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 2018/2019 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.
Costa Rica: Field Tropical Ecology
BI 250 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: BI 151 or permission of the instructors
Date: December 28, 2018 - January 9, 2019
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, their effects on ecosystems, and introductions to the ecosystems and sites we will visit. Those 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 La Selva Biological Station. Activities at the sites will include guided hikes, our own group hikes, early morning bird walks, a boat ride, night hikes, and even some ziplining in the cloud forest. 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 the study that they designed. Students will analyze and interpret the data, and give oral presentations of their results. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Paul Constantino, email@example.com
Professor Scott Lewins, firstname.lastname@example.org
Palestine and Israel: Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
RS 355 (2 credits)
Date: December 27, 2018 - January 8, 2019
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, email@example.com
Professor Jeffrey Trumbower, firstname.lastname@example.org
France: Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy
HI/RS/AH/HU 280 (4 credits)
Date: May 2019
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
Kyoto: An Aesthetic Perspective on Place
AR 262 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: AR 261 (Spring 2019, 2 credits)
Date: May 16 - 31, 2019
In this two week course students will be immersed in the rich aesthetics of Japan. Based in Kyoto, students will witness the interplay between arts, history, spirituality, education, culture, and the environment. By visiting temples, gardens, schools, and arts studios, sampling cuisine, and witnessing the integration of contrasts between tradition and modernity students will be inspired to engage in their own creative process.
The primary residence will be in Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. Kyoto was chosen as it has many temples, shrines, gardens, and studios to explore, and offers a central place to visit traditional villages, schools, and other nearby cultural centers. From interactions with local artists and educators and visiting many cultural sites students will understand such unique aesthetic characteristics as intentional asymmetry, economy of space, focus on color, and fluid design that will influence their own artistic inquiry through a traditional Japanese art form such as ceramics, dye, or ink and brush painting.
Professor Jonathan Silverman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Hideko Furukawa, email@example.com
South Africa: Apartheid, Revolution, and Representation
TBA (2 credits)
Date: May - June, 2019
In this course, philosophical understandings of difference, power, resistance, and liberation/freedom will be explored through examination of the important social, political, and ethical lessons of apartheid. The course focuses strongly on issues of representation and mediation, with specific reference to the use of media in shaping, maintaining, and eventually overthrowing the apartheid system in South Africa. Students will be encouraged to explore comparisons and contrasts between South Africa and the United States, in terms of racial oppression, resistance movements, and the power of media in shaping understanding and society.
Students will consider philosophical theories underpinning media practice and analysis, foregrounding the social role of the media and their relationship to South African culture and society. On this study tour students will analyze key areas: cultural and critical theory; media texts, institutions, and audiences; representation, discourse, and ideology; propaganda and revolutionary forms of critique; postmodernism and new media. The goals of the class are to provide students with: an understanding of apartheid and how such a system could be “sold” to people; a vision of the power of resistance and media-based methods of revolution; a basic conceptual framework for understanding, analyzing, and discussing the place of media in society; and the concentration of media texts and their impact on societal formation.
Professor Katie Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Traci Griffith, email@example.com
Wales: Environmental Study of Sustainable Places
ES 244 (2 credits)
Prerequisite: ES243 Environmental Study of Sustainable Places (Spring 2019; 2 credits)
Date: May 16 - 31, 2019 (tentative)
This two-week academic study trip focuses on how the nation of Wales in the United Kingdom has integrated the principle of sustainability throughout its policies and institutions, economy and culture. Specifically, since the first Welsh National Assembly in 1999, Wales has been devoted to promoting sustainable development, a duty that has been further underscored by the passing of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act in 2015. This new law places a clear duty on public bodies in Wales—from councils, hospitals and schools—to consider the long-term interests of future generations while making decisions on present-day concerns. The new Act also shapes how Wales is delivering on the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets. The course offers environmental, political and cultural field studies, on-site guest lectures, and exchange of ideas, interests and research and projects with University of Wales-Trinity Saint David students and faculty. The Carmarthen campus of the university will serve as the program base and is a short walk from downtown Carmarthen, the oldest city in Wales. This location provides easy access to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, environmental and cultural centers, economic and cultural hubs, and multi-day hikes through the Brecon Beacon National Park and the Coastal Path.
Professor Jeffrey Ayres, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Laura Stroup, email@example.com