Faculty-Led Academic Trips provide a remarkable opportunity for an intensive learning experience with a group of Saint Michael's College students and faculty. This year's trips reflect our commitment to international education and to experiential learning. We recognize that not all students can afford to study abroad for an entire semester, and these courses represent an exciting alternative. Trip destinations have been carefully selected to immerse students in their learning and to integrate their theoretical knowledge with the perspective of place. Most people will agree that this is the best way to learn and to retain knowledge. All trips meet the Experiential Learning Requirement if successfully completed.
If you have questions about any of these trips, please contact the faculty members who are indicated as the instructors for the course as soon as possible. Trip size will be limited, and a minimum number of students must register in order for the course to proceed. Travel expenses are paid by the students prior to the trip according to a schedule of payments established by the College. Academic Study Trips are not eligible for tuition remission. Half tuition is charged (per credit) during the winter or summer session.
Sustainable Food Systems: Cuba
ES 335 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: ES 330 (fall 2014; 2 credits)
Global Issues LSC when both courses are taken
December 29, 2014 - January 8, 2015 (tentative)
A national priority for Cuba is to be self-sufficient with respect to food production. Currently, Cuba is far from meeting this goal and several competing ideas have emerged ranging from large scale agriculture to small organic farms. This two credit course will travel to Cuba to examine the various approaches to Cuban agriculture, how the intersection of culture, politics, and science has shaped the Cuban food system, and how Cuban farmers are trying to meet the food demands of the island. Students will interact with Cubans who work in the various points of the food system by visiting farms, markets, research stations, urban patio gardens, and restaurants that serve local foods.
Professor Michael Bosia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Mark Lubkowitz, email@example.com
Professor Patti Delaney, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tropical Ecology Study Tour: Costa Rica
BI 250 (2 credits)
December 29, 2014 - January 9, 2015
The course meets for five 1.5 hour classes in the fall before going to Costa Rica over the semester break. The first and last nights will be spent in the capital. The group will visit two sites: Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve (we also visit a neighboring premontane moist forest) and Selve Verde Preserve which is a premontane rain forest. During the last full day at each site students gather data for a study that they have designed. Students analyze the data, and give an oral presentation of their findings. Activities at the sites include guided hikes, solo hikes, early morning bird walks, a boat ride, and night hikes. Students generate their study questions from observations made on these field trips.
Professor Peter Hope, email@example.com
Professor Scott Lewins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Music and Dance in Ghana (West Africa)
MU 272(2 credits)
MU 376 or 271 (must be taken before or after trip)
December 2014 - January 2015
Ghana, West Africa is a country rich in traditional music, dance, and other arts that are vital to social expression and identity. This study trip will bring you to Kopeyia, a village in the Volta Region of Ghana on the border with Togo. There you will have a rare chance to explore the rich musical traditions of the Ewe (pronounced "EH-vey") ethnic group under the guidance of master musicians and dancers of the Dagbe Center for Arts and Culture. Additionally, you will have time to explore the Volta Region via its beautiful traditional ceremonies, food, and daily life of the village while creating friendships that bridge the gap of distance and individual identity. Returning to Saint Michael's, the group will present their studies in a final concert/presentation at the end of spring semester.
This course has been approved as an LSC: Artistic Experience.
Professor Josselyne Price, email@example.com
From Cardiff to Pembroke: an Aesthetic, Cultural and Environmental Study of Place in Wales, UK
Contingent upon CEPC approval (2 credits)
Prerequisite: a required 2 credit course in the spring
In this study abroad trip, students will link ecological and aesthetic perspectives to witness how the Welsh have integrated a green sensibility to their cultural identity. We examine "place" by residing in a geo-global national park, interacting with environmental policy makers and artists, and walking within a historical landscape full of inspiring topography ancient relics and timeless villages. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a research project (that may include an artistic inquiry) developed in the spring half course and implemented in Wales.
The required half-course in the spring will provide additional preparation for the trip.
This course has been approved as an LSC: Artistic Experience.
Professor Jonathan Silverman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Jeff Ayres, email@example.com
Applied Health and Development Approaches in East Africa: Tanzania
PO 353/MJD353 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: PO 352/MJD 352 (2 credits; spring 2015)
Prerequisite for PO 352: PO 351
Prerequisite for MJD 352: MJD110
May 12 - June 2, 2015 (tentative)
This service learning course includes an intensive two week field course based at the Ilula Orphan Program (IOP) in Iringa, Tanzania. Students will travel to Tanzania to observe first-hand the development challenges related to HIV/AIDS, water scarcity, education, and poverty being addressed by the IOP. The service learning component of the course will involve updating the IOP's educational and development materials, including the website, and producing at least one completed grant application. Students will be expected to complete this work in a one-week work session following completion of the two weeks in-country.
Professor Patricia Siplon, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Jerry Swope, email@example.com
The Great (Fire) Wall - 21st Century Chinese Media and Culture: China
MJD 226 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing and Permission of Instructor
May 14 - May 26, 2015
Our Beijing, China trip will be the culmination of a semester-long course in MJDA program on 21st century Chinese media and culture. The trip will involve a comparative cross-cultural perspective on the ways in which 21st century Chinese media users use new digital media platforms for work and play, news and information sharing, and how different Chinese individuals and organizations - the dissident artist Ai Wei Wei, the LongBow documentary film group, or the Chinese Communist Party - utilize the Internet for information sharing and surveillance.
Professor Traci Griffith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Rob Williams, email@example.com
Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy: France
HI/RS/AH/HU 280 (4 credits)
This program offers students first-hand experience of living in the place of SMC's origins – a 12th-century abbey – while studying medieval history and culture in its original context. Classes held every other day in Pontigny prepare students for site visits the next day to castles, churches, cathedrals, battlefields, abbeys, archeological excavations, towns and cities, museums and libraries. In this way reading, studying and exploring the material remains of this culture are integrated.
Terryl Kinder (Distinguished Visiting Professor of Fine Arts), a practicing medieval archeologist, lives in the town of Pontigny and speaks fluent French. The places the students will visit are an integral part of her research and some are not otherwise open to the public.
Professor Terryl Kinder, firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Nomads: Youth, Television, Trekking in the Buddhist Himalayas
Contingent upon CEPC approval (2 credits)
Prerequisite: spring 2-credit cultural anthropology course "Youth, Global Media and Indigenous Culture in the Himalayas"
June 7 - 24, 2015 (tentative)
Ladakh is a high-altitude desert on the Tibetan Plateau in the trans-Himalayan area of northern India between Pakistan and Tibet. It has often been described as “Little Tibet” and is predominantly Tibetan Buddhist. Until the mid-1960’s when a road was built to link the region with the rest of the country, Ladakh remained almost totally isolated from the forces of modernization. In 1975 the region was opened up to foreign tourists and the process of development began in earnest. This course involves anthropological field work on the current processes of globalization and the pressure to modernize among Buddhist youth in Ladakh, primarily focusing on the influence of television. What perceptions of “the West” do Ladakhi youth have? How do these influence their own conception of self, daily behaviors and visions of their future? What kinds of pressures to modernize does television now have on Ladakhi youth and how can a more critical awareness of many of television’s myths be taught?
For program details: Ladakh Poster
Professor Adrie Kusserow, email@example.com
Professor Robert Lair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic Soldiers: Life in Wartime Britain (Bath, England)
*Course offered through Advanced Studies in England (4 credits)
June 6 - July 11, 2015
In Britain, World War Two is popularly known as the "People's War." In the propaganda of the war, every woman, man, and child in Britain played an integral role in the fight against the Nazi "menace." If official rhetoric stressed the importance of the ordinary Briton in wartime, German bombs underscored that significance: everyone was on the front line of the war. Across the United Kingdom, from London to Glasgow to Belfast, and even Bath, individuals and families endured high explosive, incendiary, and unmanned flying bombs that forever changed lives and the cityscapes people knew so intimately.
In this class, we will read the diaries of ordinary Britons and explore the war through their eyes. These diarists have left behind stories that have often been overlooked in the history of the war. They remind us that politics and battles were important, but at the same time, they played only a small role in ordinary people's lives. As we listen to their voices, we will follow them as they take shelter during the Blitz and walk through the rubble left behind, grapple with food scarcities and rationing, and struggle to live up to the demands of the People's War. The power of the People's War remains to this day, and understanding that power and the war as lived in Britain is, in large part, to begin to understand modern Britain.
Overnight Trip: To London, for the Imperial War Museum and the Churchill War Rooms. Additionally, a day hike out of Minehead for spectacular views and to walk in the footsteps of one of the diarists.
*This is not a SMC academic study trip. The course is offered by Advanced Studies in England (ASE), but will be taught by SMC Professor Jennifer Purcell,
email@example.com. Students have the option of taking an additional 4 credit course, resulting in 8 credits earned for the summer session.
Contact the Study Abroad Office for information regarding registration.