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. A limited number of need based scholarships are available for qualified applicants.
Palestine and Israel: Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
RS 355 (2 credits)
Date: December 28, 2016 - January 7, 2017 (tentative)
The course will explore the significance of the Holy Land (and the holiest of its cities, Jerusalem) in Judaism, Christianity and Islam through the centuries, but with particular emphasis on the contemporary situation. The course will adopt a broad perspective that will include theological, geographical, and archeological aspects significant to each of the monotheistic traditions. Of equal importance will be focus on how physical space, ideas, and cultural practice have given expression to the holiness of the land, as adherents of the three religions perceive it. Included are daily excursions to sites such as the Temple Mount, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, Jericho, The Galilee, Jordan River, and more.
Professor Edward Mahoney, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sajida Jalalzai, email@example.com
Cuba: Coral Reefs
BI 254 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 253 (Fall 2016; 2 credits)
Date: January 2017 (exact dates TBD)
This 2-credit course (BI254) is an intensive 11-day field course to study coral reefs and associated habitats in Cuba which has some of the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean. The course will focus on the health of diversity of the coral reefs as well as the ecology and behavior of the marine fish that live in association with a coral reef. Coral reefs are one of the most productive of the world’s ecosystems, and there is extraordinary complexity of interactions among the biotic and abiotic components. Studying this ecosystem in a direct and intensive way facilitates an understanding and appreciation of the intricate inter-relationships within a biological community. In addition, this fragile ecosystem provides us with an opportunity to observe and analyze the impact of various environmental threats, both natural and anthropogenic, such as coastal development, pollution, and global climate change.
We will be diving and researching at several different sites; students may snorkel or dive but must be SCUBA-certified in order to dive. All students who are selected for the trip will have to take a 2-credit fall course (BI253) entitled Coral Reef Ecology. This course covers the basic biology and ecology of the coral reef community. This course includes topics such as: the biology of corals; a phylogenetic overview of coral reef organisms; behavior of coral reef fishes; community ecology of the reef; and threats to coral reefs. Therefore, the students traveling to Cuba will have a strong theoretical background in coral reef ecology prior to the trip. The course involves readings, lectures, discussions and films.
Professor Mark Lubkowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Costa Rica: Tropical Ecology Study Tour
BI 250 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 151 or permission of the instructors
Date: December 30, 2016 - January 11, 2017
The course will meet for five 1.5 hour classes in the fall before going to Costa Rica over the semester break. The pre-trip classes will include an introduction to tropical ecology including tropical climates and topography and their effects on ecosystems and introductions to the ecosystems and sites we will visit. The sites include a tropical dry forest at Palo Verde National Park, a mid-elevation cloud forest at Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, and a premontane rain forest at Selve Verde Preserve. Activities at the sites will include guided hikes, our own group hikes, early morning bird walks, a boat ride, and night hikes. Students will generate study questions from observations made on the field trips and on the last full day at each site students gather data for a study that they have designed. Students will analyze and interpret the data and give oral presentations on their studies. Students will also keep a field journal on plants and animals we encounter and on their observations on conservation, ecotourism impacts, and sustainable development. Professor Peter Hope has been to Costa Rica 10 times and been to the sites numerous times.
Professor Peter Hope, email@example.com
Professor Ruth Fabian-Fine, firstname.lastname@example.org
France: Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy
HI/RS/AH/HU 280 (4 credits)
Date: May 2017
This program offers students first-hand experience of living at the place of SMC's origins in Burgundy – 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, email@example.com
India: Tea, Trekking and Tourism in the Himalayas (course details currently under review)
Date: May 2017
This course is based in Darjeeling, India, where students will explore Fair Trade initiatives on a tea plantation in Darjeeling, India. Students will live and work on a tea plantation for part of the trip. The other part of the trip will consist of exploring the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, interviewing trekking guides about the influence the trekking industry has had on Darjeeling locals, as well as taking a five day trek along the Nepal/India border, with amazing views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world.
Professor Adrie Kusserow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Robert Lair, email@example.com
Mongolia & China: In the Footsteps of Genghis Khan
MJD 226 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing and Permission of Instructor
Date: May 2017
Our course will explore the historical and cultural connections between Mongolia and China, with a focus on the Mongol Empire of ancient times, the 21st century People’s Republic of China, and the physical and digital walls that divide these two vital regions of Asia today. Students will read widely on the China/Mongolia relationship, explore the varied history of this region through multimedia research projects, and travel to Mongolia and China during the last two weeks of May to experience the rich culture and history of this region firsthand. The program schedule includes a 7 day trip into Mongolia and 4 days in Beijing (with visits to the Great Wall of China, including a hike on the Wild Wall).
Professor Traci Griffith, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Rob Williams, email@example.com
Tanzania: Applied Health & Development Approaches in East Africa
PO 353/MJD 226 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: PO 352/MJD 352 (Spring 2017; 2 credits)
Prerequisite for PO 352: PO 351
Prerequisite for MJD 352: MJD 110
Date: May - June 2017
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 Jon Williamson, email@example.com
Wales: Environmental Study of Sustainable Places
ES 244 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: ES243 Environmental Study of Sustainable Places (Spring 2017; 2 credits)
Date: May 18 - June 1, 2017 (tentative)
In this study abroad trip, students will link ecological and aesthetic perspectives as they witness how the Welsh have integrated a green sensibility to their political and cultural identity. We examine "place" by hiking in a geo-global national park, interacting with environmental policy makers, entrepreneurs, artists, and designers and walking within an historical landscape including castles, cathedrals and the Welsh coastal path full of inspiring topography, ancient relics, and timeless villages. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a research project (which may include an artistic inquiry or global issues component) developed in the spring half course and implemented in Wales.
Professor Jeffrey Ayres, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Jonathan Silverman, email@example.com