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Current Faculty-Led International Immersion Programs

Where can you explore next?

Curious about faculty-led international immersion programs? See where you can go this year to learn more about the world!

Summer 2024 programs

Argentina: Culture, Society, and History

Program Location: Mendoza, Argentina
Program Dates: Summer, 2024: DATES: May 22 - June 8, 2024
Target Student Population: Program will accept at least 12 students. All students are welcome. Students with interests in LAS, Spanish, and History are strongly encouraged to apply.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Dr. Kati Barahona-López
Corresponding Course: LAS 390: Latin American Studies Immersion Experience (3 credits)
Additional Attributes: R2

Abstract: This faculty-led international Immersion program introduces students to contemporary Argentina and the many issues facing the country and culture. Experiences on the program will include visits to various museums--including one to better understand the legacy of the "Dirty War," day trips to wineries as Mendoza is the "Napa Valley" of South America, learning about human rights, dancing the tango, engaging in discussions with local university students, participating in a cooking class to gain greater insight into the history and culture of Argentine cuisine, a hike in the Andes, and much, much more.

Apply Now!

CETS: Central European Travel Seminar: NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

Program Location: Berlin, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Krakow, Poland
Program Dates: Summer 2024: May 23-June 19, 2024
Target Student Population: Program will accept 21 students. All students are welcome. The focus for CETS 2023 will be History, Art, Political Science, Gender Roles, and much more
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Professors Teresa Sanislo, Jill Olm, and Damir Kovacevic
Corresponding Courses: Required Spring Prep Course: IDIS 339 (3 credits: MW 5:00-6:15 during Spring Semester 2024); Summer Travel Seminar in Europe: IDIS 340 (3 credits)
Additional Attributes: R2, I1

Abstract: This interdisciplinary faculty-led international Immersion program explores the history, arts, politics, music, geography, economics, identity, and challenges facing this historically complex and dynamic region. The program takes place in 5 countries, traveling by train from city to city. Students will be exposed to wide variety of customs, cultures, languages, and more by viewing Central Europe from a wide variety of perspectives. Students may stay after the program and continue to travel Europe on their own.

 

NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

Finland and Estonia: Sustainable Societies: NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

Program Locations: Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia
Program Dates: Summer 2024; May 24-June 14, 2024 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program will accept at least 12 students. All students are welcome. Students with interests in Geography, Environmental Studies / Sustainability, and European Studies are strongly encouraged to apply.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Dr. Paul Kaldjian and Dr. Doug Faulkner
Corresponding Courses: Spring Prep Course: GEOG 491: Special Topics (1 credit); Summer Course in Europe GEOG 366: Travel Seminar (3 credits)
Additional Attributes: R2

Abstract: This faculty-led international Immersion will take place largely on bicycles (make sure you can ride a bike before signing up for this program!). This sustainability-themed experience will take students to the extremely progressive city of Helsinki where students will gain greater understanding of why Finland is recognized as an international leader in social wellbeing (e.g., education, health care, human rights) and environmental protection and enhancement (e.g. clean energy practices, green transportation planning, sustainable development). The program will then take students to Tallinn, Estonia, by ferry, to draw comparisons and contrasts between the two cities.

Scotland: Special Education in Scotland: NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

Program Locations: Scotland: Aberdeen, Dalkeith, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Kyleakin, Oban, and the Orkney Islands
Program Dates: Summer 2024; May 22-June 28, 2024
Target Student Population: Program will accept approximately 22 students. Students studying Special Education will be given priority.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Professors Karsten Powell, Kirstin Rossi, Jennifer Sisum, and David Peyton
Corresponding Courses: SPED450: Trauma Informed Practices for Inclusive Educators (3 credits); SPED495: Community and School Experience in Special Education in Scotland (3 credits)
Additional Attributes: R2

Abstract: Special Education in Scotland is a 5-week study abroad program offered through the Department of Special Education and Inclusive Practices here at UW-Eau Claire. The program allows undergraduate students to study and experience firsthand the Scottish special education system. The program consists of a two-week observation in a Scottish school, two weeks of classroom involvement, and a five-day experiential learning program through the Scottish Highlands. The summer 2024 faculty leaders are professors Karsten Powell, Barb Meier, Kirsten Rossi, and Jennifer Sisum— all from the Department of Special Education and Inclusive Practices.

 

NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

South Africa: Social Justice in South Africa: NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

Program Locations: Cape Town, Robben Island, Johannesburg, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger National Park
Program Dates: 16 Days: May 20 to June 4, 2024 (tentative)
Target Student Population: Program will accept 12 students. Students studying Social Work will be given priority.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Ms. Jamie Tester and Ms. Samantha Kobs
Corresponding Courses: No summer course is associated with this program (a 1-credit independent study is optional); All students must enroll in the 1-credit independent study South Africa prep course during Spring, 2024.
Additional Attributes: R2, 30 hours of service-learning

Abstract: Social Justice in South Africa is a 17-day (including travel days) Immersion program thats examine how South African culture has been strongly impacted by both individual and collective decisions that have had a profound influence on race relations for over 200 years. Students will explore the historical context of colonization of South Africa, the role of South Africa in the slave trade, the development, expansion and eventual eradication of Apartheid, the development of modern democracy in South Africa, the current political situation, the political and economic future of the region, and the social change models at work.

 

NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2024

Spain, France, and Portugal: Camino de Santiago

Program Locations: Bordeaux, Saint‐Jean‐Pied‐de‐Port, France; Pamplona, Sarria, Santiago, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal. 
Program Dates: 20 Days: May 21 to June 9, 2024
Target Student Population: Program will accept 12 students. Open to all students; Spanish majors / minors / certificates are strongly encouraged to participate. (No foreign language requirement)
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Jeff DeGrave and Chia-Yu Hsu
Corresponding Courses: IDIS 354: Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (3 credits).
Additional Attributes: R2

Abstract: This immersion experience on the “French Way” of the Camino de Santiago--a historical walking pilgrimage route from Southwestern France to Santiago, Spain, provides students with the opportunity to not only participate on the 111 kilometer (65 mile) walk from Sarria, Spain to Santiago, Spain, but to understand, recognize, and critique the systems of power that are deeply embedded—and often overlooked—within the Camino. Through site visits along the “French Way,” actually walking 111 kilometers of the Camino, and interacting with fellow pilgrims, students will not only experience Spanish culture, but also  acquire a more critical lens of the Camino to comprehend the deeply embedded meanings, symbolism, and representations and actions of power, nationalism, racism, sexism, and inequality that have shaped the Camino and its revered positionality within Western culture. 

Apply Now! 

Winterim 2025 Programs

Costa Rica: Engaging in Global Health: APPLICATIONS FOR 2025 NOW OPEN!

Program Locations: San José, San Vito, La Casona Indigenous Territory, Manuel Antonio National Park
Program Dates: January 6, 2025 through January 20, 2025 (Tentatively) 
Target Student Population: Program will accept up to 12 students. All students are welcome. Students with interests in LAS, Spanish, Public Health, American Indian Studies, Social Justice, Geography, History, Biology, and Environmental Studies / Sustainability are strongly encouraged to apply.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Caitlin Suginaka and Dr. Briana Rockler
Corresponding Course: None (this program is not credit bearing) 
Certificates: Pillars of Global Health and a participation certificate from the University of Peace and the Inter-American Center of Global Health
Additional Attributes: R2

Abstract: This faculty-led international Immersion program to Costa Rica, Engaging in Global Health in Costa Rica provides students the opportunity to explore socio-cultural issues, health care systems, health determinants, and health outcomes in Costa Rica, while practicing their Spanish language skills. This program is designed for students from disciplines that have an interest in health in a global context and / or Latin America. Costa Rica provides its citizens with universal health care coverage and offers some of the highest quality health care in Latin America. Students will participate in excursions to unique health and community-based organizations, with further opportunities to enjoy Costa Rica's natural beauty, hospitality, and culture.

Apply Now!

Guatemala: Social and Environmental Justice: APPLICATIONS FOR 2025 NOW OPEN!

Program Locations: Antigua, San Miguel Escobar, San Lucas Toliman  
Program Dates: December 28, 2024 through January 11, 2025 (Tentatively) 
Target Student Population: Program will accept up to 20 students. All students are welcome. Students with interests in LAS, Spanish, American Indian Studies, Social Justice, Geography, History, Biology, and Environmental Studies / Sustainability are strongly encouraged to apply.
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Dr. Cathy Rex and Dr. Kati Barahona-López
Corresponding Course: None (no course credits are earned on this program)
Additional Attributes: R2, 30 hours of service-learning

Abstract: This faculty-led international Immersion program to Guatemala allows students to gain greater understanding of institutions of power on a global scale. The program is administered through our on-site partner, De La Gente--a "fair trade" (direct trade) social and environmental justice oriented coffee cooperative. Students will see and experience, first-hand, how our decisions on which products we purchase here in the U.S. can and do impact the lives others around the world--both positively and negatively. Students will also participate directly with the Ij'atz indigenous community for the service-learning project to help provide much needed labor to enhance their daily lives. 

Apply Now!

India: Global Feminisms: APPLICATIONS FOR 2025 NOW OPEN!

Program Locations: New Delhi and Agra, India
Program Dates: January 4-19, 2025 (Depart US on January 1; dates are tentative)
Target Student Population: Program will accept 12 students. Business majors / minors / certs are encouraged to apply. But open to all!
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Dr. Josephine Kipgen (co-leader to be named later)
Corresponding Course: WGSS 422: Global Feminisms (3 credits)
Additional Attributes: R2

Abstract: Through UW-Eau Claire’s Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, this faculty-led international Immersion program connects UWEC students with Indian students, faculty, and staff at one of the top-ranked colleges of India, Miranda House College (University of Delhi), to learn about women’s and gender issues in relation to Indian law and public policy. Teams of students from both institutions will work together with local NGOs, visiting scholars, and grassroots organizations. Field trips will include visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Agra Fort,​ and India Gate. 

Apply Now!

Thailand: Globalization: APPLICATIONS FOR 2025 NOW OPEN!

Program Locations: Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket, Thailand
Program Dates: January 2-18, 2025 (Depart US on January 1; dates are tentative)
Target Student Population: Program will accept 12 students. Business majors / minors / certs are encouraged to apply. But open to all!
Faculty / Staff Leader(s): Dr. Melissa Emerson (co-leader to be named later)
Corresponding Course: INTB 363: International Business (3 credits)
Additional Attributes: R2, I1

Abstract: This faculty-led international Immersion program to Thailand operates through a strong collaboration with our on-site partner, Mae Fah Luang University (MFU), located in Chiang Rai, Thailand. During this program, students will visit four cities (Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket), tour more than a dozen companies of different sizes and in different industries, and have a wide variety of cultural visits including historic sites and museums. Through the many company tours, students will not only gain first-hand experience on how businesses are done in a different country, but also will attend formal presentations provided by the host companies discussing their challenges and opportunities in today’s global business environment. The lessons learned in Thailand will allow students to learn about and engage with different cultural elements from the various Thai sub-cultures, as well as demonstrate knowledge about the world’s diverse cultures, environments, practices, and values.

 Apply Now!

Blugolds (from left) Samantha Maurer, Bekah Henn and Alyssa Hanson biked in the Wachau Valley during a summer immersion program in Central Europe. They visited multiple countries, learning about the history and culture of the region.

World travelers wanted, no experience needed

The Central European Travel Seminar (CETS) is an exciting way for Blugolds to be immersed in European history and culture over the summer. Recently, Blugolds Samantha Maurer, Bekah Henn and Alyssa Hanson, along with two faculty leaders, spent three weeks in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia.

During the immersion, students learned about the complications facing Central Europe, a region caught between empires, world wars and the Cold War. Beyond learning the history of the region, traveling to Central Europe also helped the students learn to navigate foreign cultures, gain confidence in their ability to interact with people from different backgrounds and even help them discover potential new career paths.

 

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