Amanda Courtois grew adult in Weiser, Idaho, a city of around 5,000 people, and studies ecological biology during Eastern Oregon University. Scotty Johnson grew adult in Portland, Ore., and studies village growth with a teenager in dispute fortitude during Portland State University. But in 2018, they spent 10 days perplexing to get to know any other’s worlds.
“The civic and farming order does exist,” Courtois tells TIME. “You consider of somebody vital in a city as, we know, someone other.”
Courtois and Johnson participated in a Urban-Rural Ambassadors Institute, that connects students from Portland State University and Eastern Oregon University in an bid to overpass a urban-rural divide. The module launched in 2018 and is now in a third year. Roughly 20 students attend each summer, spending 5 days in Portland and 5 days in some-more farming La Grande, Ore., as they learn about and simulate on a vital issues confronting both communities.
The module exposes students to new environments: Courtois schooled about gentrification; Johnson schooled about efforts to revitalise a state’s salmon population. But Johnson says that “at a finish of a day, people’s bland life was flattering most a same. Worrying about profitable rent. Making certain we got food on a list and purify garments to wear.”
“Every good chairman in a universe wants to leave behind a improved universe than they found,” Courtois adds. “And we only have to figure out how we are meant to do that, either you’re in an civic environment or a farming setting.”