9 Life-Changing J-Term Study Tours
Carthage offers many unique opportunities, but students say that nothing broadened their horizons as much as their J-Term study tour experiences. From the depths of the oceans in Honduras to the heights of the mountains in France, we promise you’ll come back from your J-Term with nothing less than new friends, exciting memories, and a bite from the travel bug.
“Traveling to India was truly the most amazing experience I have ever been given. I was able to talk with the natives and even attend a yoga class by a native instructor on the roof of his studio that overlooked the river and the rest of the town. After this trip, I was definitely bit by the travel bug.” — Allyssa Vargas ’22
In the course Health Care in India: Traditional and Non-Traditional Healing, led by biology professor Margaret Wentzell, students examined health care in India with a focus on class, gender, environment, and caste, among other topics, in highly populated urban centers. Studying these topics in a developing country, under the impact of globalization, imbued a greater holistic perspective to Carthage students. Students studied how particular groups and communities have been reacting and adapting to specific challenges unique to India.
“Throughout the trip, we all became acclimated with the beautiful culture, learned about different religious beliefs and how it impacted their health care and ways of life,” said Allyssa Vargas ’22. “I personally focused on studying yoga and the benefits it has on both the body and the mind/spirit. After this trip, I was definitely bit by the travel bug and hope to attend two more J-Term study tours before graduating.”
“It was a wild journey in Honduras and I feel so blessed and humbled by the experience I have had in this beautiful country. ” — Annemarie Seth ’21
Adventurous students headed to the Caribbean for the course Biodiversity, Brains, and Behavior, led by biology professor Scott Hegrenes, sociology professor Bill Miller, and neuroscience professor Dan Miller. Students studied the ecology of a coral reef ecosystem while learning about the evolution of nervous systems and behavior. In preparation for the extensive diving required on the tour, the students became scuba certified.
“While traveling in Honduras, we got to try authentic Honduran chocolate, shop at flea markets, and sleep in the city of San Pedro Sula,” said Annemarie Seth ’21. “It was a whole journey in Honduras and I feel so blessed and humbled by the experience I have had in this beautiful country.”
“Being an African American, there was always talk of going back to the ‘motherland,’ and to finally take forth that opportunity and travel to Senegal was extraordinary.” — Jawaune Johnson ’19
In the course, Senegal: From Colonisation to Globalisation, education professors Jacqueline Easley and Michele Hancock, management and marketing professor Jennifer Madden, and modern languages professor Isabel Rivero-Vilá led students to explore Senegalese culture. Students were able to explore a close examination of the various interactions between Europeans and Africans in the slave trade and colonialism and used an understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning. Students articulated the interconnectedness of cultural, educational, and business systems.
“I had not traveled to Africa ever in my life, so to be the first in the family to do that was a blessing. Throughout the traveling process of getting there, my feeling was a combination of nervousness and excitement. It was the trip of a lifetime.” said Jawaune.
“This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I am counting down the days until I can return to Goteborg” — Jackson Larson ’21
Management and marketing professor Joseph Shields led students in a J-Term course titled International Business/Marketing and Cultural Analysis of Sweden. The students learned about international business and marketing as they explored Goteborg, Sweden, learning from executives from companies including ABB Robotics, Volvo Cars, Saab Aerospace, SKAPA (a major ad agency), SKF Ball Bearings, and small start-up companies. They also partnered with Goteborg University, which provided local experts for private lectures, and Carthage students joined a few classes with the students of Goteborg University.
“It was such a wonderful trip, and all the credit goes to Prof. Shields for organizing and managing this trip to ensure that we had the most enjoyable time in Sweden and that all of our activities ran as smoothly as they did,” said Jackson Larson ’21. “This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I am counting down the days until I can return to Goteborg.”
“The J-Term Wind Orchestra Japan trip was definitely one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had.” — Henry Meyer ’23
Music professor James Ripley and modern languages and Asian professor Yan Wang teamed up to lead students in Carthage musical ensembles to the rich culture of musical literature and performance in a new cultural context abroad. It invites students to explore and reflect on the relationships between music and culture and to reflect on cultural differences.
“My first J-Term at Carthage I had the privilege of playing in the Carthage Wind Orchestra during their Japan tour. I had the opportunity to be part of an ensemble that played the world premiere of a piece while touring Japan,” said Henry Meyer ’23
“Getting to leave Wisconsin and travel to Tanzania with two awesome professors and thirty other Carthaginians was so fun, and it was an experience I will never forget.” — Breanna Reynolds ’21
Religion professor Andrea Ng’weshemi led students to Tanzania in eastern Africa for the J-Term study tour Experience Tanzania: Religion, Society and Culture. Students had the opportunity to immerse in the diverse culture of Tanzania through formal discussions with Tanzanian professors and religious leaders, visited historical and cultural sites, went on a two-day safari pack in some of Tanzania’s most popular national parks, and sunbathed at the pristine, warm sandy Indian Ocean beaches.
“I was able to go on a J-Term study tour to Tanzania my sophomore year and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,” said Breanna Reynolds ’21. “We went on two safaris where we saw the Big 5, swam in the Indian Ocean, and bonded with my classmates over the amazing scenery and people we met there. We were able to see churches, temples, and mosques in person rather than learn about them in a classroom, and it was an experience I will never forget.”
“Traveling to Nicaragua was life-changing for many reasons. This unique opportunity is something I truly don’t believe I would’ve gotten to experience at another school and I am so thankful to have had this chance.” — Katie Cochran ’22
Carthage’s J-Term study tour in Nicaragua is one of the most popular study tours. Geospatial science professor Matt Zorn teaches a course titled Biology and Geography of Nicaragua. The course is so popular, it’s offered twice a year. Students volunteer in rural medical clinics, help construct freshwater facilities, build and repair classrooms for local schools, and explore the country’s varied landscape and history.
“I was lucky enough to take part in the Nicaragua J-Term study tour here at Carthage. This experience was life-changing for many reasons,” said Katie Cochran ’21. “Not only did I get to hike to the top of an active volcano, but I got to meet people and experience Nicaraguan culture first hand while also solving clean water issues on the island of Ometepe.”
“I was awestruck by the entire study tour. London was breathtaking.” — Mallory Jenkins ’21
In the course Brexit: Why? When? How?, led by management and marketing professor Greg Barron and accounting, finance, and economics professor Chao Zheng, students focused on international finance, economics, and business in the United Kingdom, concentrating on London as a financial hub and the effect that Brexit may have in the long term. Students learned about what it is like to do business and live in London with the shadow of Brexit looming over the city and nation.
“My first J-Term study tour was to London with Prof. Barron and Prof. Zheng for the purpose of studying Brexit. I was awestruck the entire study tour. London was breathtaking,” said Mallory Jenkins ’21. “Since Prof. Barron had lived in London for a time, he was so knowledgeable about the city which led to being able to experience so much more of the city than I would have if I were traveling there on my own.”
“Going on a Spanish immersion trip to Guatemala was the best experience of my life.” — Ryen Cunningham ’20
In the course Spanish Language Immersion in Guatemala, led by economics and modern languages professor Ed Montanaro and Target Language Expert José Raúl González Ruíz, students visited Guatemala in a tour conducted purely in Spanish. Students lived and worked on an agricultural cooperative in northern Guatemala, and learned about the education system, Maya culture, health care, gender relations, and other aspects of life in rural Guatemala. Most of the activities were conducted with Guatemalan students and other members of the community, and the activities required students to rely on their Spanish skills.
“I went on a Spanish immersion trip to Guatemala,” said Ryen Cunningham ’20. “It was the best experience of my life. I was able to become more fluent in my Spanish, as well as grow closer to my group and the people living in Nuevo Horizonte.”