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.
Cuba: Ridge to Reefs
BI 254 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 253 (Fall2015; 2 credits)
Date: January 2016
As fragile ecosystems, coral reefs are vulnerable to many different environmental factors (e.g., climate change, sea level rise, pollution, direct human damage), but one of the most devastating to them is local run-off from agricultural fields and coastal development. The trip will involve a study of Cuban coral reefs, comparing those in more isolated regions where damage is minimal, with those in more highly developed areas where the damage is significant. Cuba is fortunate to have some of the most pristine and healthy reefs in the world. In addition, we will look at the connection between the local coastal environment in terms of development, agriculture and pollution factors. Particularly with the recent opening of Cuba to American travelers, it is a good opportunity to work with Cuban marine scientists from the University of Havana on a plan to protect the coral reefs in areas where tourism may potentially have a negative impact. Students will spend a good amount of time in the water, evaluating the health of coral reefs. They may do this via snorkeling, or scuba diving. If they wish to scuba dive, they will need to be certified before they go to Cuba.
In the pre-trip course (2 credits) in fall of 2015, Students will learn the biology of coral reefs and the general challenges to their conservation and preservation world-wide, focusing on the impact of local coastal ecosystems on the adjoining reefs.
Professor Karen Talentino, email@example.com
Professor Mark Lubkowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brazil: Social Development & Environment
AN 310 (4 credits)
Date: May 2016
This course will explore intersections between social and economic development and the natural environment in the largest and most biologically diverse country in the Americas, Brazil. The class will include a detailed look at the contemporary challenges of economic, environmental and social sustainability in the dynamic cultural landscape of modern day Brazil. Students will learn directly from non-profit organizations working on important topics such as poverty, cultural preservation and indigenous rights, racial equality, and challenges facing the environmental movement in Brazil. Daily field visits to eco-tourism projects, community development initiatives, and advocacy organizations working at the intersection of social development and environmental protection will enable students to understand these issues from multiple perspectives. Participants will interact directly with Brazilian families in a homestay experience and will also devote several hours volunteering with a non-profit community organization.
Class instruction will include 1-2 days of intensive pre-departure classwork on campus followed by 10-12 days of in-country travel and study in Brazil. Although "survival Portuguese" will be taught during the pre-departure phase, interested students are strongly encouraged to pursue independent language study in either Spanish or Portuguese in advance of the trip.
Professor Delaney has lived and worked in Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries for most of her professional career. This course will take advantage of her many professional and personal contacts in Brazil.
Professor Patricia Delaney, email@example.com
England: Shakespeare in Performance
EN 307 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: EN 306, offered Spring 2016
Date: May 17 - 30, 2016
This course on Shakespeare's plays in performance on stage is an intensive two-week study trip to England and to summer performances of Shakespeare's plays by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as by other companies in other venues, including London. Field trips will include Oxford University and Blenheim Palace (site for the filming of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet).
While the 2-credit study trip in England will focus on the summer performances that students will witness on the stage, the 2-credit spring course on campus will focus directly on performances of Shakespeare's plays on screen. Taken together, the sequence of two 2-credit courses will satisfy requirements in Experiential Learning and in the LSC (Literary Studies) or in the English major (300 level). The spring course will focus on screen performances of five of Shakespeare's plays, and the summer study trip will focus on stage interpretations of the five Shakespeare plays we will attend.
Professor Nick Clary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Joan Wry, email@example.com
France: Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy
HI/RS/AH/HU 280 (4 credits)
Date: May 2016
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guyana: A Study in Service
GL 341 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: Required 2-credit pre-trip course in Spring 2016.
In addition, PH 351 (also offered in Spring 2016) is recommended, though not required
Date: May 2016
The main focus of this trip will be twofold. We will offer support to a variety of organizations in Georgetown, Guyana that provide care for individuals living in vulnerable communities (orphanages, a leprosy residence, and a geriatric institution), and we will philosophically explore the meaning of the ethical relationship we have with others in our global world. Students will discuss both the universality of struggle in situations of marginalization in any setting and the non-universal, unique circumstances that individuals face. Grounded upon the radical ethical theory of a contemporary philosopher, our coursework will consider the nature of human relatedness and responsibility and the challenges of enacting justice and engaging in genuine service to others. Along the way, we will also learn about the variety of cultural influences in Guyana and spend a few days in an Arawak village in the Interior. Guyana’s history provides an excellent example of many factors that contribute to global marginalization experienced in the developing world. Students will learn this history and gain understanding of Guyana’s politics, economics, and culture through course readings and engagement with Guyanese individuals. A collaborative project with our Guyanese hosts will give students an opportunity to utilize their talents, skills, and education to create long-term benefit for the service organizations we will serve in Guyana.
Professor Katie Kirby, email@example.com
Domestic Soldiers: Life in Wartime Britain (Bath, England)
*Course offered through Advanced Studies in England (4 credits)
Date: June 4 - July 9, 2016
1936 was a fascinating time in history. Europe was on the verge of World War II, the Olympics were held in Germany, Britain and other democracies were being tested by fascism and communism, Spain was engaged in a brutal civil war, economic depression was prevalent, and technology was reshaping daily life. It was a time ripe for artists to depict the political, economic, social, and environmental upheavals that were occurring.
In this course the many stories and perspectives of 1936 serve as a case study for students in Education (elementary, secondary, or art) and Humanities (History, Political Science, English, Art for example) to embellish skills in both pedagogy and historical inquiry. Although we transition back 80 years the intent is to actively explore inspiring teaching strategies that connect events that occurred in Britain such as the Jarrow Crusade, Battle of Cable Street, and Edward VIII’s abdication of the crown to our current global challenges of human rights; religious and political fanaticism; education, economic, and gender inequity; and environmental anesthesia. Historical novels, poetry, diaries, speeches, newspaper articles, paintings, artifacts, performances, and a study trip to London inspire us to analyze, reflect, and present interpretations on the complex events of 1936 that foreshadowed World War II. This course fulfills the LSC Global Issues requirement. (For those in Education this course would fulfill the ED300 requirement for Elementary or Art Education majors, the required elective for the Secondary Education major, or an elective for Education minors.
Please note: This course is not an SMC Academic Study Trip, but is an Advanced Studies in England (ASE) summer course taught by SMC Professor Jonathan Silverman, firstname.lastname@example.org. Professor Silverman’s course is one of two courses a student would take during the summer in Bath, England. The other course would be choice between Jane Austen in Bath or the Triumph of Georgian Bath. For more information on ASE: http://www.studyabroadbath.org/drupal6/ase_prod/