Mercyhurst faculty member relates her experiences in India

In December 2000, Diana Bohl, associate professor of education at Mercyhurst College, took a sabbatical from the college and traveled with her husband Adrian to New Dehli, India. The couple spent the next six months traveling throughout India and then teaching at the Kodai International School in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India.

Bohl will talk about the couple’s experience during "World on a Hilltop," a lecture she will present at 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

Bohl and her husband left Erie just after Thanksgiving 2000, traveling around the world to arrive in New Dehli on Dec. 1, 2000. From there, the couple toured India from one end to the other, experiencing as much of the country as possible before reporting to the Kodai International School in January 2001. Once there, the couple volunteered their teaching skills. Bohl worked as the Learning Resource teacher while her husband taught English and speech and tutored individual students.

The Kodai International School is a private boarding school founded in 1901 as an institution for children of missionaries working in India. The school’s mission changed in the 1970s, and now it has adopted a global perspective and offers an international baccalaureate program and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

The Bohls spent five months teaching at the school before departing the day after graduation. Their return trip included a brief stay in Germany before they arrived back home in Erie the first week of June 2001.

Bohl said the entire experience was wonderful, from meeting the different volunteers at the school to traveling and experiencing the uniqueness of India.

“We loved India - the people, the sense of 5,000 years of history, everything,” said Bohl. “It is a home away from home for us now.”

Bohl has been part of the Mercyhurst College community since 1976, working for nearly 25 years in the college’s education department. Bohl has served for many years as an associate professor of education, and she has also been the director of the undergraduate special education program at Mercyhurst College. She earned her bachelor's degree in speech and English from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, and her master's in language pathology and learning disabilities from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1969.
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