May Term 2018 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 still accepting applications as of December 8, 2017 include:

 In Africa:

 SEA 297-GHA  Ghana, The Heart of West African Culture (Carolyn Dallinger & Walter Lain); ECC: Global Perspective & Collaborative Leadership

Actual cost: $3,890 plus $180 for meals not covered by course fee, $60 visa fee, $80 for recommended immunizations and $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course will allow students to learn about various concepts of the global community by intensively studying the culture and people of Ghana, Africa. Students will learn about the sociological principles of race, poverty and social welfare systems within the culture of a developing sub-Saharan African country.  Students will also learn the impact of the Atlantic slave trade from sub-Sahara Africa to the Americas. Students will engage in service learning projects within rural and/or urban schools. Students will learn about the culture of Ghana by engaging in interactive methods including eating, dancing, cooking and a naming ceremony in the traditional method. Students will be involved in extensive reflection activities (both written and verbal), quizzes, journal writing, presentations and research project of current events.

In Central or South America or the Caribbean region:

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

Actual cost: $5,100  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 ecotourists can do in Costa Rica.  Costa Rica is one of the leaders in ecotourism.  Tourism has surpassed coffee as the largest sector of the Costa Rican economy, but in recent years, 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.  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.

In Europe:

 SEA 297-FIN  Finland:  Less is More (Marcy Hahn); ECC:  Global Perspective

Actual Cost: $5,065 plus $300 for meals not covered by course fee, $50 for books, $250 for optional entertainment and travel in- country, and $135 passport fee, if needed.

Side-by-side, the American and Finnish school systems are quite similar. Yet, Finnish students out-perform American students at an alarming rate. This course will delve into the educational, social, political, and economic differences and similarities between Finland and the United States. Students will learn about different pedagogical approaches followed in Finland and the innovative use of learning environments. Students will learn first-hand while interacting with professors in university education programs, public school teachers, and fellow students. Coursework will include in-depth readings, learning journals, a final paper, and a presentation the following fall semester. Prerequisite: EDUC114 or instructor permission.

SEA 197-SPA  Colliding Cultures:  Capturing Spanish through Photography
(Luke Behaunek & Tracy Dinesen); ECC:  Global Perspective

Actual cost: $3,600 plus $500 for camera equipment (assuming new equipment is purchased), and $135 passport fee, if needed.

The Iberian Peninsula has been home to many cultures throughout history. Each of these cultures found ways to not only use, but also improve the structures created by prior peoples. This course will explore the blending and colliding of cultures though architecture, art, food and other cultural expressions. As we explore Spain you will also capture cultural blends through your own photography. You will learn digital photography skills and editing software basics. These skills will enable you to capture not just our experiences, but those you have after our course as well. Note: Students must provide their own DSLR Camera or other sophisticated digital camera.

Courses which are full but are still receiving applications for places on a waitlist, should vacancies occur:

SEA 197-CAY  Coral Reef and Marine Biology on Little Cayman Island  (Ryan Rehmeier & Clint Meyer);

ECC: Scientific Reasoning

Actual cost: $4,950 if not SCUBA certified or $4,200 if already SCUBA certified plus $50 for optional immunizations, $80 for personal diving equipment (mask, snorkel, fins), and $135 passport fee, if needed.

This course explores marine environments surrounding Little Cayman Island.  Students learn about the ecology of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, intertidal environments, and mangroves. There is 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 are advised in the proper design and implementation of marine biology research, and they carry out group research projects and present their results to the class. This course is designed for biology or non-biology majors genuinely interested in science and has no prerequisites.

SEA 197-NZE  From A to NZ: An Exploration of Physical Activity and Recreation in New Zealand  (Cal Busby & Nate Hansen); ECC: Global Perspective

Actual cost: $5,150 plus $60 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. For a final project, students will create a travel guide, highlighting opportunities to participate in physical activity for each of the locations we visit during our travel course.

Courses which are no longer accepting additional applications:

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

ECC: Global Perspective, Intercultural Communication, & Collaborative Leadership

Actual cost: $2,925 plus $50 for some meals, $100 for optional immunizations, $150 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. The class system that exists is such that a few control most of the wealth, while the majority of the population lives in poverty with little access to systems of upwardly mobility. This course will explore historical and sociological reasons for the political, social, and economic reality of the Dominican Republic today. Additionally, it will endeavor to stimulate students to engage in a comparative evaluation of cultural perspectives by engaging in interaction with underprivileged segments of the local population through service.

SEA 197-WWI  In the Trenches of World War I:  London, Paris and Belgium  (Rebecca Livingstone & Judy Walden); ECC: Global Perspective

Actual cost: $4,400 plus $300 for meals not covered by course fee, $50 for books, 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.  By traveling to key battle sites and visiting numerous monuments and cemeteries, students will learn of the experiences of the soldiers in the trenches of the Western Front and how the war was 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.

Courses which have been cancelled for May Term 2018 due to low enrollment:

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

Preliminary cost estimate: $3,600 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.