May Term 2015 International Travel Courses

The ECC designations for each course, if any, are listed following the course instructor name(s).  For specific questions related to the content and/or destinations of a travel course, please contact the course instructor(s). For information about how to apply to participate in one of these travel courses, please click here, and for application related questions, please contact Director of International Education Jay Wilkinson (

As of Monday, December 8, the following international travel courses are still accepting new applications.  Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with admissions decisions made and announced within two weeks of a complete application being submitted along with the required three uploaded documents to Storm Front.

Courses traveling to the Caribbean region or Central or South America:

SEA 197-YUC  Health and Culture of the Mayans on the Yucatan Peninsula (Pat Singer & Ron Warnet); ECC: Global Perspective & Intercultural Communication

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,200 plus $135 passport fee, if needed.

From our base in Merida, Mexico we will study Mayan culture both ancient and in its modern form. We will do this through visits to ancient Mayan sites, meeting with experts in Mayan history, and a home stay in a Mayan village where people live very much like their ancestors lived. These experiences will help us to understand the life of a fascinating, complex, and culturally rich civilization and how it dealt with hundreds of years of colonization under the Spanish, only to be revived in modern day Mexico. Through meeting with present day Mayan healers we will get a glimpse of ancient ways of dealing with health issues endemic to this society. We will also visit modern health facilities in Merida and in rural areas to understand how current health concerns, such as Type II Diabetes are affecting the community. We will also learn some rudimentary Spanish to help us in our home visits.

Courses traveling to Europe:

SEA 197-GBR  Discover Historic Locations in Ireland and Great Britain (John Epperson & Owen Duncan); ECC: possibly Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,380 plus $112 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed

The goal of this course is to enable students to gain a general overview of Irish and British history and to become aware of the tensions between British, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English identities. In addition students will experience some of the cultural aspects of the region as well as the diverse, multi-cultural, and urban environment of London which is one of the world’s greatest cities.  Students will be required to keep a journal which consists of reflections on the trip as well as specific responses to questions, and they may also make presentations to the class on a topic they’ve researched.

SEA 297-MD  Alternatives to the Papacy:  The Madrigal Singers in Venice, Geneva, and Avignon (Kim Roberts & Tim McMillin); ECC:  Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,790 plus $233 for meals not covered, $200 for misc., and $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course will explore the cultural and political currents moving against the Roman Papacy in Northern Italy, Southern France, and Switzerland from approximately 1300-1600, with particular emphasis on art, architecture, and music. Students will be expected to present a 15 minute in-class presentation, complete several reading assignments and accompanying 2-page reflection, keep a journal of the travel experience, and participate in cultural exchange assignments and opportunities while traveling.  Students will also participate in performing or assisting with the presentation of 4-5 formal musical concerts by the Madrigal Singers.

The following courses are no longer accepting additional applications:

SEA 297-THA  Two Worlds:  Consumer and Business Behavior in Thailand (Chatt Pongpatipat & Marilyn Mueller); ECC: Intercultural Communication, and Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,200 plus $50 for books, $75 for meals not covered, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

As the economic power of Asia continues to grow and business becomes increasingly global in nature, it is vital to learn more about different cultures and ways of doing business. This class will focus on differences in global business and consumer behavior using Thailand as the core country. In the course students will participate in interviews with business professionals, tour a range of companies, meet with university students studying business at two of the top universities in Thailand, experience Thai markets and talk with small business owners. Students will enroll in a one-credit preparatory class to learn basic Thai language skills, explore cultural and communication differences, examine Thai culture and history as the context for its business environment –all with the goal of understanding the significant differences in Thai business, communication and consumer behavior compared to other parts of the world. Students will research/present a topic, read relevant texts and keep a journal throughout the course.

SEA 197-ECU  Natural History of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands (Clint Meyer & Justin Brown); ECC: Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,995 plus $150 for recommended immunizations, $100 for meals not covered, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Ecuador has an incredible diversity of habitats, animal and plant species, and vibrant indigenous cultures. In this course we will explore high-elevation cloud forest in the Andes Mountains and then move deep into the rainforest of the Amazon River basin, one of the most biologically-diverse habitats on Earth. Then we will travel to the Galápagos Islands, one of the world’s greatest natural-history treasures and a living textbook for ecologists. The islands’ renowned wildlife includes boobies, giant tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, and dolphins.  There will be unlimited opportunities to practice Spanish, and students will gain insight into contemporary Latin culture and environmental problems besetting tropical habitats. Grades will be assigned based on participation in discussions during the spring preparatory course and off-campus activities including a research project in the rainforest, journal writings, and a final reflective essay.  This course has no prerequisites and is designed for both biology and non-biology majors.

SEA 297-IRE  A Photographic Tour of Ireland (David Richmond); ECC: The Arts

Preliminary cost estimate: $2,995 plus $135 passport fee, if needed.

The purpose of this course is to allow the students to reflect on their interests and artistic expression as they discover themselves through practicing the art of photography in Ireland. The creative act of photography and the experience of recording images in an unfamiliar and exotic location will stimulate self-awareness. Hands on practice of photography will be a key component to this course by the student’s active engagement with understanding proper composition, contrast, technical quality and an artistic message.  Students will also learn how to edit their electronic Images through Adobe Photoshop software. Other key components to the course include class presentations about the history, physical environment and culture of Ireland. We will also gain some understanding and insight into some of the unique qualities of the Irish culture through talking with Irish artists and visiting Irish educational institutions.

SEA 297-ITA  Merchants of Venice:  Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Northern Italy (Mark Green & Mark Juffernbruch); ECC: Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,650 plus $250 for meals not covered in program costs, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Course participants will analyze the challenges and opportunities facing enterprises operating in Italy’s fashion, manufacturing, tourism, and agricultural heartland. The course will also examine Italy’s role and participation within the broader euro zone and European Union. The in-country experience begins at Expo Milan 2015, which opens May 1, 2015. We will then travel east to Venice, where we will attend La Biennale Venezie 2015 (Venice International Art Exposition). We will also study the debate over tourism’s impact on Venice. Another key site visit will be the H-Farm small-business incubator near Venice. Further afield, we will visit representative companies in the apparel, fashion, and/or furniture industries (e.g., Diesel in Breganze), as well as ag-related producers and processors (e.g., Bisol in Valdobbiadene, IllyCafé in Trieste). Participants will be expected to maintain a personal journal during the trip and to write a final 6-to-8 page reflection paper or case study upon returning to the US.

The following courses have been cancelled for May Term 2015 due to low enrollment:

SEA 197-NAM  Namibia:  A Study of Southwest Africa’s Vulnerable (Jackie Brittingham & Cyd Dyer); ECC: Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,750 plus $100 for recommended immunizations, $75 for meals not covered, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

We will explore the greatest challenges facing the vulnerable of Namibia in southwest Africa. Experiences in urban and rural locations will inform our studies of access to education and healthcare, HIV/AIDS, oppression and exploitation of natural resources. Working beside activists and educators will help us understand historical forces that shaped Namibia and its people. A village home-stay will immerse us in farming communities and traditional social structures. Impacts of eco-tourism and exploitation of natural resources will be explored while camping in a wildlife refuge. Readings and reflective discussions during the preparatory course will provide a foundation for in-country journaling, conversations and experiences.

SEA 197-FRA  Cathars, Crusades, and the Courtly Tradition: Medieval Culture in the South of France (Maeve Callan & Mimi Kammer);  ECC:  Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,500 plus $50 for books, and $135 passport fee, if needed

Cathars considered themselves Christians, but the medieval church labeled them heretics and called a crusade against them. This course considers Cathar theology and its differences from orthodox doctrine, and explores their contributions to troubadour culture and its influence on broader European literature and performance. It examines the political, social, and cultural factors in the crusade against them and other means used to try to reconcile Cathars and Catholics. From our base in Carcassonne, we will explore Cathar castles throughout Languedoc as well as the sites of other significant events in Cathar history. Requirements include participation, a short response paper, a research paper, a presentation, and journal entries.