January 23, 2013

Influence Across the Ocean

j-term-study-abroad

College students want to immerse themselves in colorful and complex cultures, meet people of diverse backgrounds who speak different languages, and view the awe-inspiring monuments and landscapes that are central to each country. The prospect of gaining new perspectives and opportunities inspired Hamline students to go outside their comfort zones, and their home country, to experience just what the world has to offer them. This J-Term, Hamline students traveled across the ocean to four different countries to expand their horizons and gain new experiences that will stay with them even after they’ve returned home.

Some students who studied abroad during J-Term kept a detailed record of their travels in an online blog. Each student was granted the opportunity to share their day-to-day adventures in their respective countries, while also reflecting on their changes in identity, and the history of a richly diverse country. You can find out more about each trip and connect to the accompanying blog below.

Thailand
The class on “Crucial Issues in Education” consisted of fourteen students and instructor Letitia Basford who collaborated with the Starfish County Home School in Cheng Mai, Thailand. The school was founded by a Hamline alumnus and helps children who come from impoverished families gain the education they otherwise might not have had access to. While the students from Hamline were in Thailand, they volunteered at the school and interacted with the children, assisting them in developing their English skills while also forging bonds that will bridge the gap between two different cultures. Read their blog on Wordpress.

England
Two Hamline groups traveled to England this J-Term; the Hamline A Cappella Choir, and the class “Studies in British Literatures: England: After Arthur.” The A Cappella Choir, led by Hamline Professor George Chu, traveled to England to perform at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, while also journeying to the surrounding areas of London, Newcastle, and Wales to perform seven concerts.

The class “Studies in British Literatures: England: After Arthur,” however, found themselves in Cornwall, where they studied texts that provided them with a broader knowledge on the subject of British Literature. Among the traditionally British experiences, the group enjoyed local fare while touring historical sites to gain insight into the literature that was born there.

Germany & Poland
Led by instructor Kari Richtsmeier, students traveled to Germany and Poland for their First Year Seminar class, “(Re)Reading the Holocaust: History, Modern Memory, and Identity.” These students toured monuments and exhibits, discussed history with their tour guides, and read texts that reflected the memories of those who experienced the Holocaust. All these activities helped the students examine a challenging event in history, but also to discover how this event affects modern memory and identity. Read about the students' experiences in their blog. 

Jamaica
The last country that opened its arms to Hamline students was the tropical island of Jamaica. Art professor Andrew Wykes, biology professor Bonnie Ploger, and twelve students flew over the ocean for their class “Rural Jamaica: Exploring the Natural World through Art and Biology." While enjoying their time in the humid and sunny weather, students explored the natural environment that has inspired artists and biologists alike. Students tied biology and art together to create hypotheses in the field based on ecological principles, and created their own art to investigate composition and aesthetics.