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May Term

Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College
Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College


Each year 40% of Roanoke College students travel around the world for Intensive Learning courses. This year there are 14 courses offered in 10 different countries and 3 continents. Although there are no trips to Africa and South America this year, the locations chosen change every year, and it is likely one will be there for next year.

These classes are typically held in May, but this year one course, Dr. Andreea Mihalache-O’Keef’s ‘Need’, Grassroots Action, and Development: How far from Appalachia to the Yucatan, is happening during July instead.

In addition to that course, there are others that relate to a variety of majors. There are several biology and history courses, with names like Animals of India: Conservation and Culture, The National Park System: Explore Your America, Ethnobotany: Comparing Appalachia and the Yucatan, The History of Hawaii, and The Course of German History: Four Moments.

There are two courses in Spain, Andalucia and its Legacy in Modern Spanish, and Walking the Camino de Santiago which explore the culture and development of the country. A similar course, Paris Premedieval, Paris Postmodern explores the development and transformation of Paris. Whereas Doing Business in China teaches how cultural differences between China and the US affect business practices.

British Theatre: London and Stratford-Upon-Avon involves seeing and studying plays, Comparative Education focuses on the Yucatan educational system with American schools, and Travel Writing in Western Turkey is an introduction to the popular field of travel writing. Sri Lanka: Landscape and History involves the intersection and interplay between geography and history.

Dr. Gail Steehler, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and General Education, encourages any and all students to look into Intensive Learning travel courses, because it can be a great first experience that can get them over the edge. Some students haven’t had the opportunity to travel, so it can be daunting. According to Dr. Steehler, IL courses can “build confidence in traveling abroad” and prepare someone for a semester abroad later in their college career.

Intensive Learning courses make learning real, any of the courses you could read about on campus expressed Steehler. “The people, the places, and ideas become real,” said Dr. Steehler.

Applying for IL courses is a simple process. All it takes is filling out an application and writing a one-page typed essay about why the course is interesting personally.

There are some changes this year in applying for IL courses. Instead of applying for only one course at a time, this year a student can list their top three choices, and even if they don’t get into their first choice, their application will immediately be used for their other choices.

Applications are suggested to be turned in as soon as possible, on or before October 5 in the Dean’s Office, because classes fill up very quickly. Forms can be turned in as late as November 15, however.

Scholarships are also available for students interested in IL Travel courses who have financial aid. That form is due October 15 at the Financial Aid Office, and notification of any scholarship money received will be given before November 15 when a $300 deposit is required to reserve a spot.

For more information on Intensive Learning Travel Courses, visit the IL Showcase Event on October 2nd, email Dr. Steehler at gsteehle@roanoke.edu, or visit the page on the website at http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/intensive_learning/2016_travel_courses.