Simpson students at Windsor Castle as part of the 2011 London Semester Program
Study Abroad courses allow professors and students to take the learning outside of the classroom, exposing students not only to new places but also new ways of experiencing history.
"There is a certain awe and wonder one feels standing in a Gothic cathedral or in front of a Renaissance masterpiece that just can't be replicated by showing a slide in the classroom," explains Rebecca Livingstone, Associate Professor of History. "Actually being in the cathedral of Notre Dame with its high vaulted ceilings built to remind people of the greatness of God and the smallness of Man or seeing Michelangelo's David in person allows students to see the height, the weight, the smoothness of the marble and gain a greater understanding of the skill and genius that went into its creation. Physically being in the space allows students to take their learning to a higher level of understanding and have a greater appreciation for history."
The History department has been very involved in taking students abroad for both May Term as well as the semester abroad programs. Past Study Abroad courses offered by the department have explored the experiences of the World Wars in London and Paris, discovered the cultural heritage of Great Britain and Ireland and examined the Renaissance in Florence and Rome.
2014 May Term Abroad Courses with History
In the Trenches of World War I: London, Paris, and Belgium
World War I was one of the most significant turning points in European history: it destroyed empires, rewrote social norms, and shattered the optimism and complacency of the 19th century. In May 2014, one hundred years since the outbreak of World War I, we will travel to some of the key battle sites of the war to understand the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches of the Western Front. We will also visit some of the numerous monuments, markers, and cemeteries of the Great War to understand how the war was remembered and commemorated on the European landscape.