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Study Abroad and History: Opportunities for Students

| Cade Lambrecht

History students at UW-Eau Claire have many opportunities to broaden their education outside of the classroom. Through short-term and long-term study abroad programs, students can travel to unique historical destinations and immerse themselves in new cultures.

One of these opportunities are Faculty-Led Immersion Programs. Unlike traditional study abroad, Faculty-Led Immersions are shorter in length and led by experienced UW-Eau Claire faculty. They are designed, as the title suggests, to fully immerse students in the culture and history of the destination, while in the process collaborating with other UW-Eau Claire students and professors. Two Faculty-Led Immersions have a history emphasis and explore two fascinating regions of Europe.

The Central European Travel Seminar is offered every summer. This immersion travels to five countries (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland) over a four-week period. This program analyzes the complicated and often turbulent history of Central Europe. From multinational empires, to the rise of Nazism and Communism, Central Europe encompasses a broad range of historical movements and themes. This program visits museums, monuments, historical sites, government institutions, and prominent cultural locations to examine the region. The tentative program dates are May 31st-June 27th, 2019. History students are encouraged to apply soon, as the priority application deadline is November 15th. For more information on this opportunity, visit the UW-Eau Claire study abroad website at this link.

The Great Britain, Public History Faculty-Led Immersion travels to five different cities throughout Great Britain, including three capitals. This program focuses on two interrelated themes. First, how public spaces in Great Britain are used to represent and interpret their history. Second, how this analysis contributes to the meaning of “Britishness.” This analysis is examined in the context of many historical periods including Victorian, British imperialism, and contemporary events like Brexit. The program is excellent for history students as it balances academics and travel, and offers chances for students to explore on their own. The tentative program dates are June 4th-June 29th, 2019. Like the Central European Travel Seminar, the priority application deadline is November 15th. See this link for more information on this program.

The benefits of participating in a Faculty-Led Immersion program are vast. As Jeff Degrave, the interim Intercultural Immersion Coordinator explains, “Every student should challenge themselves by stepping outside their comfort zone and into their “stretch zone”—to understand the world from other equally valid perspectives by participating on an Immersion Program. UW-Eau Claire highly values Immersion Programs and every student receives significant financial support from the university—funding that has allowed more students to participate on Immersion Programs than ever before. And, participating on a winter, spring, or summer immersion program will actually accelerate your graduate date. Employers look for graduates with a larger, more comprehensive understanding of the world and gaining intercultural competence on an immersion program provides a skill and a value system that will make you stand out compared to other applicants. Challenge yourself. Believe in yourself. Immerse yourself.”

For students looking to study abroad for an entire semester, the History department offers an exchange program in Winchester. The history department has a partnership with the history program at the University of Winchester. Through this partnership, history students from each university have the opportunity to study at the other. For students interested in Medieval and Middle Ages history, this program is an excellent option. The University of Winchester offers many courses in these periods that are not offered regularly at UW-Eau Claire. For more information on this program, contact Dr. Teresa Sanislo or visit this link. Dr. Sanislo’s contact information can be found in the faculty/staff page.

In addition to the programs listed above, dozens of other programs and locations are options for all students. For other programs, please visit the study abroad website at this link. Once on the website, programs can be searched by region, country, and term.