May Term 2017 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 (

Courses traveling to Asia and the Pacific region:

SEA 197-ASI  T-shirts, Temples and Tuk Tuks – Travel and Entrepreneurship through Thailand and Vietnam (Jim Palmieri & Marilyn Mueller); ECC: Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,650 plus $100 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

In this travel course, students will gain firsthand experience with the cultural, religious and economic realities of Thailand and Vietnam, countries steeped in history, anchored by religion, and characterized by a cultural and political backdrop that features both peace and conflict.  We will visit foreign businesses operating in Thailand and Vietnam, tiny market stalls lining the streets, and temples where worship intersects with daily life.  We will see up close how and why things work in these ancient countries which are trying to find their places in a modern, entrepreneurial and global economy.  Through preparatory work in spring 2017, students will learn about the economic and business backgrounds and policies, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit in both countries.

SEA 297
-JPN  Exploring Japanese Culture (Kiyo Matsuyama & Mimi Kammer); ECC: Global Perspective & Intercultural Communication

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,600 plus  $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course, designed with traditional, continuing, and graduate students in mind, explores the intersection of arts and culture in Japan.  Rooted in a rich history, the island nation of Japan developed its own unique art forms that are very different from those of the global West.  From our base in Kyoto, the old capital, students will visit live Kabuki theatre, Noh theatre, and Kyoto-style dance performances, as well as experience performative events such as a tea ceremony, Kimono dressing ritual, and the “Aoi Matsuri,” a major festival reenacting the ancient court parade.  In addition to preliminary language lessons, students will research specific cultural topics, keep a daily journal, and write a final report.

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

SEA 197-CRI  Costa Rica:  Health and Education as a Human Right  (Jackie Brittingham & Cyd Dyer); ECC: Global Perspective and Intercultural Communication

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,800 plus $54 for meals not covered by course fee, $50 for books, up to $150 for recommended immunizations, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Costa Rica, known for its natural beauty, differs from its neighbors in its passion for human rights. What is unique about the historical, economic, and cultural forces that elevate healthcare and education as human rights? Experiences with Costa Ricans and the growing immigrant populations and engagement with government leaders, activists and educators will help us understand these forces. Readings and reflective discussions during the prep course will provide a foundation for in-country journaling, conversations, and experiences. Students proficient in Spanish will help others practice conversational Spanish so all can fully enjoy the hospitality of our “Tico” hosts during our rural homestay.

Courses traveling to Europe:

SEA 197-GER  Sustainable Germany (Pat Singer);  ECC: Global Perspective and Intercultural Communication

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,400 plus $135 passport fee, if needed

Germany is well known for its efforts to create a green, sustainable nation based on low energy consumption and renewable fuel  sources.  Through a variety of visits with businesses and a home stay in Schorndorf, students will explore how Germans value sustainability in their every day lifestyles and their decision-making.  We will tour the green city of Freiburg, visit an environmental agency that organizes citizen action (Stuttgart), visit a corporation committed to sustainability (e.g. Adidas headquarters near Nűremberg), visit a power plant that is uses renewable energy sources (e.g. near Ulm), visit with people who promote and use solar energy even though Germany has limited solar capacity, visit museums that showcase Germany’s history of innovation in transportation and technology (Stuttgart and Munich), and observe and use energy-saving public transportation – trains, busses, walking.   We will also explore how you can become a “green” traveler in the future.

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

Preliminary cost estimate: $2,995 plus $250 for meals not covered by course fee, $135 passport fee, if needed, and cost of a digital camera if student doesn’t already have one to use

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 (Shane Cox & Mark Green); ECC: Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,500 plus $250 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Course participants will analyze the challenges facing enterprises operating in Italy’s fashion, manufacturing, tourism, and agricultural heartland. First, we will study the debate over tourism’s impact on Venice. Another key site visit will be the H-Farm small-business incubator. Further afield, we will visit representative companies in the apparel, fashion, and/or furniture industries, as well as agricultural producers. The course will include an opportunity to spend a day at the Politecnico di Milano, a world-renowned graduate institute focusing on innovation in multiple global industries. The course will also examine Italy’s role and participation within the broader euro zone and European Union. Participants will be expected to maintain a personal journal during the course and to write a final 6-to-8 page reflection paper or case study upon returning to the USA.

SEA 297- SCA  Scandinavia with the Madrigal Singers (Kim Roberts & Tim McMillin); No ECC designations

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,800 plus $269 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Scandinavia, an often overlooked corner of Europe, has had a surprisingly significant effect on cultural development throughout the Western world. How did this region, including influences from Imperial Russia, progress from the stronghold of Viking marauders to the seat of prestigious kings and Czars of Europe and Russia to the modern cradle of idyllic humanism – in less than 1000 years? 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 travelling. Note: Choral performances of the Madrigal Singers will be attended by all travel course participants.

SEA 197-SPA  Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain (Tracy Dinesen & CoryAnne Harrigan); No ECC designations

Preliminary cost estimate: $2,960 plus $50 for books, $300 for hiking gear, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage route that traces the path that St. James took to Spain as part of his crusade. This route remains sacred to modern pilgrims and provides an opportunity for deep reflection and spiritual growth, no matter one’s religious affiliation. This course allows students to walk a portion of the Camino and requires students to develop personal goals for their pilgrimage. Readings range from medieval to modern day documentation of the path. Students will keep a journal throughout their travel and will complete a summative evaluation upon return. This course is physically demanding requiring up to 16 miles of walking per day over rough terrain.

SEA 197-LON  London Media, Culture & Sport
(Brian Steffen & Jane Murphy); ECC: Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,195 plus $200 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed. 

This course is an exploration of media and creative industries that contribute to an understanding of British culture in the early 21st Century. Students will visit such sites as the BBC and ITV television networks, London newspapers such as The Guardian; cultural institutions such as the British Film Institute; museums such as the National Gallery and Victoria & Albert; Simpson’s partner university in London, Roehampton University; and sports facilities such as the national football stadium at Wembley and the national rugby ground at Twickenham. Students will learn that culture is a combination of product, process and perspective and how the industries they visit contribute to a British culture that is distinctive from their American culture.

SEA 197-
EUR  Remembering WWII:  London, Paris & Munich (Rebecca Livingstone & Daryl Sasser); ECC: Global Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,250 plus $195 for meals not covered by course fee, $30 for personal travel during free time, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course analyzes how history is intentionally constructed by people through an exploration of how three countries – Britain, France and Germany – remember World War II.  By visiting museums, memorials and other points of interest in each country, students will analyze how and consider why each society creates their differing portrayals of their experiences in the war as innocent v. guilty; bystanders v. collaborators; winners v. losers; and perpetrators v. victims.  As part of their coursework, students will read about and reflect upon interpretations of World War II, research specific sites and memorials for a paper and in-country presentation, and complete guided assignments during the travel course.