The room is decorated with different sized tables and chairs, overstuffed chairs and sofas and is always full of people, studying and chatting. The back room is much quieter. The tables are smaller, for one or two, and are usually surrounded by studious coffee or tea drinkers. When the lounge has live music, the back room is converted into a theatre. The third room is narrow with small tables and a bit sunnier. The lounge exudes a serene vibe, and music is just loud enough to block out other conversations, but tranquil enough to foster studying.


Quock Mui Tea Room and Wave St Studios Quock Mui


774 Wave Street off Cannery Row

The Quock Mui Tea Room is a hidden treasure. Located down the steps from wave street, its main entrance is off the bike path that cuts through Cannery Row. The tea room features a wide variety of loose leaf teas and an assortment of chocolate. This is the place to go if you are a tea addict and are looking for high quality loose leaf teas. There are two small tables inside and a heated stone bench outside that curves around a large mahogany table. A lit waterfall trickles down the wall behind the bench.

Connected to the tea room is the Wave St Studios, a recording studio and small concert venue. The studio hosts local artists who want to film their performance and allows a limited number of audience members for a small fee. (Bring your student ID for a discount.) Check the website for schedule and times. The studio is also rented out during the day for afternoon belly dance classes. (Class schedule is available at the tea room.) 

Monterey Public Library

monterey public libraryhttp://www.monterey.org/library/

625 Pacific St in Monterey (a few blocks from the MIIS campus)

The Monterey Public Library is a beautiful place to study and only a few blocks from the MIIS campus. The library has multiple desks, comfortable chairs, tables, and study areas. Anyone who has a local address can sign up for a library card and use the computers, check out books and CDs, or check out a laptop for use in the library and the library garden. The building has wireless access indoors and outdoors in the garden area. The building is beautiful: high ceilings, warm wooden architecture, and large windows. The librarians are incredibly helpful and welcoming. The library also features book clubs and book-related events. Check the website for details.

 The Works Book Store The Works Bookstore 


667 Lighthouse Ave in Pacific Grove

  The Works Bookstore is a friendly and warm place to study. The store is divided into two sections: the front room is a café with a great menu of coffee, loose leaf tea, and pastries; the back room is a small bookstore. The café has tables and chairs, comfortable couches and counter seats. The café is sunny and bright with windows stretching around the area. The variety of tea is impressive, organic, and of high quality and the coffee is good. Check their website for a schedule of occasional music and art exhibits.

Heads up – the Works Bookstore has discontinued wireless internet access, but is still a great place to read, drink coffee or tea, and chat, etc.


First Annual MIIS International Education Day a Success

First Annual MIIS International Education Day a Success

November 21, 2008

By Amy Beck


On November 21st, the Monterey Institute of International Studies launched its first annual International Education Day to commemorate International Education Week 2008 which lasts from November 17th – 21st. According to the IEW website, “International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.”


With a description like this, how could MIIS, famous for inter-cultural communication, and an international student body, not participate?


The International Education Day began at 9 in the morning. Groups of freshmen through seniors from Pacific Grove High School and Monterey High School filed into Irvine Auditorium to begin their day. The activity was optional for the students, and then their teachers had to approve their participation. The group of approximately fifty to sixty students listened to introductions by Gail Lu and Dr. Amy Sands, and then received instructions in the form of a stand-up comedy routine by Peter Shaw. After receiving his degree, Professor Shaw said he left home, England, as soon as possible in search of warm weather and flavorful food. He told the students that though the lunch later that afternoon would be multicultural, they shouldn’t worry about having to eat British food.


The students were divided into four groups, each with one or two ‘travel guides’ that led the students around campus and made sure they were always aware of the tour exits. The students participated in three of four activities, each led by MIIS students.


The first stop for my group was sponsored by the TESOL program. The high school students picked a language to be introduced to out of: Chinese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Japanese and Xhosa. MIIS TESOL students spent half an hour teaching basic phrases and cultural information. The Russian station played a music video; the Xhosa table listened to Mkebe and discussed traditional beadwork; the Japanese table folded origami.


Our next stop was Globetrotting 101. Peace Corps alumni and JET Programme (Japanese Exchange Teaching Programme) alumni shared personal experiences with the students. The alumni MIIS students were stationed at different tables and the students speed-dated their way through the room. The students had questionnaires to fill out with questions such as, ‘How much did you get paid for your experience with JET?’ and ‘Was it enough to live off of?’ Peace Corps alumni had worked in Mali, Namibia, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, and JET alumni lived all over Japan.


Our final stop was the ESL Program sponsored activity. ESL students had created posters about their country and their experiences at MIIS. Students walked from poster to poster talking with the ESL students and learning about countries such as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Colombia, to name a few. The activity we missed was Around the World in Thirty Minutes, which featured international participants of the AFS Cultural Program and Fulbright Program sharing experiences from their home country and here in the US.


The reactions from the high school students were extremely positive. Some students were declaring an interest to pack up and leave tomorrow. Others were creating thoughtful plans and weighing new possibilities. Others asked about the practicality of these options we were showing them and the financial implications of applications, the experience, and the long run. The buzz during the lunch in front of the Holland Center had a very different feel to it than the chatter at the beginning of the day. There was a new feeling of possibility. I remember when I discovered during my sophomore year of high school that I wouldn’t have to work behind a desk; I could work anywhere in the world in a variety of different fields. All I had to do was know where to look for these unique opportunities and how to present myself in such a way as to be accepted as a participant. The realization was empowering and invigorating. I saw that same look today in kids’ faces, and I felt empowered and invigorated again.


As a travel guide and MIIS student, the experience allowed me to get to know the different cultures represented at our school, and I found myself wishing that we had more events focused on learning about each others’ cultures. The extreme diversity of backgrounds and experiences that comprise the student body is an astonishing and oft forgotten element of MIIS student life, as we focus on readings and papers and exams. While we spend hours studying documents and research studies and documentaries about world events, we forget that often times we need only to turn to our neighbor in our core classes and ask.

DANCE MOVE OF THE WEEK: Can You Find the Dancing Professor?

A Letter From A United Nations Medical Officer: “The Suffering of People of Gaza”


A Letter From A United Nations Medical Officer: “The Suffering of People of Gaza”
Submitted by Neda Laventure

Anyone who is monitoring the quality of life in the Gaza Strip, which has been living under a tightened 18-month siege, will be shocked by the catastrophic humanitarian situation. Unemployment rate has risen to 80% and the majority of the population is living far below the poverty line with one or two dollars a day. As a concerned medical professional, I would like to draw your attention to some harsh aspects of life for the civilian population in Gaza:

First: There are tremendous health problems, which threaten people with either death or life-long disability. There is a severe shortage in medicine and medical equipment. Hospital maintenance and upgrades for X-Ray rooms, labs, pharmacies and operating rooms are desperately in need of attention. People with chronic and serious illnesses such as cancer or diabetes do not stand a chance for recovery or receiving the appropriate treatment. The number of deaths due to inability to receive medical treatment is 257 since June of 2007. Many seniors and children with chronic illnesses such as two-year old Said Al-Ayidy, three-month old Hala Zannoun, fifteen-year old Rawan Nassar and numerous others died because they were denied travel permits for treatment and were simply left to die.

Hospitals in Gaza are anything but what hospitals should look like. Daily power cuts for long hours have caused immense suffering, especially to patients whose lives depend on medical machinery. Hospitals used gas-powered generators as substitutes. Yet, due to the lack of gas and diesel, the generators no longer served their purpose and the problem escalated. Sadly, the only opportunity that patients with serious diseases have is to be transferred either to Egypt or Israel. Often, it is extremely complicated and near to impossible to obtain permission to be transferred to either country. Many are barred from even considering treatment outside of Gaza except for a few urgent cases. Many patients have died while waiting for the official documents to be issued; others have died on their way to Israel or Egypt. Hospitals have been turned into places where patients sleep for several days without any healing or proper treatment due to the absence of drugs and medical equipment. Such supplies are not allowed to cross into Gaza from the commercial border points due to Israeli closure of such borders.

Second: We face another serious problem: sewage and pollution. We live in a densely populated area. The people of Gaza live in poor shanty towns, refugee camps, and crowded neighborhoods, which share fragile and inadequate infrastructure. Lack of fuel supply stops the water pumps that deal with the treatment and sanitation of sewage water. The only solution that the city has is to drain the sewer water into the Mediterranean. As a result, the beaches have been polluted and the fishing season has been significantly damaged.

On rainy winter days, the streets and homes are flooded with water and the already bumpy and unpaved roads become even worse. Sewer pipes often burst and get damaged due to inadequate infrastructure and lack of maintenance and repair. Dirty and toxic water is flooding out from broken pipes into streets and homes. In some refugee camps, the floods were so severe that people were forced to assemble primitive boats and flow over the water. In Jabalia refugee camp, where I work as a physician in a United Nations clinic, people have increasingly reported illnesses and sickness due to exposure to toxic air and chemical wastes.

Water has been flooding our backyard for days. The city public works department is unable to fix the problem because there are no construction materials to replace the damaged utilities. Heavy machinery does not have fuel to operate. We cannot open any windows and we are breathing toxic waste for days until sunny days come around to dry out everything. Streets are covered with mud, pebbles and sharp stones that are hazardous. The city departments are unable to fix any problems because they simply do not have any resources.

Finally, there are numerous problems that face our impoverished war-torn and isolated society, especially our damaged and disabled infrastructures. I did not mention the numerous shortages in food, goods and services, cash and other basic needs because I wanted to point out the health issues, which I am most familiar with as a medical professional. There is a need for urgent help from the international community. Former United States President Jimmy Carter described the siege that Gaza is enduring as a “crime against human rights.”

Can you imagine living like this?

F.M.A (Gaza City, Palestine)
U.N. Medical Officer
8 November 2008

United Nations International Film Festival

9th Annual International Film Festival

presented by the

Monterey Bay Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA

November 13, 14, 15 and 16, 2008

14 outstanding international documentary films

on human rights, the environment, security issues, globalization, world cultures and the integrity of democratic elections

at the magnificent Golden State Theatre

417 Alvarado Street in downtown Monterey

Admission just $5.00 per day

Free Admission for Students with Student ID

– tickets at the door, open seating –

Film Program

Thursday, November 13, 7:00 PM

Made In China — 53 min – China

Children of Leningradsky — 37 min – Russia

One Water — 68 min – 15 countries

Friday, November 14, 7:00 PM

Quiet Revolution: Kerala — 26 min – India

The Debt of Dictators— 46 min – Argentina/South Africa/Philippines

Coral Connections — 15 min – Mexico

Stealing America: Vote by Vote — 90 min – USA

Saturday, November 15, 7:00 PM

The Iron Wall — 52 min – Palestine/Israel

Titans of the Coral Sea— 17 min – Papua New Guinea

Quiet Revolution: Grameen Bank — 28 min – Bangladesh

The Judge and the General — 82 min – Chile

Sunday, November 16, 2:00 PM

Dreams Die Hard – 36 min – USA

In Search of International Justice — 66 min – 6 countries

Fire Under The Snow — 75 min – Tibet

We really appreciate our community sponsors:

Arts Council for Monterey County City of Monterey Golden State Theatre

Granville Homes Monterey County Weekly KAZU-FM

Monterey Institute of International Studies Monterey Peninsula College KRXA-AM

Old Monterey Business Association Santa Catalina School Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

More information: http://www.unamontereybay.org

Program Meetings with President-Designate Sunder Ramaswamy

To:     MIIS Faculty, Staff, and Students
Fr:     Office of the President
Re:     MIIS Reorganization Planning Meetings

Monterey Institute faculty, staff, and students are all invited to join President Designate Sunder Ramaswamy for an initial discussion about the MIIS reorganization planning process on Thursday, November 13, 2008.

The agenda of the meeting will be to share guiding principles, expected outcomes, and indicative timeline with the MIIS community, including how the community will be able to participate in and contribute to the reorganization efforts going forward.  In addition, there will be a brief update provided on the current integration progress with Middlebury.

To enable more interactive, focused discussions, Dr. Ramaswamy will hold four one-hour meetings with faculty, staff, and students, one for each school. Administrative staff may join any of the four meetings of their choosing.  If faculty, staff, and students cannot attend their school’s session for any reason, they are welcome to attend another school’s session.  Please find the meeting schedule below:

Meeting Schedule
Thursday, November 13

12:00PM    GSTI            Irvine Auditorium

1:00PM     FGSIB        Irvine Auditorium

2:00PM    GSIPS        Irvine Auditorium

4:00PM    GSLEL        Irvine Auditorium

We look forward to your attendance and contributions as we begin this exciting process in achieving an even stronger, better institution for our future global leaders.

Conference Report: Extending Your Business into Latin America and Emerging Economies

by Daryl Sando

The Seminar covered the basic considerations needed for overseas investment. I found the discussion quite interesting and a good review of the challenges faced by international businesses, especially small ones. What was most beneficial was meeting and hearing from local small business owners about their overseas investments. There were people doing business in anywhere from Mexico to Taiwan, and from Canada to the Ukraine. I think in the past I have underestimated the substantial amount of small business owners that do work overseas. I always assumed it was mostly large corporations, but now with the invention of the internet and the ease of transportation, small to medium sized local mom and pop businesses work worldwide. What is interesting is that even though these companies do business worldwide they might not know how to do it properly, most effectively, and/or most efficiently. There seems to be a huge need for this type of specialized business knowledge. Overall the lecture was very informative and I enjoyed hearing from people who were either new to the field or had been doing it for decades.

After the lecture I stayed for the Monterey Bay International Trade Association’s annual luncheon with Congressman Sam Farr, a former student of MIIS. It was a very interesting talk where he outlined the current state of the many south and central American free trade agreements. It was nice to hear about these agreements from a congressman and the political pressures that either facilitated or hindered the agreements success. Probably the best item he covered was the new challenges of trade agreements in general. They originally were built for economic concerns and only dealt with economic concerns. Yet now trade agreements are made as a gesture of a type of relationship or as reciprocation for something or possibly to begin creating a better relationship with a country, and must address both political and environmental concerns. As an international trade policy student I found this part particularly of interest and found it important as I continue my studies at MIIS and begin looking at my future career.