2019-20 Study Away Courses

2020-21 Study Away Course Preview

Originally held on April 30, 2020, this workshop features three VWU faculty discussing their 2020-21 short term study away courses. Professors Nafar (MBE 209, Morocco), Gonsalves-Jackson (BIO/EES 375, Belize and Guatemala), and D. Kennedy (SRM 348, Hawaii) provide information on the location, itinerary, and registration process for each course. Hosted by The Lighthouse's Study Away Program (SAP). For more information, contact the SAP director, Ms. Mandy Reinig.

Grant Application Deadlines

  • 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.

Information on VWU’s 2020-21 study away courses will be available in May 2020.

January Term 2020

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: 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).


Virginia Wesleyan history students with sections of the Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2018. Anonymous photographer.

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)


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.
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).

Summer 2020

Austin Edmonds ‘20 (Communication) in Haines, Alaska, 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).

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.
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)

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.
Destination: Newfoundland, Canada
Course Dates: Summer Semester 2020
Tentative Travel Dates: June 29-July 10, 2020

For more information, contact Prof. Chris Haley (chaley@vwu.edu) or Prof. Dan Margolies (dmargolies@vwu.edu)