Faculty-Led Academic Trips provide a remarkable opportunity for an intensive learning experience with a group of Saint Michael's College students and faculty. The 2018 offerings 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.
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: Coral Reefs and Culture
BI 254 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 253 (Fall 2017: 2 credits)
Date: January 2018 (exact dates TBD)
This 2-credit course is an intensive 12-day field study trip 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 and diversity of several reefs that have been studied by SMC students since 2013 in collaboration with scientists from the University of Havana’s Marine Institute. Underwater transect and quadrat analysis are used to compare the levels of coral diversity and coverage on reefs that have different levels of human influences (e.g., pollution, agriculture, tourism). Studying the coral reef ecosystem facilitates and understanding and appreciation of the intricate inter-relationships within an extraordinarily complex biological community. In addition, this fragile ecosystem provides 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. A secondary goal of the trip is to provide students with the opportunity to observe the cultural changes that are taking place in this unique country which has had a tumultuous relationship with the U.S.
We will be diving and carrying out research at several different sites; students may snorkel or dive but must be SCUBA-certified in order to dive. In order for us to carry out the research, a majority of the students will need to be divers. All students who are selected for the trip have to take a 2-credit fall course (BI253) entitled Coral Reef Ecology (which is open to all students).
Professor Karen Talentino, email@example.com
Palestine and Israel: Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
RS 355 (2 credits)
Date: December 27, 2017 - January 8, 2018 (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 Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, Jericho, The Galilee, Jordan River, and more.
This Study Trip will be led by Faculty from the Religious Studies Department.
Canada: French Language and Quebecois Culture in Quebec City
Course code and credits - TBD
Prerequisite: None. Students must take a language placement exam prior to registration if they have not yet completed a French course at Saint Michael's College.
Dates: Mid-May to early June (exact dates TBD)
Study French in Quebec City! On this academic study trip, students will spend the morning taking intensive language courses. Afternoons will be spent visiting important historical and cultural sites in Quebec City and the surrounding area. Students will learn about the history of Quebec City and the region, exploring the historical and cultural connections between France and Quebec, as well as the history of the Quebec independence movement. Site visits may include the Citadelle of Quebec, the Museum of Francophone America, Quebec's Islamic Center, and Trois Riviè res or Montmorency Falls.
Professor Kristin Juel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Laurence Clerfeuille, email@example.com
England: Shakespeare in Performance
EN307 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: EN 306 (Spring 2018: 2 credits)
Date: May 15-26 or May 26-June 5, 2018 (exact dates TBD)
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 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 Kerry Shea, firstname.lastname@example.org
France: Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy
HI/RS/AH/HU 280 (4 credits)
Date: May 2018
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
Professor Marie-France Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guyana: A Study in Solidarity
GL341 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: Required 2-credit pre-trip course in Spring 2018
In addition, PH 351 (also offered in Spring 2018) is recommended, though not required.
Date: May 2018 (exact dates TBD)
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