WAUSAU (WAOW)--It can be challenging to pick up and move to another country, but that's exactly what one Assistant Professor at UW Marathon County did last year after being awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Jeff Leigh and his family lived in Lebanon for a year while he taught cultural studies at a Lebanese university.
He said the experience gave him and his students new perspective. "Since something was going on right now, I could talk to them about what they were feeling, about what they were experiencing and I endlessly told them what's happening here in 2011 might be the most important set of events to occur during your entire lifetimes."
Political instability both in and around Lebanon created a unique environment. In a way, Leigh's experience not only enriched his background in history, but allowed him to live it.
"Everywhere you go, you see the same problems, it's just a question of to what degree," he said.
Leigh said his time in Lebanon gave him a new appreciation for life in the states. With unrest in Syria and other Middle Easter countries, the Lebanese people are constantly on edge. "Lebanon has a tremendous natural wealth of beauty. It has a tremendous wealth in it's people. It suffers, though, from ineffective government."
One major takeaway from the year he spent in Lebanon: the need for people to immerse themselves in other cultures.
"I think it's a very important thing that Americans go out and they see just what they have here and they see what the rest of the world has to offer them," he said.
New perspective that will benefit students studying Middle Eastern history thousands of miles away in America.