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2019-20 Study Away Courses

January Term 2020

Registration for January Term 2020 opens for incoming first-year students in June 2019 and for returning students on September 16, 2019.

Grant Application Deadlines

  • January Term 2020: September 16, 2019
  • Spring Semester 2020: November 15, 2019
  • Summer Session 2020: See SHIPP

Virginia Wesleyan University offers study away courses taught by our own faculty. The 2019-20 courses are listed below. For more information about individual courses, contact the faculty instructor directly.

Students enrolled in VWU’s study away courses may apply for The Lighthouse’s Study Away Course Grants.

January Term 2020

Chemistry students analyzing data with NIST scientist Dr. Vocke, Washington, D.C., January 2017.

CHEM 310: Metrology: 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. Prerequisites: CHEM120 and the successful completion of any 200-level chemistry course with a grade of C or better. Completion of CHEM 210 is recommended.
Destination: Washington, D.C.
Course Dates: January Term 2020 (January 6-25, 2020)
Tentative Travel Dates: January 12-17, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $750

For more information, please contact Prof. Maury Howard (mhoward@vwu.edu).


History students with sections of the Berlin Wall, January 19, 2018.

HIST 262: History of the European City: Berlin

Description: This course examines the history of Berlin, focusing primarily on its boom years in the final decades of the nineteenth century until its current reunification. Berlin has been at the center of Germany’s tumultuous past in the modern era. Indeed, it has continuously been the prism through with historical contestation has been filtered in Germany. Through a study of the historical landscape of Berlin, including memorials, museums, consumer spaces, housing, architecture, and ruins, students examine the public debates that surround Berlin’s and Germany’s past. Students earn “Historical Perspective” credit.
Destination: Berlin, Germany
Course Dates: January Term 2020 (January 6-25, 2020)
Tentative Travel Dates: January 8-25, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $2,800
Tentative Syllabus with Itinerary

For more information, please contact Prof. Sara Sewell (ssewell@vwu.edu).

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.
Destination: Israel/Palestine
Course Dates: January Term 2020 (January 6-25, 2020)
Tentative Travel Dates: January 7-17, 2020

For more information, contact Prof. Craig Wansink (cwansink@vwu.edu)


Spanish students at the front terrace of the Castle of Chapultepec, Mexico City, January 2019. Photograph by Prof. Diana Risk.

SPAN 219/319: Seminar in Hispanic Studies

Description: This is a multidisciplinary approach to Mexico City and to the rich and syncretic nature of its culture and urban uniqueness. The course visits museums, historical landmarks, and cultural and natural sites in and around Mexico City, to examining the distinctive geographic and historical aspects that have made it one of the largest and most culturally diverse urban centers in the world.
Destination: Mexico City, Mexico
Course Dates: January Term 2020 (January 6-25, 2020)
Tentative Travel Dates: January 9-21, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $2,230

For more information, please contact Prof. Diana Risk (drisk@vwu.edu).


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

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.
Destination: Maui, Hawaii
Course Dates: January Term 2020 (January 6-25, 2020)
Tentative Travel Dates: January 9-15, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $2,200

For more information, please contact Prof. Doug Kennedy (dkennedy@vwu.edu).

Spring 2020

Wesleyan Singers performing at Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY, April 2018.

APMU 230: Wesleyan Chorale Tour

Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to perform in China and to learn about Chinese culture and music. It also explores the sights and sounds of China as well as the Chinese way of life.
Destination: Beijing, Xi’an, and Tiajiin, China (Tentative)
Course Dates: Spring Semester 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: April 2-11, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $3,750
Tentative Syllabus

For more information, please contact Prof. Byrson Mortensen (bmortensen@vwu.edu).

Aimelie Ronquillo at Dr. Who’s Police Box, London, 2016. Photograph by Prof. Sharon Swift

ART 307: Travel Photography

Description: This studio art course features on-location photography, such as street life and architectural details. Students create visual travel journals from collage materials. They learn digital camera features, create projects “off the beaten track in VA,” and use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to edit images. The course’s highlight is photographing in London and Amsterdam over spring break 2020. Prior to the European travel, students create projects that utilize greater Hampton Roads locations. Students must participate in all course-related local and European travel. A digital camera and appropriate supplies are required. Prerequisite: consent.
Destination: London, United Kingdom and Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Course Dates: Spring Semester 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: March 12-20, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $3,550
Tentative Syllabus

For more information, please contact Prof. Sharon Swift (sswift@vwu.edu). 


Psychology students in front of a windmill in Amsterdam, January 2017. Photograph by tour guide.

PSY 305: Study Away in Psychology

Description:This course examines topics in psychology in cultural settings outside the classroom by traveling to locations relevant to the topic studied in the given semester. The topic for this course is "Art and Abnormality.” We investigate how abnormal behavior has been both explained and expressed through art by exploring two of Europe's most relevant cities, London and Amsterdam. Prerequisite: Consent.
Destination: London, United Kingdom and Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Course Dates: Spring Semester 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: March 12-20, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $3,550
Tentative Syllabus with Itinerary

For more information, please contact Prof. Taryn Myers (tmyers@vwu.edu).

Summer 2020

VWU student experiencing Alaskan culture, June 2017. Photograph by Prof. Lawrence Hultgren.

ENVS 283: Seminar in Alaska: Environmental and Cultural 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.
Destination: Haines, Alaska
Course Dates: Summer Semester 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: June 6-15, 2020
Estimated Course Travel Fee: $3,450
Tentative Syllabus with Itinerary

For more information, please contact Prof. William Gibson (wgibson@vwu.edu).

Enchanted Forest in Germany. Photograph submitted by 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.
Destination: Germany
Course Dates: Summer 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: May 18-25, 2020

For more information, contact Prof. Terry Lindvall (tlindvall@vwu.edu)

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.
Destination:Ghana
Course Dates: Summer Semester 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: May 25-June 14, 2020

For more information, contact Prof. Bryson Mortensen (bmortensen@vwu.edu)