May Term 2016 International Travel Courses

The priority deadline to submit online applications to the Office of International Education is Tue., Oct. 6, 2015. 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-NZE From A to NZ: An Exploration of Physical Activity and Recreation in New Zealand (Emily Pankow & Cal Busby); ECC: Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $5,300 plus $46 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

The country of New Zealand has a high proportion of adults who participate in physical activity and recreation compared to the United States. Recent population studies suggest that about 30% of Americans do not participate in any physical activity compared to only 12.7% of adults in New Zealand. This course will allow students the opportunity to examine a culture where physical activity and organized recreational sport participation are a high priority. Students will engage in activities that allow them to interact with locals while participating and promoting physical activity and recreation.

SEA 297-ISJ Religion, History, and Culture in Israel and Jordan (Mark Gammon); ECC: Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,850 plus $75 for books, $150 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Students will explore the intersections among religion, history, and contemporary culture by visiting a number of sites in Jordan and Israel. Using a variety of analytical tools, we will discern how the contemporary Middle East is a product of various historical and cultural movements over thousands of years, with special focus on the region’s importance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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

SEA 197-BRA Brazil: From Empire to Dictatorship to Democracy (Eduardo Magalhaes); ECC: Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,449 plus $60 for recommended immunizations, $50 for books, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Brazil is the only Latin American country to have been an empire (for 60 years!), a dictatorship (as recently as 1988) and a democracy (since 1988). During this travel course we will explore this history through museums, national landmarks, and meetings with current politicians. We will also visit with families in their homes, business leaders (in ethanol production and oil exploration among others), and students from the Federal University of Alagoas. While staying on the most beautiful beaches in the world, students will reflect on Brazilian culture and history in a journal and a paper.

SEA 197-CRI From Coffee and Chocolate to Ziplining and Snorkeling: Ethics of Ecotourism in Costa Rica (Allison Wolf); ECC: Global Perspective and Intercultural Communication, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $5,050 plus $135 passport fee, if needed.

Rescue a Jaguar, tour an indigenous reserve, take an educational hike through the cloud forest, learn how to make chocolate or grow coffee, hold an iguana, or simply snorkel and then relax on a pristine beach. These are just a few activities that tourists can do in Costa Rica. Well, let me correct that, they are activities ecotourists can do when they visit Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is one of the leaders in ecotourism. And, as a result, tourism has surpassed coffee as the largest sector of the Costa Rican economy. In recent years, however, an increasing number of voices are beginning to question the philosophical underpinnings, effectiveness and ethics of ecotourism. In this class, we will explore ethical theories, Costa Rica’s history and culture, and engage in numerous ecotourism activities in order to investigate the ethical nature of ecotourism. Specifically, we will study Spanish, stay with host families, engage in service projects, and travel the country in order to explore where ecotourism has succeeded, where it has challenges, and what should be done in response.

SEA 197-DMR Inequality and Social Inequity: Service, Culture, and Personal Development in the Dominican Republic (Marzia Corni-Benson & Megan Pilcher); ECC: Global Perspective and Intercultural Communication

Preliminary cost estimate: $2,800 plus $100 for optional immunizations, $250 for optional entertainment and travel in- country, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Outside of its borders, the Dominican Republic is often thought of as a Caribbean paradise; yet, from within, the reality that exists is that of a third-world country. Vast parts of this beautiful country are plagued by underdevelopment, poverty, lack of education, and lack of access to basic sanitation; while few control most of the wealth, the majority of the population lives in poverty. Prior to departure, students will explore historical and sociological reasons for social inequity, and engage in a comparative evaluation of cultural perspectives. During the 16-day travel course, students will be based in Colonial Santo Domingo, and will participate in four service opportunities: a day with Peace Corps volunteers in the community of Yamasa, the Manos Divinas orphanage, the Santa Bendición church, and the non-profit Lagares Team in Santo Domingo. Day trips will include the Salcedo area, Catalina Island, Juan Dolio beach, and Jarabacoa, where studnets will have the opportunity to explore historically significant sites as well as enjoy the beach, horseback riding, and river rafting. Like our Facebook page:

SEA 197-HON Coral reef and marine biology on Roatán, Bay Islands of Honduras (Ryan Rehmeier & Justin Brown); ECC: Scientific Reasoning, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,090 (or $3,490 with current SCUBA certification) plus $100 for optional immunizations, $100 for personal diving equipment (mask, snorkel, fins), and $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course will explore the ecology and conservation of coral reefs in Roatán, the largest of Honduras’s Bay Islands in the southwest Caribbean Sea. Roatán is located at the south end of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, making it an ideal place to engage in experiential learning via SCUBA diving and snorkeling. Students will learn about the ecology of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, intertidal environments, and mangroves. There will be hands-on learning of coral reef ecology; coral, fish, algae, and marine invertebrate identification; mangrove ecology; coral reef monitoring techniques; threats to reefs; and impacts of tourism on conservation. Students will be advised in the design and implementation of marine biology research, and they will carry out group research projects and present on them while there. Discussions in the spring prep course, active participation in all off-campus group activities, group research projects, and a final reflective essay will make up the course work. This is a course with no prerequisites, but it is designed for biology or non-biology majors genuinely interested in science.

Courses traveling to Europe:

SEA 197-BOS Recovery and Reconciliation after Civil War in Bosnia (Pat Singer & Ron Warnet); ECC: Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,700 plus $50 for meals not covered by course fee, $20 for books, and $135 passport fee, if needed

Bosnia was involved in a devastating war in the 1990’s reviving old ethnic and religious animosities in the aftermath of the breakup of Yugoslavia. This course will explore the issues involved in remaking Bosnia into a stable and functioning multicultural society. We will learn the history of the animosity between ethnic and religious groups in Bosnia. We will learn about the realities of the current Bosnia by meeting with organizations and individuals involved in building a just, vibrant, multi-ethnic solutions in Bosnia. Students will meet face to face with representatives of the various ethnic and religious communities who were impacted by the war that was precipitated by the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Women’s organizations played key roles of communication and reconciliation both during and after the conflict. There we will meet with women’s groups and community leaders. We will also travel around the country to visiting historic sites, interact with local people, and enjoy the beauty of a Balkan country and the multi-ethnic region.

SEA 197-EUR An Economic and Cultural Exploration of European Open Air Markets (Jim Palmieri); ECC: Global Perspective, pending approval

Preliminary cost estimate: $4,360 plus $40 for books, and $135 passport fee, if needed

Open air street markets selling food, clothing and collectibles are common throughout Europe. In this course you will learn about the cultural and historical function of street markets, their economic structure and pricing strategies, and how they compete against the more “formal” business sector. Through interacting with market vendors and customers, as well as carrying out field research, you will develop a deeper understanding of how open air markets work. You will take an assessment exam as part of your spring 2016 preparatory class. During our time in-country, you will carry out field research, share your results with the class and keep a journal of your experiences.

SEA 197-TEG Theatre, Arts and Culture in London and Stratford (Steve McLean); ECC: No designations

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,750 plus $400 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course will combine opportunities to visit many important historical sites in Western culture with opportunities to experience many theatrical performances by important British companies and performers. Students will investigate London and Stratford. Included will be tours of London and the Covent Garden Theatre area and Shakespeare’s New Globe theatre, Bankside, and the “Ripper” district of London. Also included will be visitations to The British Museum, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum. Additional sites will be included as funds permit. Theatrical events will include performances and/or tours of the following: Shakespeare’s New Globe Theatre, The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Museum and associated sites (Stratford). Additional performances will be taken in at other important venues in London. Students will have ample free time in London for individual exploration relative the student’s personal interests. Students will research and present reports on one of these sites in advance of the experience and will maintain a reflective journal with entries related to each of the required activities.

SEA 297-FRN Paris: Turning Points in French History (Sharon Wilkinson); ECC: Historical Perspective

Preliminary cost estimate: $2,675 plus $175 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed

Paris. There is no other city quite like it anywhere in the world—cutting-edge, yet steeped in tradition and history. In this course, we will follow in the footsteps of several colorful characters from the time of kings, queens, castles, and palaces, taking us to places like the Louvre, Versailles, Fontainebleau, and some castles of the Loire Valley. Love affairs, bloody massacres, royal court gossip, assassinations, and some pretty eccentric people will all come alive as we study three key events in the period of French history from the Renaissance to the Revolution. The May Term portion of the course will include 10 days in Paris and the surrounding area, as well as class sessions on campus before and after traveling. Besides your active participation in the course, graded work will include a photo journal project, a book presentation, and a final learning assessment.