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J-Term at Carthage

2016 Study Tours

During J-Term 2016, Carthage professors led students on educational adventures in India, Cuba, Hong Kong, London, Germany, Costa Rica, and other fascinating destinations around the world. Additional study tours will be held in June 2016.

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January 2016 Study Tours


Tropical Ecology of Costa Rica

Led by biology professors Deanna Byrnes and Deborah Tobiason, this study tour took students to different sites in Costa Rica to hike, explore, and research the country’s incredibly rich natural resources. Students visited research stations, wildlife preserves, and communities to learn about and contribute to the country’s conservation efforts. Costa Rica is among the 20 most bio-diverse countries in the world and is a model for other countries because of its successes in sustainable development centering on natural resources and ecotourism. Costa Rican wildlife biologists and naturalists guided students in birding, batting, and other wildlife watching, including day and night hikes in the forests. The study tour included visits to lowland rainforest, thermal hot springs and waterfalls, cloud forests, and sustainable coffee and chocolate farms. Each student conducted independent research and contributed to ongoing ecological research projects.
Satisfies the Natural Sciences SCI (lab science) requirement; elective for biology majors


Life and Politics: Surviving Socialism and the U.S Embargo in Cuba

This course was offered by political science professor Jeffrey Roberg and neuroscience/psychology professor Penny Seymoure. Students were exposed to several disciplinary perspectives from both U.S. and Cuban scholars, and experienced the Cuban situation for themselves by exploring eight provinces over 15 nights on the island. The study tour was designed to enhance students’ global perspectives by exploring the impact of socialism on Cuba, and by exploring differences and similarities between the Cuban and U.S. political and economic systems. Students examined the impact of living under a restrictive political system and a failing economy. A special emphasis was put on the biological and psychological consequences of living in this chronically stressful situation, and the emergence of “haves” and “have-nots” because of access to tourist money. Students had the opportunity to engage with Cuban citizens in a wide variety of settings including city life in Havana, rural tobacco/rum production, environmentally protected areas in the west, university life in the central mountains, and life with tourists in an historic Caribbean town.
Elective in political science or psychological science; Carthage Symposium


Sports Journalism: European Football

This tour, led by communication professor Jon Bruning, gave students the opportunity to learn and practice the art of sports journalism as they traveled through Europe reporting on the world’s most popular game. Students attended professional matches in several countries over three weeks. This is a study tour Prof. Bruning has led in previous years. Destinations have included London (Arsenal, West Ham, Fulham, Brentford); Paris (PSG); Munich (Bayern Munich); Milan (AC Milan); and Barcelona (FC Barcelona). Students learned the basic forms of sportswriting, met with working journalists, and toured football stadiums and club museums.
Writing Intensive course


World War II

History professor Eric Pullin led students on a tour of the battlefields, monuments, museums, and cemeteries of World War II in Western Europe. In addition to visiting the historical sites that endured the 20th century’s most devastating conflict, students also had time to explore some of Europe’s greatest cities, including London, Paris, Brussels, and Munich. Stops included Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, the HMS Belfast, and the Imperial War Museum in London; the Normandy beaches, the American cemeteries, the memorials in France and Belgium; Dachau concentration camp and the Nuremberg Zeppelin Field near Munich.


J-Term in Paris: A Capital Experience

French professor Pascal Rollet led students on a two-week study tour of Paris. Students learned about French history as it explains the development of various places and monuments visited; the main styles of architecture and principal schools of art; and how to observe and imitate appropriate public behavior. They were guided in making observations on the French daily way of life including greetings, food and table manners, shopping, family behavior, and friendship. Students also made observations of public institutions and compared them with institutions in the United States. Students with minimal or no knowledge of the language learned and practiced basic greetings and expressions, while more advanced French students served as their interpreters.


Representations of German History: Berlin, Dresden, and Munich

In this study tour led by German professor Greg Baer and physics and Great Ideas professor Temple Burling, students studied the ways that stories about Germany’s past(s) are told by the objects, places, and people they encounter during 18 days in the German cities of Berlin, Dresden, and Munich. Before leaving for Germany, students spent several days on campus discussing readings about German history and considering how stories function as history. Students also learned some basic German. Once in Germany, students were immediately immersed in explorations of German culture and history as they visited important sites, museums, monuments, and buildings. They met with German students and teachers to discover how they learn about German history. They encountered stories about the kingdoms of Prussia, Saxony, and Bavaria; about the Wilhelminian Empire and the Third Reich; and about capitalism and socialism in post-World War II Germany. Students used public transportation to explore three cities, hiked in the Alps, and traveled across the German countryside on high-speed trains. Assignments included a site presentation, journals, and a reflective paper. 
Satisfies the HUM requirement; Carthage Symposium (CS) requirements


Luther and the Reformation

This remarkable travel course, taught by religion professor Rom Maczka and college pastor Kara Baylor, had three emphases: the 16th century birth of the Lutheran Reformation, German Lutherans, and the Nazi Holocaust, and the east-west divide symbolized by the Berlin Wall. The home base was Berlin, the sleek and exotic capital of Germany, where students explored the excellent clubs, theaters, museums, and galleries in addition to Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. Then, on this 499th anniversary of Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses, students went on a five-day excursion in and around the castles, monasteries, and cathedrals of Thuringia where the Reformation played out. The study tour also included visits to the former Nazi prison camps of Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and the unusual women’s camp, Ravensbrück. There students used on-site resources to examine just what Lutherans in Germany were doing about the Nazi aggression and genocide.
Fulfills J-Term requirement; second religion requirement; can be counted as a history course


Spanish Language Immersion in Guatemala

Spanish and economics professor Ed Montanaro and Target Language Experts Arnulfo Figueroa and Nerea Delgado took students to northern Guatemala, where they studied and experienced rural life in and around an agricultural community (population 500). This class was conducted entirely in Spanish and was designed to provide an authentic immersive linguistic experience for students who are serious about becoming fluent in Spanish. The entire month of January was spent in Guatemala. There was also a substantial service-learning component of this class, as students worked on projects and shared daily life with Guatemalan students. During a portion of the class, students lived with Guatemalan families. Before they could take the course, students must have successfully completed SPN 2020. The course was open to students from all majors, and was suggested as particularly useful for students who are considering application to the Peace Corps upon graduation.
Spanish credit; Global Heritage requirement


Biodiversity, Brains, and Behavior

This study tour offered adventurous students the opportunity to study the ecology of a Caribbean coral reef ecosystem while learning about the evolution of nervous systems and behavior. It was led by psychology and neuroscience professor Dan Miller, biology professor Scott Hegrenes, and sociology professor Bill Miller. After becoming scuba certified, students learned about unique aspects of tropical coral reef ecosystems, and the taxonomy and neurobiology of marine life from invertebrates to humans.
Carthage Symposium; satisfies Natural Sciences SCI (lab science) requirement; an elective for biology or neuroscience majors


The Interplay of Economics, Politics, Law and Culture in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China, is the city that bridges east and west and looks outward in all directions. This study tour, led by finance/economics professor Cassie Lau and management/marketing professor Michael Phegley, focused on international finance, economics, and business law in Hong Kong, arguably Asia’s premier international financial center, as well as a major trade hub. Students learned about what it is like to do business in Hong Kong for both multinational companies and small local businesses. They learned about special aspects of business law, which deal with international trade including topics such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Students experienced first-hand the fascinating juxtaposition of cultures and customs, and learned more about Hong Kong’s unique governmental structure within China’s “One Country, Two Systems” framework. The course included visits to the judiciary, the legislature, and the stock exchange. On the cultural immersion front, students visited local landmarks including Ladies’ Market, the Bird Market, Buddhist and Taoist temples, the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, as well as monasteries and nunneries. The study tour also included daily visits to different neighborhoods in different parts of Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories that are not frequented by tourists, to give students a real appreciation for how the locals live.
Carthage Symposium; Global Heritage


Religion and Society in Modern India

During this three-week study tour led by religion professor Jim Lochtefeld, students encountered three contemporary Indian religious communities: Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. India shows highly defined religious pluralism, with both the benefits and problems arising from this. Students examined the life and interactions of these three groups, and analyzed how these interactions have been, and continue to be, shaped by their historical and cultural context. The class pedagogy focused primarily on learning through lived experience, and through interacting with Indian people, of all religious backgrounds, at religious and historical sites. Stops included Delhi, the national capital; Agra, historical capital of the Mughal empire and home of the Taj Mahal; Amritsar, Sikh sacred center and home of the Golden Temple; Hardwar, a Hindu pilgrimage site on the Ganges; and Ajmer/Pushkar, contiguous Sufi and Hindu sacred centers.



Gender, Race, and Class: Social Identities in London

For this study tour, students traveled the streets of London while they studied how multiple social identities (e.g., gender, race, class) create unique experiences and perspectives for individuals. The course was led by sociology/criminal justice professor Rachel Feinstein and psychological science professor Emily Leskinen. Students met with local advocacy groups, visited museums, and attended a theater performance as they examined practical and theoretical implications of social categories. Using an interdisciplinary approach, they applied sociological and psychological perspectives to understanding identity, diversity, and equality.
Elective for sociology, psychology, and women’s studies majors; Carthage Symposium


Biology and Geography of Nicaragua

The Biology and Geography of Nicaragua study tour, led by biology professor Pat Pfaffle and geography professor Matt Zorn, is offered twice a year. It provides a unique opportunity for students to experience clinical work or work on water projects. Both aspects provide students first-hand knowledge of the rural volcanic island of Ometepe, Nicaragua. Students also learn the fascinating history, culture, and environment of this country, and see how all of this has affected the land and people. The study tour offers students a new perspective on life.


Economics and Business in Southern Africa

With a stunning variety of spectacular natural environments, exotic wildlife, historic townships, uniquely sophisticated cities, world-renowned cuisine, and very lively and diverse culture, Southern Africa offers a journey of discovery like no other. For this study tour, led by economics professor Yuri Maltsev, students visited South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, which are very rich in culture, history, nature, and are stunningly beautiful. They met with famous economists, businessmen, writers, and artists. Southern Africa is a great mix of fast developing economies, adventure, beauty and culture, certain to fascinate you with its exciting diversity. The study tour included wildlife safaris, visits to dramatic river gorges and majestic mountains; and sailing by the famous Skeleton Coast on a luxury cruise.
Carthage Symposium; Global Heritage

Summer 2016 Study Tours


Sports Journalism: Baseball

Students will learn a variety of journalistic writing styles and engage in sports journalism as they attend baseball games in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in June 2016. Plans include attendance at Padres, Dodgers, Angels, Giants, and Athletics games, with a total of at least five games over roughly two weeks. Other professional athletic events and stadium tours, meetings with baseball and media professionals, as well as non-sports-related activities, will also be a part of the study tour. The course is designated as Writing Intensive and is led by Jonathan Bruning, an associate professor of communication and digital media.
Estimated cost: $1,500
Contact: Professor Jon Bruning


The History of Modern Psychology in 20th-century Germany

This study tour is led by psychology professor Cornelia Zerban and partially organized by Ursula Schwalb, a German native. Students will be introduced to early German pioneers of psychology and learn how they shaped the development of modern psychology as an empirical science. While exploring distinct historical periods from a psychological lens, students will also have the opportunity to visit historically significant sites in Germany and interact with German scholars and students of psychology. Our journey will take us to Heidelberg, Konstanz, Würzburg, the Black Forest, Mainau (the island of flowers in Lake Constance), and the Neckar valley with its most beautiful castles and ruins along the river banks. No German language skills are required. This course offers elective credit for psychology majors.
Tentative dates: June 3-20, 2016
Estimated cost: $3,500
Contact: Professor Cornelia Zerban


Omrit Settlement Excavations 2016

The Omrit Settlement Excavations are an opportunity to combine an interest in history, religion, and art, with a sense of adventure and discovery. The site in northern Israel is home to a three-phase Roman temple and a settlement that grew up around the temple and persisted into at least the 13th century CE. Student workers have been instrumental in uncovering this amazing site, and adding to our understanding of the history and development of this important region of the world. A number of artifacts discovered at Omrit are now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Your turn could be next! No previous experience with archaeology required. Students live on Kibbutz K’far Szold, just above the Hula Valley in northern Israel. During the season, we provide opportunities to learn about the modern issues that have long troubled the region, and to meet people with differing views about potential solutions. This course offers credit for Global Heritage, Carthage Symposium, and either second course in Religion, or Humanities Distribution in Classics.
Tentative dates: May 27-July 2, 2016
Estimated cost: Approximately $3,500 (including airfare; local transportation; and four weeks room and board)
Information session: 5 p.m. Monday, May 4, in Lentz Hall 203.
Contact: Professor Dan Schowalter


Field Techniques in Vertebrate Paleontology

Biology professor Thomas Carr and preparator Megan Seitz lead this study tour in Montana every summer. This three-week course will take place from mid-July to early-August. It is open to students of all majors. Begin on campus with one week of lectures and labs. Then spend two weeks in Montana looking for, finding, and digging up dinosaur bones.
Tentative dates: mid-July to early August
Estimated cost:
Contact: Professor Thomas Carr


Exploring New York City: A Slice of Cultural Cheesecake

This course, led by theatre professor Herschel Kruger and art assistant professor Maureen Chavez-Kruger, examines the development of the “modern” movements in art and theatre at the end of the 19th century, and the impact and influences of the movement into the 21st century. This course will be an exploration of the theatres, museums, and art galleries of New York City. Students will see productions at varying venues throughout the city including Broadway and off Broadway theatres. Students will visit some of the major art museums of New York with a focus that will encompass modern art history, artists, movements, and traditions. There will also be numerous walking tours of the city including the studios and galleries of Soho, Tribeca, and the Westside High Line. Site-specific public art will be studied and day trips will be made to study the various architectural achievements of New York City including the Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Empire State Building. This study tour is open to all Carthage students regardless of major. The course fulfills the Carthage Symposium (C-Sym) requirement and FAR designation credit.
Tentative dates: May 31-June 13, 2016
Estimated cost: $2,600 (including airfare; transportation from New York regional airport to hotel and return; hotel; unlimited subway pass; eight to ten Broadway/Off- Broadway shows; four museums; Empire State Building; Statue of Liberty; Freedom Tower, and more)
Contact: Professor Herschel Kruger


Biology and Geography of Nicaragua

The Biology and Geography of Nicaragua study tour will provide a unique opportunity for students to experience either clinical work, or work on water projects. Both aspects provide students first-hand knowledge of the rural volcanic island of Ometepe, Nicaragua. Students also learn the fascinating history, culture, and environment of this country, and see how all of this has affected the land and people. The trip will offer students a new perspective on life.
Tentative dates: Two weeks in June (Study tour also offered in January.)
Estimated cost: $2,500 all-inclusive
Contact: Professors Patrick Pfaffle or Matthew Zorn
Information Session: Wednesday, April 29, 4 p.m., Straz 299


Spain: Intensive Language Study

This course is a J-Term Study Tour to Spain. It comprises 23 days and 22 nights of travel, entirely in Spain, including a one-week stay in Madrid and a two-week stay in Valencia. The class will also spend a day in Toledo (near Madrid) and another in Sagunt (near Valencia). The primary objective of the course is linguistic and cultural immersion. Both of these goals are realized through the mechanism of Spanish family homestays and Spanish language classes in private language academies. Consequently, students in the course will deepen their linguistic and cultural understanding of Spanish and Spain through real-world exposure to the country, its customs, its people, and its language.
See full information and the application
Tentative dates: June 4-26, 2016
Estimated cost: $2,800 (including housing, meals, Spanish classes, excursions, and all travel except for airfare)
Contact: Professor Matt Borden

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    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …