From March 1 – 9, 2014, 86 College of Charleston students will enjoy spring break on the banks of the Seine in Paris, the rolling hills of the English countryside, the coral reefs of Belize among other locations. Unlike many of their peers, these students will engage in coursework for academic credit.
During the 2014 spring break, students in seven courses will embark on weeklong academic journeys to further explore the topics and themes of each class. Three of those courses are classified as First Year Experience (FYE) courses exclusive to freshmen, and each will allow students to immerse themselves in different cultures and bring dimension to their lectures and textbooks.
“The growing number of students enrolling in these courses indicates a growing interest in study abroad,” Andrew Sobiesuo, associate provost for international education and professor of Hispanic studies said. “If students engage in short-term study abroad early enough and they like it, they are more likely to pursue extended study abroad opportunities in their academic careers.”
[RELATED: Learn more about FYE Abroad]
Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the First Year Experience Program Chris Korey hopes to supplement his Genetics and Ethics in Berlin class lectures with cultural and historical experiences in Berlin. “The course abroad is a combination of the history of genetics but also getting students to think about what it would be like to study abroad, how to explore a foreign city and how to connect with a culture that’s not yours,” Korey said.
“We look at genetics and eugenics – efforts to improve humans – and philosophies about that,” Korey said. “We look at the history of those ideas from around 1900 to the present in the U.S. and in Germany, and then we go to Germany.”
The other six courses taking students abroad for spring break include upper-level biology course “Biology of Coral Reefs” which will send those enrolled in a co-requisite lab course to Belize. Meanwhile, the Honors College will take undergraduate and graduate students “In Search of King Author” across England for honors English and graduate history credits.
The School of Business will take students enrolled in upper-level marketing, international business and international studies courses to Honduras, and students enrolled in “Intermodal Systems Management,” to Rotterdam, Netherlands.
An FYE course called “History and Sociology of English Football,” will take students to London, Nottingham and Manchester where they will examine the roll of soccer in contemporary England. Another FYE course, “Paris Up Close,” will send students to Paris with Associate Professor of History Bill Olejniczak.
“I want to encourage my students to treat Paris as a text,” Olejniczak said. “They will examine the city for its history while simultaneously looking at contemporary Paris. The goal is for them to take away lessons about how a city respects and preserves a rich history with an eye toward remaining relevant in the contemporary and future global world.”
In Paris, Olejniczak’s students will learn about the art and literature of Paris at the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, and the Left Bank cafes popular among early 20th century expatriates. They will also focus on the extent to which Paris tries to remain a livable city for its residents and visitors by studying public transportation, parks and gardens, boulevards, universities, and small shops.