Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs Planned
Several faculty-led study abroad experiences are scheduled for this spring and summer. They provide students with a wide range of opportunities to add an international dimension to their academic careers. Most are relatively short in duration – three to four weeks, on average – but the meaningful impact on students and the memories they generate last much longer.
A recent example involved a group of students who took a field trip to Greece last March and spent two nights at Rafti, a mountain village in the middle of the Peloponnese (pictured). Wildfires ravaged the area in August, killing more than 60 people. The students were so moved by the destruction and motivated by their positive experience months earlier that they raised money to help any Rafti resident directly affected by the fires.
Robbie Goodrich and Bill Mihalopoulos (History) led the field trip. “When I returned to Greece over the winter break to visit my parents, I gave the contribution to the Rev. Tsitouras, the local priest who helped us with accommodation during our stay in Rafti,” said Mihalopoulos. “The community was extremely grateful for the consideration of NMU students and for not forgetting them.”
Upcoming faculty-led programs include the following:
●Alternative and Complementary Health Care in Peru: During this summer session course, taught by Julie Higbie and Barbara Wittler (Nursing), students will have an opportunity to learn about the culture of Peru and at the same time learn about the five major areas of complementary and alternative medicine, as outlined by the National Institutes of Health: alternative health care systems; mind-body interventions; biologically based therapies; manipulative and body-based healing methods; and energy therapies.
●Social Changes in China and Tai Chi: These two classes are being offered together as a four-week program in China, beginning on May 11. Students will be introduced to the social environment, culture, people and the changes in China during the past few decades. They will practice with masters of calligraphy and landscape painting in China’s premier fine arts universities and learn to meditate and strengthen their bodies through the study of Tai Chi. It is led by Renxin Yang (Sociology/Social Work).
●Genres in Writing, Travel Writing: John Smolens (English) is teaching this course, which offers students a workshop that will allow them to write personal narratives based on international travel experiences. The course involves on-campus study during the winter 2008 semester and includes a tour of Italy over spring break.
●Hamlet in Sweden (and Denmark): This three-week course will take place in May at Växjö University in southern Sweden. Students from NMU and Växjö will read the play, explore its sources, discuss the contradictions between its various texts and review the critical response to the play over the last four centuries. Jim Schiffer (English) also will supplement the reading material with various film versions of Hamlet and accompany students to Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, Denmark, which was built on the site of Elsinor Castle, where the play is set. Students will also learn about Swedish history and culture through occasional lectures from colleagues at Växjö University.
●Special Topics Nursing Course, South Africa: The focus will be on the HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis pandemics in Pretoria, South Africa. It will feature lectures by Anna Sanford and Kathleen Thompson (Nursing) and by University of Pretoria faculty. Open to all nursing majors, the course includes visits to the University of Pretoria, public and private hospitals and clinics, township communities and major cultural sites. Students will also enjoy a weekend at a game park to view South Africa’s elephants, giraffes, lions and rhinos.
●South America’s Southern Cone: Rebecca Ulland (Modern Languages and Literatures) will travel with students to Argentina, where they will spend four weeks studying the literature, culture and history of the country. The students will live with host families, meet peers from the Universidad del Salvador and visit sites such as the Casa Rosada and Iguazu Falls. The course is being offered in cooperation with Michigan State University.
●Multicultural and Global Education, Peru: This study of culture and education in Peru is designed to develop multicultural and global perspectives affecting teachers’ and students’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior. Under the direction of Rod Clarken (Education), students will apply their experience and learning in curricular/instructional design and planning.
●Cultural and Artistic Heritage of Europe: Nell Kupper (Modern Languages and Literatures) will give students a multi-disciplinary introduction to contemporary French-speaking Europe. The course will examine the heritage of modern French-speaking European society as it manifests itself through various cultural artifacts, such as visual art, film, architecture and social customs.
For more information, contact International Programs at ext. 2510.