Programs Led by St. Olaf Faculty

St. Olaf faculty members organize and lead programs that range in length from one to five months and cover a wide variety of subjects. Three programs are offered annually during fall semester (one continuing through the January Interim), a fourth is offered every other year during the spring semester, and many others are offered during the January Interim.

Term in the Middle East (Fall Semester)

Term in the Middle East provides students the opportunity to experience the rich cultural achievements of this ancient and dynamic part of the world. Students take four courses in affiliation with Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey; the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco; and American University in Cairo, Egypt. In fall semester, 2014 the courses will be:

Political Science ME254: Political Institutions of the Middle East
This course examines social changes and political developments in the Middle East and their impact on emerging political institutions. It includes study of Islam and its relation to political institutions, the special role of Turkey in Middle Eastern affairs and in relation to Europe and the United States. The prospects for peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is also discussed. Counts toward major. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS); Multicultural Studies Course (MCG).

Sociology ME257: Social Change in Moroccan Society
This course explores the forces that have given Morocco cohesion and continuity in a rapidly changing world. Special emphasis is given to the impact of colonialism and to topics such as the family, religion, law and politics. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS).

History ME250: Egypt in the Ancient and Modern World
This course focuses on the unique role of Egypt in the political and cultural life of the ancient, medieval, and modern Middle East. The course emphasizes the history and culture of Pharaonic and Islamic Egypt, with visits to sites in the Cairo area and Luxor. Also included is Egypt's history from the period of 19th-century colonization to its role in contemporary Middle Eastern affairs. Counts towards major. GE: Historical Studies in Western Culture (HWC).

Field Supervisor's Course: (still to be determined)

Term in Asia (Fall Semester) Note: Offered every other year - next in fall semester 2014-15.

Term in Asia combines cross-cultural experience with academic study at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and with staff of CET Academic Programs in China and Vietnam. Participants spend a week in Hong Kong, a month in China, six weeks in Thailand, and a month in Vietnam. The stay in Thailand is highlighted by an extended family stay. In 2014 the courses will be:

Asian Studies TA250: Environmental Issues in China
This course introduces students to historical and current environmental issues in China. Students will consider how environmental science has shaped awareness of environmental problems and the policy responses to those problems, with a special focus on issues related to water use and pollution. Readings and lectures will be brought to life with a program of guided field trips. Counts toward major: Asian Studies. Counts toward concentration: Asian Studies, Environmental Studies.

Sociology TA255: Thai Society
An analysis of current Thai institutions against the backdrop of traditional Thai culture. Topics include Thai Buddhism, family organization, political and economic structures, and educational practices. Lectures will be supplemented by field trips and participatory experiences. The course also includes an introduction to the Thai language. Counts toward major, Asian Studies, Sociology/Anthropology. Counts towards concentration: Asian Studies. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS).

History TA265P: Modern Vietnam History (under review)
An overview of Vietnam in the 20th century, examining such topics as French colonialism, Marxism-Leninism, the struggle for independence, the First Indochina War, and what the Vietnamese call the American War. Counts toward major, Asian Studies, History. Counts toward concentration, Asian Studies. GE: Multicultural Studies-Global (MCG).

Field Supervisor's Course: (the 2012 course was taught by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Ted Johnson)
Biology TA 2012: Health Care and Emerging Diseases in Asia

Students examine public health and the health care response to emerging diseases in Asia. They study the emerging diseases in a global as well as a societal context while emphasizing their biological origins. Topics include microbiology, immunology, public health, western as well as traditional medicine, and modes of healthcare delivery. Readings, discussions, and lectures will be supplemented by visits to healthcare agencies and medical facilities. GE: Integrated Scientific Topics (IST); Oral Communication (ORC).

The Global Semester (Fall Semester and Interim)

Global Semester examines issues facing developing countries. The itinerary takes the group around the world with visits to Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and South Korea. Participants study at the American University in Cairo, the Ecumenical Christian Centre in Bangalore, India, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. They take five courses. In 2013-14, the courses will be:

History GL257: Themes in Ancient Graeco-Roman and Islamic-Egyptian History
(Note: Due to political unrest in Egypt, in 2013 a history course will be offered in Greece and Turkey.)
Lectures, discussions and extensive field trips provide understanding of significant developments and themes in Egypt's ancient and medieval past with emphasis on dynastic Coptic and Islamic periods. Field trips include a visit to Luxor. Counts toward major. GE: Historical Studies in Western Culture (HWC).

Religion GL251L: Religions of India
Lectures, discussions and field trips provide the basis for an understanding of the history and practice of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and other religions in India. Religious scholars from India provide the background for an understanding of the assumptions, views, nature, traditions and contemporary practices of the dominant religious expressions in India. Counts toward major.

Art GL241: The Arts of China
Survey of Chinese art, its function, technique and aesthetic elements from bronzes and porcelain bones of the Shang Dynasty to porcelain and scroll paintings of the Ching Dynasty. Counts toward major. GE: Artistic Studies (ALS-A), Multicultural Studies Course (MCG).

Sociology GL255: Korean Society
Introduction to the social structure and institutions of contemporary South Korea, including population, urbanization, social class and mobility, work organizations and labor relations, family and women. Counts toward major. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS). Multicultural Studies Course (MCG).

Field Supervisor's Course: (taught in 2013-14 by accompanying St. Olaf faculty member Martin Hodel)
Music 238: Traditional and Popular Music: Global Perspectives

The study of music offers a valuable entry into the analysis of other cultures. This course explores various types of traditional and popular music (from art and folk music to pop, rock, and hip hop) encountered in the countries visited. Students examine musical function and form, relate music to cultural characteristics, and explore the way traditional and pop music of each country influence each other. They attend performances, meet musicians, and learn to play or sign pieces. Counts toward Asian studies concentration. GE: Artistic Studies (ALS-A), Oral Communication Requirement (ORC).

Environmental Science in Australia (Spring Semester)

Note: Normally offered every other year. The Field Supervisors for second semester 2014 will be Steven Freedberg, Professor of Biology and Kelly Wolford Freedberg.

The flora, fauna, ecological habits, and human history of Australia offer opportunities for study that are unique in diversity. This program begins in Melbourne during their late summer (February) and moves northward into the warmer latitudes during the semester as their autumn progresses. All travel will be in the eastern half of the country where the greatest diversity of natural habitats and human activity occur. A combination of lectures, extensive field experiences, a short home-stay, and brief research projects enable students to learn about and appreciate this fascinating continent.

Biology 224: Marine Biology
Field trips explore many habitats from mud flats to coral reefs. Studies occur at several marine research facilities. Seven days are spent out on the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the time on the reef is spent studying at the Heron Island Research Station, and two days are spent living on and studying from an ocean vessel.

Biology 226: Terrestrial Ecology
The course examines habitats from coastal sand dunes to subtropical rain forests as well as the dry outback and alpine mountains. Field trips include two five-day camping trips in remote areas.

Sociology/Anthropology 222: Cultural Anthropology
Course visits both rural and urban aboriginal communities as well as aboriginal archaeological sites. Caucasian influence and settlement are examined.

Political Science 220: Environmental Policy
Course studies the Australian political system with emphasis on environmental policy. One focal point for this class is a stay at Canberra, the national capital, with a visit to Parliament. Topics range from governing the nation's Land Care Program to mining operations to the Great Barrier Reef.