Over the upcoming J-term, 300 students and 14 faculty members will be traveling abroad and learning about their studies on a deeper, more hands-on level than the normal classroom setting allows.
There are 27 different class choices among the six different destinations students can participate in. Some of these include a GoPro class in Peru, a service learning trip to Guyana, Geological foundations of Italy and Greece, Science and Democracy in Germany and Switzerland and Video Production of the Mercy Tradition in Ireland.
Heidi Hosey-McGurk, Ph.D., associate provost and dean of International Programs is taking a class to Peru for two weeks to study Peruvian culture through narrative. The class will be going to Machu Picchu and will take a tour of a rainforest canopy.
The other students going on the Peru trip in Pete Stadtmueller’s class will be filming around the country with GoPros.
Tibor Solymosi, Ph.D., is teaching a class on science and democracy which will take the students to Switzerland and Germany.
“I’m just tickled pink that we’re going there,” said Solymosi when discussing the CERN laboratory, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Switzerland. “It’s a demonstration of human achievement on many levels of science and democracy.”
Solymosi is especially interested in the balance of the old and the new in European countries.
“We just can’t quite get that here because we’re such a new country,” Solymosi said.
The biggest group of students, a group of 36, will be going to Italy and Greece to study one of two classes: Ethics and Religion or Geological Foundations.
For those who enjoy the J-term because of the ease and structure of travel, there are already plans for how study abroad will work with the new semester system.
There may be even more possibilities to travel than what there are with the existing J-term calendar. Study abroad travel can occur during the first mini-semester of spring term, or within the days between fall and spring semesters.
Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but the new semester system may open up a new range of opportunities in the Study Abroad program, according to Hosey-McGurk.
“We want to reassure students that all of the programs are moving forward and Ireland goes full steam ahead,” Hosey-McGurk said.
The university will continue to offer a 10-week semester in Dungarvan, Ireland.