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Previous Study Seminars

2019 – Discover China

Understanding Contemporary History, Society, and Culture
May 13-25, 2019

The China trip will focus on the socio-cultural and historic juxtapositions found in contemporary China. With China’s active participation in the global economy and the 2008 Olympics, Chinese culture and society are not only experiencing the mingling of traditional civilization and western modernization, but are also facing the challenges of a significant gap between rich and poor, old and new, east and west. By visiting Shanghai (the economic/financial center); Nanjing (the old capital during WWII under the Nationalist Party), Beijing (the political and cultural centers under the Communist Party); Xi’an (origin of ancient civilization), and touring with Chinese college peers, our students will have opportunities to see, feel and understand the dramatic changes, as well as the daily enjoyment and struggles, of the Chinese people.

Leaders: Associate Professor Kun An and Professor Gerry Sherayko

2019 – Discover Iceland

Exploring Geology and Sustainability
May 16-18 plus 7-day trip to Iceland May 20-27, 2019

Iceland is a land of geological splendor, featuring glacier-carved valleys, geysers and bubbling hot springs. Iceland is also an innovator in sustainable development, harnessing several forms of renewable energy and featuring sustainable urban planning and agriculture. In this summer study tour, we’ll explore Iceland’s amazing natural features and experience how the country has become a model for sustainable planning. Things heat up at Geysir geothermal area, cool down at Thorsmork Glacier Valley, and turn simply breathtaking at Gullfoss waterfall. We’ll also seek a glimpse of marine mammals on a whale watching tour. Before we depart for Iceland, we will spend a few days in Virginia honing our geologic skills and exploring how our own geologic history relates to Iceland’s current geologic setting.

Leaders: Professor Karin Warren and Associate Professor Sarah Sojka


2018 Immigration: Ireland to New York

Leaders: Professor Gerard Sherayko and Professor John D’Entremont

2018 Korea

Leader: Visiting Professor Seyong Kim

2017 Economic Well-being in Cuba

May 15-23, 2017

This course explores the universal quest for economic well-being through the socialist approach of Cuba. The contrasted market-based approach in the United States will be used to deepen students understanding of how macroeconomic systems affect individual outcomes. A travel component allows students to experience life under a different economic order and to directly observe indicators of economic well-being in a developing country.

Professor: Andria Smythe, Assistant Professor of Economics.

2017 Renaissance Art Study Tour

Florence and Rome
May 18-31, 2017

This two-week study tour will travel to sites where Renaissance art can still be seen in its original location and context. The group will also study art in the outstanding museum collections in Florence and Rome. Day trips to cities such as Siena and Ostia are also on the itinerary.

Professor: Andrea Campbell, Associate Professor of Art History


2016 The Occupier and the Occupied

Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands
May 16-29, 2016

World War I and World War II are the most significant events of the 20th century.  The world’s major powers—Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, Japan, and the United States—engaged in global struggles whose consequences are still very much with us today.  In Europe, Germany was the center of both conflicts.  During the course of both wars German forces overran, fought in, and occupied neighboring countries and, in the case of World War II, imposed its racial policies that came to be known as the Holocaust.  This course will examine Germany’s role in the two world wars and the impact of those wars in two of Germany’s neighbors, Belgium and the Netherlands.  The course will cover topics such as the planning and execution of the war for “race and space,” the impact of the war on soldiers and civilians, and how Germans, Belgians, and the Dutch have remembered and memorialized the wars from 1914 to today.

During the travel portion of the seminar, among other sites we will visit World War I battlefields and memorials in Belgium, the Anne Frank House and Dutch Resistance Museum in the Netherlands, and the Wannsee Conference House and Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Berlin.

Professors: Gerard Sherayko, Professor of History and Marjorie Wheeler-Barclay, Charles A. Dana Professor of History.

2016 Environment and Global Change in Costa Rica

Costa Rica
May 17-26, 2016

Costa Rica comprises nearly 5 percent of global biodiversity, and boasts the world’s highest “Happy Planet Index” score of human well-being and environmental impact. In this study tour, we will examine how Costa Rica is balancing biodiversity preservation with the pressures of ecotourism and climate change. Come explore diverse ecosystems including cloud forests, volcanoes, tropical canopies, and coastal mangroves, and learn hands-on with local experts.

Professor: Karin Warren, Associate Professor and Herzog Family Chair of Environmental Studies


2015 Provence, Romans to Romance and Beyond

Provence, France
May 18-May 31, 2015

From a base in the ancient walled city of Avignon, a UNESCO world heritage site, and European Capital of Culture in 2000, students will study the history, art, politics, society, and language of this stunningly beautiful part of the world. The course is an exploration of what gives Provence and the provenceaux a shared sense of history and culture.

Professor: Alexander Chabot, adjunct instructor in modern languages

2015 Hybrid Cultures: Creative Expressions across Islamic Spain and Post-Colonial Morocco

Spain and Morocco
May 17-29, 2015

During this journey through Islamic Spain and Post-Colonial Morocco, students will ride a camel, walk through UNESCO World Heritage site, and more while exploring expressions of gender, national identity, and the intersection of past and present in art, architecture, film and literature.

Professors: Leanne Zalewski, assistant professor of art, and Jennifer Gauthier, associate professor of communication

2015 Archaeological Conservation Institute

Sardinia and Rome, Italy
May 18-June 13, 2015

Explore beautiful Italy while receiving instruction and hands-on experience in the conservation methods of Roman fresco and mosaics at the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica and stone carving in Rome with Peter Rockwell. Students will also participate in an excavation at a Nuraghic settlement in Sant’Imbenia.   More information…

Professor: Susan Stevens, professor of classics and The Catherine E. and William E. Thoresen Chair in Humanities.

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