Issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and
globalization are frequently front-page news. But over January term 2012,
Hamline undergraduate and graduate students experienced many global locales and
international topics first-hand.
This year, 122 students went abroad over J-term.
Undergraduates traveled to Israel and Palestine, India, Thailand and Cambodia, Britain,
and Mexico. The group studying Israel and Palestine investigated the roots of the
continuing conflict. In Mexico, students took a theory-to-practice education
course. The Thailand and Cambodia course explored the ancient history of the
region. At the same time, graduate students from the School of Business headed
to the United Arab Emirates to learn about international commerce.
“This was a very timely trip,” Gavin Sanchez, a senior psychology major who went to Israel,
said. “These issues are very complex and my experience abroad helped me better
understand the origins of the conflict and possible solutions.”
On these short-term trips, Hamline faculty teach subject-specific
curriculums to ensure that students receive an academically rigorous class.
Students have the same academic coursework of a normal Hamline class, but they do
the work on-site. The countries that students travel to are chosen for specific
“We have faculty that
lead trips every two years,” Kari Richtsmeier, director of off campus and international
programs, said. “The locations of these trips are dictated by where we have
faculty to support programming.”
The popularity of short-term study abroad courses has grown
significantly in recent years according to Richtsmeier. The month-long trips
provide a less-intimidating first study abroad experience in which students
travel with Hamline classmates and are taught by a Hamline faculty.
“Hamline students are adventurous,” Richtsmeier said.
“Especially after being given a chance to test the waters of study abroad.”
According to the Off-Campus and International Programs
Office, 93% of students who go on month-long trips will later go on another
month-long or longer term study abroad trips.
“We are proud to say that our students don’t only go to
Europe. We are seeing a lot of interest in Asia and Latin America,” Richtsmeier
Richtsmeier attributes the trend towards more interest in
less traditional study abroad locations to increased student comfort with going
abroad. Richtsmeier adds that study abroad trips help students to develop an
international perspective that they carry throughout their lives.
“It was amazing to watch the students on the trip start seeing
where they fit in this huge global community,” Kelly Christ, a graphic design
director at Hamline and was faculty colleague on Cambodia trip, said.
Read the Israel and Palestinian student blog and see photos from the Cambodia and Thailand course below. For more information on these trips and study abroad
options, visit the Off Campus
and International Programs office.
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