Courses

May Term 2014 International Travel Courses

For Cornerstone students, all courses listed fulfill CS 7.  For ECC students, the ECC designations for each course, if any, are listed following the course instructor name(s).

As of Dec. 2, 2013, the following courses are still accepting applications for places in the course:

Courses traveling to Asia and the Middle East:

REL 297  The Politics of Sacred Spaces:  Israel and Jordan (Mark Gammon & Heidi Berger); ECC: Global Perspective
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,900 plus $50 for books, $150 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
Students will explore the intersections between religious tradition and contemporary politics in the Holy Land by visiting traditional religious sites in Jordan and Israel.  We will examine the process by which certain places come to be recognized as holy and the historical and political implications of such designations.   Students will show competence in the basic history of the region through an exam.  Each student will also become an “expert” on a site to be visited, both the factual importance and its significance as theo-political space, and all students will engage in ongoing reflection through journaling.

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

HUM 197  Beaches and Bananas:  Ethical Issues in Development in Costa Rica (Allison Wolf); ECC: Global Perspective & Intercultural Communication
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,933 plus $165 for optional personal spending, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, used to have streets lined with local shops. Now, these shops have been replaced with U.S. businesses like McDonald’s, Blockbuster, and The Gap. Outside the city, gorgeous forests, stunning volcanoes, and pristine beaches are increasingly being developed to build hotels, restaurants and other resources to accommodate North Americans. While Costa Ricans welcome U.S. citizens in their country, they resent active U.S. intervention in Costa Rican and Central American affairs; thus, there is a major debate within the country about development and globalization in Costa Rica. Should U.S. businesses be limited, if not prohibited, in Costa Rica in order to prevent continued U.S. imperialism? Should there be protections for Costa Rican workers employed by U.S. companies to prevent exploitation? How do we balance our desire to visit those incredible beaches, mountains, and forests with an obligation to respect and preserve Costa Rican culture and natural resources? On this travel course, we will investigate these and other issues of globalization in Costa Rica by studying philosophical ethics, U.S.-Costa Rican history, Costa Rican literature, and Spanish.

ANTH 297  The Cosmic Oneness:  Learn from the Inca of Peru (Mark Freyberg); ECC: Global Perspective
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,568 plus $60 for books, $60 for trip cancellation insurance, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
A peculiar modern conceit encourages us to believe that contemporary America is the greatest culture in history. Yet people from other times and places have something to teach us. This course takes a holistic view of ancient Inca and modern Peruvian cultures, emphasizing how they have met the material and spiritual needs of their citizens. We will compare these societies to our own, asking how we might alter our way of living to gain fulfillment as individuals and as a people. We will travel to the Andes region of Peru to see both the cosmopolitan city of Cuzco and several ancient Inca sites, including the “Lost City” of Machu Picchu. Assignments include three papers, a pre-travel exam and a post-travel oral report.  [Please note: the term "spiritual" here is meant in the broadest anthropological sense of "non-material"].

Courses traveling to Europe:

INTST 297  The European Lifestyle Powered by Wind, Sun, and Geothermal Energy (Pat Singer & Ron Warnet); ECC: Global Perspective
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,150 plus $150 for meals not covered by course fee, $100 misc., and $135 passport fee, if needed
In a world where climate change and the depletion of oil reserves threatens lifestyles and economies, the nations of northern Europe have been working on alternatives.  This course is about what these countries are doing and how they are doing it.  Iceland derives 77% of its energy needs from renewable sources; Denmark has communities that are carbon neutral. Through visits with agencies, schools, and people involved in this transformation, we will learn first-hand about the technology being developed and the cultural changes taking place.  We will participate in alternative energy use by using different modes of transportation such as bicycles and trains in our travels.  Our home stays within carbon neutral communities will enable us to see first-hand how it all works and what is possible in a society which deals honestly and openly with the realities of climate change.

The following courses are full, but are accepting applications for possible places on the course waitlist, should vacancies occur:

WLCS 297b  Service, Culture, and Personal Development:  Dominican Republic (Jennifer del Pino and Marzia Corni-Benson); ECC: Global Perspective & Intercultural Communication
Preliminary cost estimate: $2,862 plus $75 for books, $200 for meals not covered in program costs, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
This course will provide opportunities for students to learn about the culture and history of the Dominican Republic and the life perspectives of its people through lectures, visits to historical sites as well as language and cultural orientations.  Required pre-travel sessions and readings will prepare the participants.  The course will present both service and reflection challenges for personal development, which will be discussed through group sessions and in the final project portfolio.  Students will participate in three service projects with local people and various community organizations.   Consistent journaling and active participation in the workshops, team and individual activities, and reflection sessions will include reference to course readings.  A final individual project will also be required.

HUM 297  Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain (Tracy Dinesen & CoryAnne Harrigan); No ECC designations
Preliminary cost estimate: $2,739 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 walked through Spain. This route remains sacred to modern pilgrims and provides an opportunity for deep reflection and spiritual growth, no matter one’s religious affiliation. Students will walk a portion of the Camino and develop personal goals for their own 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 20 miles of walking per day over rough terrain. Sights along the journey include mountains, vineyards, and ancient villages.

The following courses are full and no longer accepting applications:

WLCS 297a  Working with the Peace Corps in Senegal (Sharon Wilkinson); ECC: Global Perspective & Intercultural Communication
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,615 plus $185 for CDC recommended immunizations, $80 for books, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
The country of Senegal (in West Africa) has a long-standing relationship with the Peace Corps.  In this course, we will have the opportunity to try out the Peace Corps experience by helping with a project in a rural village.  Living and working with local families, we will integrate into village life, gaining global perspectives and language skills along the way.  We will also be able to contrast rural Senegal with life in the bustling capital city of Dakar, where we will also spend a few days.  The travel portion of the course will conclude with a debriefing retreat on the Atlantic coast outside of Dakar.  Course assignments will include readings, reflective writing assignments, full participation in all activities and discussions, and a final presentation.

BIOL 197  Coral Reef and tropical rainforest ecology in Belize (Ryan Rehmeier & Clint Meyer); ECC: Global Perspective
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,913 plus $100 for CDC recommended immunizations, $100 for mask, snorkel, fins, and boots for snorkeling and diving, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
This course will explore the ecology, structure, function, and conservation of tropical rainforests and coral reefs in Belize. Experiential learning via snorkeling, SCUBA diving, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, and boating on the reefs, sea grass meadows, mudflats and mangrove swamps will take place on South Water Caye, an island situated on the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.  Students will learn to identify local fish, invertebrates, and plants; observe important ecological relationships; learn field techniques; and carry out group research projects.  We will investigate the basic ecology of tropical rainforests at the Blue Creek Rainforest Preserve in mountainous southern Belize.  Activities there will include numerous day and night hikes, a visit to Mayan ruins, and snorkeling in the pristine Blue Creek River. Discussions in the spring prep course, active participation in all off-campus group activities, journal writings, group research projects, and a final reflective essay will make up the course work.  The course has no prerequisites and is open to both biology and non-biology majors.

HIST 197  In the Trenches of World War I:  London, Paris, and Belgium (Rebecca Livingstone & Judy Walden); ECC: Global Perspective
Preliminary cost estimate: $3,995 plus $50 for books, $350 for meals not covered by course fee, and $135 passport fee, if needed
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.  As part of their coursework, students will read a history of World War I and selections from soldiers’ poems and other accounts of the war, research specific battles and memorials, and keep a reflective journal of their experience abroad.

SOC 297  Social Issues in Thailand (Lisa Carponelli and Lora Friedrich); No ECC designations
Preliminary cost estimate: $2,670 plus $25 for books, $50 for trip insurance, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
Students will take up three issues facing Thailand: the changing role of women in Buddhism, environmental concerns and the plight of the elephant and children living with HIV.   Students will begin researching and writing about these issues in the preparation course, and will then travel to Northern Thailand and meet with professionals working in each area.  Students will live in an elephant camp and interview the founder.  They will spend three days living with and learning from a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee who currently is the only female Abbot of a working Buddhist temple in Thailand.  Students will visit a social service agency working with children living with HIV.  Students will also meet with Thai journalists and will prepare multi-media presentations about what they learned when they return to campus.

The following courses have been cancelled for May Term 2014 and therefore are not accepting applications:

REL 197  Cathars and Crusades: Medieval Christianity in the South of France (Maeve Callan);  No ECC designations
Preliminary cost estimate: $3,065 plus $50 for books, $300 for meals not covered by course fee, $200 for personal travel on a long weekend, and $135 passport fee, if needed
Cathars considered themselves Christians, but the medieval church labeled them heretics and called a crusade against them, essentially obliterating them in the process.  This course explores Cathar theology and its differences from orthodox doctrine.  It considers the political, social, and cultural factors in the crusade against them as well as 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 massacres, battles, and other significant events in Cathar history.  Requirements include participation, a short response paper, a research paper, a presentation, and journal entries.

THTR 197  Theatre, Arts and Culture in Great Britain (Steve McLean); No ECC designations
Preliminary cost estimate: $4,830 plus $100 for playbills, $300 personal expenses, and $135 passport fee, if needed.
This travel 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.  Theatrical events will include performances and/or tours of the following:  Shakespeare’s New Globe Theatre, The Royal National Theatre, Theatrical Museum (London), The Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Museum and associated sites (Stratford) and the Royal Lyceum Theatre and Prestonfield Ceildeh (Edinburgh).  Important historical and cultural locations throughout the region will be visited and experienced as part of the course.  Students will research and present a report 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.