Study Away Courses from Previous Years

Virginia Wesleyan students at Carnegie Hall, 2014

APMU 111: Virginia Wesleyan Singers

Description:The Virginia Wesleyan Singers performed at Carnegie Hall in April 2018 under the direction of Prof. Bryson Mortensen, the conductor of the 125-member choir. This course enabled the choir to prepare for the performance.


VWU art student in New Zealand, January 2011. Photograph by Prof. Sharon Swift.

ART 307: Travel Photography

Description: This studio art course features on-location photography with travel. The highlight of the course is international travel. Past destinations include New Zealand, London, Paris, and Amsterdam. Photography fieldwork also takes advantage of VWU’s great location with travel to the Virginia Beach resort area, N.C. Outer Banks, and Colonial Williamsburg. Students create photo essays, learn advanced features of digital cameras, and use Adobe Photoshop and Light room to edit images.


Dayna Cook snorkeling in Belize, January 2009. Photograph by Prof. Maynard Schaus.

BIO/EES 375: Topics in Tropical Biology

Description: An intensive field experience in neotropical ecosystems (coral reef, rainforests, a cloud forest, mangrove swamps, etc.) that links ecological phenomena with social and historical factors to examine the conservation of biodiversity. Field activities require moderately strenuous exercise and considerable hiking. The course is open to both science and non-science majors.


Monika Metro '19 (Biology) conducting arachnid analysis in San Ignancio, Belize, June 2018. Anonymous photographer.

BIO 489: Biodiversity of Harvestmen in Puerto Rico

Description: In this intensive research course, students explore the large variety of biodiversity that exists on the island of Puerto Rico. Students explore rainforests, swamps, and more. Field activities require moderate strenuous exercise and considerable hiking.


Virginia Wesleyan chemistry students working in the National Institute for Standards and Technology lab, Washington, D.C, January 2020. Photograph by Prof. Maury Howard

CHEM 455: Measurement Science

Description: This course introduces students to metrology as it applies to global commerce, measurement systems, and measurement standards. Students approach the material from the perspective of a scientist who produces and certifies measurement standards. Students engage in measurement practices with scientists at the U.S. metrology institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Students investigate how industrial chemists ensure compliance with product specifications in a commercial laboratory.


Criminal Justice students at Alcatraz, California, May 2016. Anonymous photographer.

CJ 215: Study Away Course in Criminal Justice

Description: This course offers students the opportunity to study various criminal justice systems first hand. Destinations include Alcatraz and London.


Virginia Wesleyan students at Disney World, January 2017. Photograph by Kathy Merlock Jackson

COMM 333: Walt Disney’s America

Description: An investigation of the role of Disney in American culture.


Virginia Wesleyan students and Profs. Larkin and Malone in New York City, January 2017. Anonymous photographer.

ENG 248/348: Topics in Travel Writing

Description: Travel writing is an immensely popular and successful genre. Good travel writing weaves together research, experience, and vivid description. As a field, it is an interesting area to study because it incorporates conventions and styles from many genres. This course considers the complex genre questions surrounding travel writing and then delves into the writing itself. Time is spent researching our destination, planning itineraries, reading current travel writing and, of course, writing your own texts. Travel writing is also, undeniably, an exploration of the self as much as it of your destination.  Be prepared to challenge yourself to reflect on your experiences and responses to the journey. Previous destinations include New York City and London.


Virginia Wesleyan students on the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, June 2016. Photograph by Prof. Jennifer Slivka.

ENG/POLS 282: Irish Literature and Politics

Description: This cross-disciplinary course considers the ways in which Irish literary products have been directly influenced by social institutions and political systems and vice versa. The class takes place in and out of the classroom, exploring cultural and historical sites around Dublin. We also travel to Ireland's scenic west coast as well as to Northern Ireland.


Austin Edmonds ‘20 (Communication) in Haines, Alaska, June 2017. Photograph by Prof. Lawrence Hultgren.

ENVS 283: Seminar in Alaska: Sustainability

Description: This is an intensive study of the coastal ecology of the south coast of Alaska. Students get to study in real time the emerging ecological problems associated with the changing climate and have a multicultural experience as they participate in activities with the Tlingit first nation, learning how to see and experience the environment through the lens of the Tlingit experience.


Virginia Wesleyan students in South Korea, March 2017. Photograph by Prof. Dan Margolies.

HIST 222: History of Modern Korea

Description: This course provides an overview of Korean political, economic, social, and cultural history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It pays special attention to the impact of colonialism and South Korea’s relationship with other countries during the era of colonization.


Virginia Wesleyan students on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic, January 2017. Photograph by Prof. Sara Sewell.

HIST 262: History of Prague

Description: This course investigates the history of various European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna, and Prague. In January 2019, we explored the history of Prague from its founding in the tenth century, through its existence as the capital of Czechoslovakia in the twentieth century, finally to its current post-communist life. The course employs Prague, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, as a text to examine Czech identity and memory throughout the centuries.


Virginia Wesleyan students at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, 2014. Photograph by Prof. Sara Sewell.

HIST 262: History of the European City: Berlin

Description:This course investigates the history of various European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna, and Prague. In January 2018, we examined the history of Berlin, focusing on the twentieth century. Berlin has been at the center of Germany’s tumultuous past for many decades. Through a study of Berlin’s historical landscape, including memorials, museums, architecture, and ruins, students examine the public debates that surround Berlin’s and Germany’s past.


Students inside Harlaxton Manor. Photograph provided by Harlaxton College.

HIST 323: Tudor England

Description: Held at Harlaxton College in Harlaxton, England, this course introduces students to the political, social, religious, economic, intellectual and literary developments that ushered England from the late Middle Ages into a renaissance of culture under the Tudor rulers. Topics include the Lancastrian ascendancy, the Wars of the Roses, early Tudor humanism, the Henrician “revolution.” the English Reformation, the “Little Tudors” and the reign of “Gloriana” Elizabeth I. Students gain an appreciation for the failings and triumphs of human nature through their study of the great events and personalities of the Tudor age.


Ghanian Port Fishing Boat. Photograph by Pixabay.

HON 200: Cultural and Musical Studies in Ghana

Description: This course provides an opportunity to experience Ghanaian society, music, and culture first hand. It equips students with the conceptual and intellectual tools to analyze a foreign culture, engage in critical thinking and field observation, and appreciate diversity. The course emphasizes the varied ways that the Ghanaian government and people have used cultural resources to attract foreign tourists in order to support local development. In addition, it provides students with an opportunity to examine the impact of tourism on individuals and society with a particular emphasis on the transformation of values and the local culture.


Virginia Wesleyan students in Haines, Alaska, summer 2019. Photograph by Prof. Larry Hultgren.

HON 200: Environmental and Cultural Sustainability in Alaska

Description:This course focuses on the distinctive and dramatic landscape of Southeast Alaska to illustrate the interconnectedness between the major forces that have shaped our planet and how its inhabitants live their lives. It emphasizes the complex relationships that exist throughout the natural world and how they interact to have economic, social, cultural, and philosophical implications.


Virginia Wesleyan students in the Andes, Peru, May 26, 2019. Photograph by Prof. Sara Sewell.

HON 200: From the Amazon to the Andes

Description: This course investigates two interrelated areas of Peru. We go off the grid for five days into the Amazon jungle, which is perhaps the most biodiverse area on the planet. Then we go high into the Andes, to the heartland of the Incan Empire, including a visit to one of the world’s great sites, Machu Picchu. In both places, we spend considerable time with the indigenous peoples, learning about their worlds from their perspectives and hands-on experiences.


Virginia Wesleyan students in Berlin, Germany, summer 2018. Photograph by Prof. Antje Schwennicke.

HON 200: Germany in a Changing World

Description: This course provides an introduction to German politics over the last 60 years. It relates the historical developments in 20th-century Germany to global and international developments. A special focus is the political historical development of Berlin, which provides the background for different excursions in the city. The course brings history to life by taking students to historical places that relate German politics to international developments. Movie screenings and guest lectures also facilitate the understanding. As a service project, students engage with Syrian refugees that arrived in Berlin in great numbers recently.


Religious study students at the Dead Sea Scrolls, Israel, January 2918. Photograph by Greg West.

HON 200: Israel, Palestine, and the Art of Waging Peace

Description:This course focuses on conflict mediation within a part of the world that is known for its deep challenges and divides. It involves Christian/Muslim and Jewish/Palestinian conversations. The course includes a homestay in Bethlehem and visits to key sites in Israel (especially Jerusalem), including the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, each of which is a focus of controversy. It also includes the opportunity to climb Masada and swim in the Dead Sea. This course creates an ideal environment for thoughtful discussions on society, religion, politics, and culture.


The Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada, June 2019. Photograph by Chris Haley.

HON 200: Natural and Cultural History of Newfoundland

Description: This interdisciplinary course is an exploration of the cultural, geologic, and natural histories of a unique and remote part of North America. Newfoundland’s spectacular geology allows students to visit the oldest fossils in the world, to walk on the Earth’s mantle, and to experience seaside cliffs made of the oldest rocks in the world. Students encounter whales and enormous seabird colonies, windswept barrens populated by caribou, boreal forests, and alpine tundra atop the northernmost Appalachians. The course examines the interactions of humans and the environment over time from the earliest Viking settlements of 1000 CE, through the cod fishing and sealing eras, to the transformations of the island after World War Two. Students also engage the musical cultures and history of Newfoundland to emerge with a complete understanding of this astonishing, beautiful, and rare place.


The Enchanted Forest, Bavaria, Germany, June 2019. Photograph by Prof. Terry Lindvall.

HON 200: Places of Enchantment: Fairy Tales and Folktales in Germany

Description: This course offers an in-depth look at the European origins of fairy tales and folktales, their functions, and the messages they communicate as depicted in literature, media, and culture. By approaching these tales from multiple perspectives, students understand their dimensions and role in culture and society. This study will take place in the primary countries of origin, namely Germany and Denmark, where the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, respectively, conceived and wrote their famous fairy tales.


Jenna Serna ‘18 in London, England, U.K., January 2017.

HUM 201: Travel in the Humanities

Description: Students are given the opportunity to experience and explore the humanities in London. The course includes tours of local attractions, historical sites, attendance at theatrical performances, and museums. In both classroom activities and the tour, students are given a new perspective on a city rich with historical and cultural diversity.


Virginia Wesleyan students before the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, May 2008

HUMS 231/341: A Tale of Two Cities

Description: A travel and research course that explores the culture of Paris and Normandy.


Virginia Wesleyan business and theatre students in New York City, January 2013. Photograph by Prof. Linda Ferguson.

MBE 490: Independent Study in Management

Description: As a top global destination, London provides a vibrant backdrop for exploring the business of the city. As our course group is formed, together we fashion our itinerary based on student project proposals. Visits to enterprises such as Lloyds of London, the Financial Times, the London Stock Exchange, Fuller's Brewery, Wembley Stadium, and the BBC are arranged. Prior to departure, case studies on the airline, hotel, tour group, and theatre industry introduce students to the culture and commerce of London.


Virginia Wesleyan students in Berlin, Germany, summer 2018. Photograph by Prof. Antje Schwennicke.

POLS 318: Germany in a Changing World

Description: This course provides an introduction to German politics over the past 70 years. It relates Germany’s history to international developments, focusing on the political development of Berlin.


Virginia Wesleyan students in the Netherlands, January 2017. Anonymous photographer.

PSY 305: History of Psychopathology in Europe

Description: An examination of psychology in cultural settings in Europe.


Students in Oxford, England with Profs. Terry Lindvall and Ben Haller, June 2014. Anonymous photographer.

RELST 326: Methodism

Description: An excursion to Scotland and England to study the Protestant reform movements of John Knox, Thomas Cranmer, John Wesley, and a little bit of C S Lewis. 


Virginia Wesleyan students and Prof. Lindvall in the UK, May 2016. Anonymous photographer.

RELST 352/452: Seminar in Lewis & Tolkien

Description: Study the works of C. S. Lewis & J. R. R. Tolkien where they lived and wrote.


Virginia Wesleyan students and Prof. Lindvall in the UK, May 2016. Anonymous photographer.

RELST 361/461 Topics in Religion: Scottish and English Reformations

Description: An excursion to Scotland and England to study the Protestant reform movements of John Knox, Thomas Cranmer, John Wesley, and a little bit of CS Lewis. 


Virginia Wesleyan students at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel, 10 January 2020. Photograph by Elad Vazana.

RELST 361: Ancient to Modern Israel

Description: This course travels to Israel, a land whose history and sites offer a unique opportunity to explore the history and development of biblical literature, as well as the three major monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


VWU students at the National Institute of Health, Washington, D.C. October 2017. Photograph by Prof. Kathy Stolley.

SOC 215: Story of Medicine

Description: Acknowledging that health, illness, the practice of medicine, and medical institutions are matters not only of biology but also society and culture, this course provides a sociological examination of medicine and medical knowledge. Students visit locations in Washington, D.C. that combine to tell the story of medicine and how medical knowledge is created, ranging from historical perspectives to cutting-edge research.



Virginia Wesleyan students in Mexico. January 2016. Anonymous photographer.

SPAN 219/319: Seminar in Hispanic Culture

Description: Course combines class instruction with travel to the Mayan World in the Yucatan Peninsula to examine Latin American cultures.


Virginia Wesleyan students at the Convent of San Berdardino de Sien, Valladolid, Yucatán. Anonymous photographer.

SPAN 313: Seminar in Hispanic Cultures

Description: This course combines traditional class instruction and travel to the Mayan World in the Yucatan Peninsula, a unique archaeological region that reveals the rich past of the Latin American cultures.


VWU students share the aloha spirit with the Kipahulu Ohana, Maui, Hawaii, January 2019. Anonymous photographer.

SRM 348: Maui Sea to Sky: Adventure Travel's Impact on Culture and The Environment

Description: This course examines the impact that adventure travel has on culture and the environment. To study the impact, students travel to Maui. These trips help students to understand how tourist activities affect culture, the economy, and preservation of the environment.


Virginia Wesleyan theatre students in New York City, January 2013. Anonymous photographer.

TH 270/370: Theatre Seminar

Description: This course examines culture and business in London. As a top global destination, London serves as the backdrop for exploring the interdependent nature of business and culture. Students undertake group and independent experiences that explore the connections between research, on-site experience, and informed reflection and criticism.