Upcoming May Term Study Experiences

Registration for 2021 May Term Study Experiences is scheduled to begin on October 27, 2020. The Office for Global Engagement is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. Students’ health and safety is the top priority and the office aims to partner with students to make well-informed decisions about domestic and international study experiences. As the office navigates this crisis, it is continuously monitoring the latest travel restrictions, consular information, the CDC, WHO, and State Department guidance along with the situation on-site at May Term Study Experience locations. The office will notify participants if there are any changes to scheduled May Term Study Experiences.

Itineraries and other details are subject to change due to factors that may be outside of the control of Westminster College.

May Term Study Experience Info Sessions

Learn about the 2021 May Term Study Experiences in person at the May Term Fair on Thursday, Sept. 17, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. or sign up for virtual information meetings to hear directly from the faculty leaders and get all your questions answered.

2021 May Term Study Experiences

Travel to: Bahia de los Angeles, Baja, Mexico 

Travel Dates:May 13–28, 2021

Courses (choose one): CHEM 300O, BIOL 300O, ENVI 300O, or GEOL 300O 

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Frank Black and David Parrott

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: May 10–12 and June 2–3

Prerequisites: CHEM 111

Study Experience Cost: $2,100 includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to San Diego), ground transportation on chartered bus to Bahia de los Angeles, all lodging, all meals while in Mexico, marine park fees, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $150–$200 additional spending money for snorkeling equipment, three meals in transit in the US, personal snacks and drinks, souvenirs, and other personal expenses.

Program Notes:This study experience will take place in a rural, coastal area of Baja, Mexico along the Sea of Cortez. Students will likely not have internet, email, or phone access at the field station. Average temperatures for Baja in May are 80°F–90°F. The daily program includes walking on uneven terrain, getting into and out of boats, and swimming in the ocean. All students must have a PFD whenever in a boat or in the water, and thus swimming skills will not be necessary.

Course Description: The Baja Peninsula of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez (AKA, the Gulf of California) together form one of the most unique environments in the planet, with Jacques Cousteau famously calling it “the world’s aquarium”. Bahía de los Angeles, a small fishing village set on the bay by the same name on the east side of the Baja peninsula, is famous among scientists, educators, and fishermen because of its natural beauty and incredible biodiversity. This natural laboratory provides unmatched opportunities to learn about the natural environment and the research methods used to study it.

Students in this course will learn to carry out field methods from oceanography, marine biology, environmental science, chemistry, ecology, hydrology, and geomorphology. These field techniques will be applied to a range of research questions across marine and terrestrial environments in and around Bahia de los Angeles. This interdisciplinary program takes place within the cultural settings of Baja California's coast and mountains, allowing students to learn about the conflicts between implementing more sustainable resource use and ecosystem conservation versus traditional extraction practices and livelihoods.

The program will be based out of a marine field station with living and research facilities situated on the beach just steps from the Sea of Cortez. We will split our time between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, spending roughly half of the days on small boats visiting islands, intertidal zones, sea lion colonies and other areas as we conduct biodiversity studies, collect chemical and physical oceanography data, make hydrological and microbial measurements, and characterize the area’s natural history while snorkeling and documenting the area’s abundant whales, dolphins, whale sharks, fish, and marine birds. This educational experience includes a multiday homestay with local Mexican host families and involves cultural connections through direct, daily interactions with local partners and stakeholders with diverse perspectives on local resource use and development goals.

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Travel to: Germany: Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, and Hamburg

Travel Dates: May 17–30, 2021

Courses (choose one): ECON 412G or BUSI 412G

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Michael Mamo and TBD

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Feb., Mar., and Apr. TBD; May 11 and 13; June 1

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $3,800 includes round-trip airfare (SLC to Berlin), accommodations, ground transportation, admissions/tour fees, international health insurance, some meals, and faculty expenses. Students will need an estimated $500–$700 additional spending money for meals, shopping, and other personal expenses.

Program Notes: Students should be prepared to walk long distances occasionally and to use public transportation daily.

Course Description: International migration has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. In response to the massive displacement of citizens from war-torn countries, Germany has welcomed over a million migrants since 2014, embarking on an ambitious plan to integrate them successfully in its economic system and society. Focusing on the German pro-immigration model and its possible replication in other regions, this course will explore Germany's approach to the refugee crisis and consider its cultural, political, and socioeconomic aspects.

In addition to academic readings and assignments on the topic, students will spend two weeks in Berlin and go on day-trips to Leipzig, Dresden, and Hamburg, visiting a variety of immigrant neighborhoods and refugee relief organizations in these cities. Before the trip, students will learn about Utah's refugee programs as members of local immigrant communities and refugee advocacy groups will be invited to class to discuss United States immigration programs and policy. While examining possible solutions to key economic and cultural challenges that refugees and their host countries face, students will seek to understand the complexity of the current migrant crisis in a nuanced interdisciplinary fashion.

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Travel to: Saint Jean Pied de Port, France; Madrid, Spain; Roncesvalles, Spain; Pamplona, Spain; Burgos, Spain; Leon, Spain; Sarria, Spain; Santiago, Spain; Pontevedra, Spain; Salamanca, Spain; Braga, Portugal; and more

Travel Dates: May 9–June 6, 2021

Courses (choose one): ENVI 300A, HON 300AE, SPAN 300B, HIST 300AE, or MATH 200A

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Deyanira Ariza-Velasco, Bill Bynum, and Jeff Nichols

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Nov. 19, Feb. 20, Mar. 20, Apr. 17, and May 7

Prerequisites: SPAN 110 or equivalent for Spanish. No prerequisites for other courses.

Study Experience Cost: $3,825 includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to Madrid), ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, all breakfasts, some lunches and a majority of dinners, entrance fees, some guides, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $500 additional spending money for some lunches and personal expenses.

Program Notes: This course is physically and emotionally demanding. Participants must carry all their possessions in a single backpack as they trek between 12–16 miles per day.

Course Description: Students become pilgrims as they trek along the Camino de Santiago, a route that followed the Milky Way, from the French Pyrenees to Finisterre (once considered the end of the world) on Spain and Portugal’s Atlantic coast. This is a journey of body, soul, and mind for students who crave adventure and want an immersive experience.

As students trek along what was once a primitive trade route, they will discuss the history of the Camino pilgrimage and how it has evolved over time. And, as they skirt mountains and move through verdant valleys, they will discover how the environment has shaped the trail and how the pilgrim experience has shaped the world around it.

In cities, small villages, and along the trail, students will immerse themselves in language and culture as they communicate with residents, farmers owners, hospitaleros, and other pilgrims. For almost 4 weeks, they will live a simple life, carry what they need on their backs, sleep in simple quarters called albergues, and experience the Spanish countryside and the incredible food and people of Spain. The physical demands of this pilgrimage coupled with the academic assignments and camaraderie of students and faculty create a transformative adventure that will define the college experience.

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Travel to: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Reykjavik, Iceland

Travel Dates: May 17–June 2, 2021

Courses (choose one): SOC 300GG, HON 300AD, GNDR 300GGG, or ART 300BB

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Kristjane Nordmeyer, Naomi Marine, and Matt Kruback

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Feb. and Apr. TBD; May 10–13

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $4,800 includes international airfare (SLC to Copenhagen, Stockholm to Reykjavik, and Reykjavik to SLC), one checked bag, ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, some meals, entrance fees, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $500-$1000 spending money for some meals and personal expenses.

Program Notes: Students should be prepared to walk long distances and to use public transportation.

Course Description: Students will explore Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Reykjavik – three Scandinavian and Icelandic cities that are visually stunning with a rich cultural history. Copenhagen is recognized as a food destination, Reykjavik is known for its breathtaking landscapes, and Stockholm is famous for its contemporary art scene.

With these exciting cultures as the backdrop, students will explore social policy, art, and culture in Scandinavia and Iceland. Students will learn about the different social and economic systems that exist in these countries while reflecting on the ways that policies shape the day-to-day lives of individuals. Within this broader context, students will also explore the influence of cultural norms and values on art, spatial environments, and visual culture.

Students will write, make art, and reflect on their experiences through journaling, creative projects, and group discussions. Students will return from the trip with a better understanding of Scandinavian and Icelandic art, culture, and social policy, and a more developed global self-awareness and a broadened perspective.

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Travel to: Thailand: Bangkok, Kalasin, Chiang Mai, Ko Samet

Travel Dates: May 9–June 7, 2021

Courses (choose one): PUBH 300DD, EDUC 300DD, NURS 300DD, HON 300DD, or OEL 300DD

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Han Kim and Kellie Gerbers

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: TBD

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $4,500, includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to Bangkok, Thailand), ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, all meals, entrance fees, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $100–$300 additional spending money for personal expenses.

Program Notes: The itinerary includes stays in rural villages with limited electricity and sometimes no running water. Daytime temperatures can be in excess of 90°F.

Course Description: This course will explore the educational, health, and developmental needs of rural Thai citizens as well as indigenous populations through cultural immersion and active participation in service projects. Students will participate in deep cultural immersion activities and service-learning projects in 2 distinct rural Thai villages, one in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai, Thailand, and one in the rural Northeast near Khon Kaen, Thailand, that will help alleviate some of the health, educational, and developmental issues present while staying with local families within the villages.

During travel, students will have an opportunity to explore community attitudes, values, and practices associated with outdoor recreation activities. While getting to participate in some of Thailand's recreational offerings, students will be asked to consider the purpose(s) of outdoor recreation from a Thai perspective.

A unique aspect of the 2021 trip will be an in depth look at the Thai approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local public health practitioners will discuss how the Thai approach was so successful when compared to other nations’ responses to COVID-19.

Other activities will include a visit to a groundbreaking new concept school in the northeast, tours of historically significant sites in Thailand, visiting an HIV/AIDS hospice, sightseeing in Bangkok, and a relaxing few days on a tropical island to end the trip. Students will meet during spring semester for preparatory sessions that will ready them for the experience. Course assignments will include reflective journaling, active discussions during the trip, and a reflective multimedia project at the end of the trip.

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Travel to: Bluff, Utah; Chinle, Arizona; and Tuba City, Arizona

Travel Dates: May 10–19, 2021

Courses (choose one): NURS 300F, EDUC 300E, PLSC 300R, or JUST 300RR

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Marsha Morton, Marilee Coles-Ritchie, and Cordelia Schaffer

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Apr. 8 and 20; May 4 and 6

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $1,100 includes ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, most meals, entrance fees, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $50 additional spending money for meals and more if they want to purchase optional souvenirs.

Program Notes: The itinerary includes an optional hike and short walks.

Course Description: This course introduces students to Hopi and Diné cultures. It includes social, educational, environmental, political, economic, artistic, health and caring aspects of lived histories and practices. Special emphasis will be placed on the practical aspects of health care in local outpatient clinics and teaching in the clinics and educational practices in the local schools. Students will have the opportunity to explore the complex histories, worldviews, and perceptions of the environment, relationships, and values of the Hopi and Diné people through a variety of perspectives.

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