Previous Study Away Courses

Virginia Wesleyan students at Carnegie Hall, 2014
APMU 111: Virginia Wesleyan Singers

Description: The Virginia Wesleyan Singers have been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in April 2018 under the direction of Prof. Bryson Mortensen, the conductor the 125-member choir. The course will be offered during the spring 2018 semester when the choir will prepare for the performance.

A studio art course featuring on-location photography. In addition to international travel, the photography fieldwork 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. In previous years, the course traveled to the UK, France, The Netherlands, and New Zealand.
ART 307: Travel Photography

Description: A spring 2016 studio art course featuring on-location photography with the option of European travel in mid-May. The photography fieldwork 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. The optional travel to London, Paris, and Amsterdam takes place from May 16-25.

2012 Bio Dayna Snorkeling.jpg
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.

El Yunque Puerto Rico
By Björn Söderqvist (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via flikr
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 student working in the Clean Room at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, January 2015
CHEM 455: Measurement Science

Description: Students travel to Washington, D.C. to learn about the importance of rigorous analytical methods and standardization across the globe. They visit Chemistry laboratories, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

British Parliament and Big Ben
CJ 215: Study Away Course in Criminal Justice

Description: This course offers students the opportunity to study the British criminal justice system first hand. Site visits include Parliament and the Inns of Court, where British lawyers train. Students observe court cases and meet with British law enforcement officials.

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
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. In 2017, this course traveled to New York City.

Virginia Wesleyan students on the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland, June 2016
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. It coincides with the centennial celebration of the Easter Rising. We will also travel to Ireland's scenic west coast as well as to Northern Ireland. Prerequisite: Eng 105 with C or higher.

Virginia Wesleyan students in Haines, Alaska, June 2017
ENVS 283: Seminar in Alaska: Sustainability

Description: The majestic landscape of southeast Alaska provides the backdrop for this field-based course and allows hands-on exploration of the complex relationships between people and environments. "Live the text" as you learn about climate change while walking on a retreating glacier, study the life cycle of salmon while rafting the Chilkat River, identify plants and animals during a hike through a temperate rainforest, and discuss ancient and contemporary concepts of sustainability with native Tlingit people.

Virginia Wesleyan students in South Korea, March 2017
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 Sara Sewell.
HIST 262: History of Prague

Description: This course investigates the history of various European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna, and Prague. During the 2017 Winter Session, this course explores 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.

HIST 262: History of the European City: Berlin

Description: This course examines 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 earn “Historical Perspective” credit. No German is required.

HON 200 Connections and Context - Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

Description: In the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, just south of the Arctic Circle, lies Iceland with 30 active and 100 inactive volcanoes. Its northern location gives it a climate that has spawned 269 named glaciers that cover 11% of the island’s surface. Iceland is truly a land of fire and ice. These two forces combine to create a landscape of hot springs and geysers, waterfalls and black sand beaches; a landscape so spectacular in its starkness that it is the filming location for many otherworldly scenes in Game of Thrones. With 20 hours of daylight, we have time to take in all of its beauty! Iceland is home to 330,000 hardy descendants of the Vikings, who settled this land nearly 1,200 years ago. In some ways, life has changed little since the first settlers. In other ways, they are years ahead of the rest of the world. We study how Icelanders have harnessed the vast reservoir of geothermal heat below the surface to create a modern civilization, powered by a 100% renewable energy system.

HON 200: Connections & Context: The Peoples and Cultures of Barcelona

Description: This course investigates the society and culture of Barcelona, Spain. A main port on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona has been an international crossroad since the era of the ancient Roman Empire, attracting people from around the globe. Barcelona’s internationalism has made for a unique demographic conglomeration. Historically, the city has been dominated by Catalonians. But other peoples have also lived in the city, including immigrants and conquerors. This course focuses on the groups who have resided in Barcelona: their identities, social organization, culture, and politics. We invoke Barcelona’s natural and urban landscapes to trace their steps and to understand their inter-relations.

Tower Bridge, London, England, UK
HUM 201: Travel in the Humanities

Description: Through campus activities and travel, students understand the breadth and influence of the Humanities by visiting historical sites, experiencing theatrical performances, discovering world-renowned museums, and exploring one of the world’s most influential cities.

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.

Theatre students in New York, 2013
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.

Berlin reichstag CP
By Cezary Piwowarski (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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.
Course Dates: Summer Session
Tentative Travel Dates: 3 weeks from late May to early June 2018
Approximate Cost: $3,000

For more information, please contact Prof. Antje Schwennicke (

Virginia Wesleyan students in the Netherlands, January 2017
PSY 305: History of Psychopathology in Europe

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

REC 348: Maui to Moguls

Description: This course examines the impact that adventure travel has on culture and the environment. To study the impact, students travel to Maui and local Hampton Roads destinations. These trips help students to understand how tourist activities (such as snorkeling, hiking, surfing, luau, and agri-tourism) have an effect on culture, the economy, and preservation of the environment.

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

Prof. Terry Lindvall with students at Merton College in Oxford, 2014
RELST 352/452: Seminar in Lewis & Tolkien

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

For more information, contact Prof. Terry Lindvall (

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

For more information, contact Prof. Terry Lindvall (

הר הבית והכותל
By מאור וינטרוב (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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.

Virginia Wesleyan students in Mexico. January 2016
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.

For more information, contact Prof. Diana Risk (

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.

For more information, contact Prof. Diana Risk (

Theatre students in New York, 2013
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.

For more information, contact Prof. Travis Malone (