Faculty-led Short-Term Abroad Programs

November 1, 2021
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Short-Term Abroad Programs present a fantastic way to enhance the academic experience for both students and faculty.  While traveling abroad together, groups can find new layers of knowledge and culture that they can then bring back and share with the GW community.

Some topics may seem like a natural fit for a study abroad course, such as studying Shakespeare in London or examining the history of WWII in Germany. Past GW Short-Term Abroad Programs have included Art Therapy in India, Music in Brazil, Education Policy in Turkey, Urban Sustainability in Panama, Health Management in Israel, and many more programs around the world. 

Whether you are a faculty member hoping to create an STAP course, or a student eager to apply for one, CCAS global is here to support you. Please direct any questions and concerns to [email protected].


Fall 2022

GW students in Prague

Transnational Queer Film (ENGL 3980-60H)

Dates Abroad: November 4 - November 13, 2022

Location(s): Prague, Czech Republic

Application Deadline: August 12, 2022

Deposit Deadline: August 26, 2022

Course Description:

This course (English 3980-60H, CRN 78561) with Prof. Robert McRuer, Transnational Queer Film Studies and LGBTQ Cultures, is in the interdisciplinary field that has come to be called “queer” studies over the past two decades and it has always concerned itself with questions of representation: how are, for instance, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgendered people, represented in film, in novels, in other forms of media? As the field has developed, these questions of representation have increasingly been linked to other, complex questions, involving political economy, globalization, and transnationalism: in what ways have LGBT people been incorporated into contemporary nation-states? What identities and desires threaten “the nation” as it is currently (and variously) materialized in our world? How have identities such as “gay” and “lesbian” circulated globally? How have those recognizable minority identities come into contact and conflict with other ways of identifying around non-normative desires? Have those identities at times functioned imperialistically, especially as “gay tourism” has become a recognizable part of global capitalism? Conversely, what kinds of unexpected alliances have been shaped across borders as queer movements have globalized? How have these movements theorized race, gender, class, and ability; what connections have been made with other movements organized, however contentiously, around identity?

This film studies course will consider how questions of queer representation intersect with questions of queer globalization(s). From November 4-13, we will travel to Prague, Czech Republic to attend Mezipatra: Queer Film Festival along with students from Charles University in Prague in Professor Katerina Kolárová’s class.

The execution of this program is contingent upon global health and safety conditions.

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Summer 2022

A hillside in Greece full of white homes

The Art of Living: Ancient Greece and the Origins of Western Thought (PHIL2111/HONR 2053)

Dates Abroad: May 17 - May 28, 2022

Location(s): Athens, Chania, Heraklion, and Santorini in Greece

Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Deposit Deadline: March 8, 2022

Course Description:

This short-term abroad course with Prof. Mark Ralkowski offers the extraordinary opportunity to study ancient Greek philosophy in Athens and the Peloponnese, and on the island of Santorini. We will visit the Oracle at Delphi that pronounced Socrates the wisest human being, and we will have class near the jail cell where the Athenians forced Socrates to drink hemlock. We will walk through the ruins of Aristotle's Lyceum, and we will visit the stunning site of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini that may have inspired Plato’s Myth of Atlantis. Before coming home, we will set sail from the Piraeus to get a sense of the place where the Athenians defeated the Persians and fought the twenty-seven year Peloponnesian War with the Spartans. This exciting program will introduce you to ancient Greek philosophy and take you to some of the places where the history of philosophy began!

We will begin with the fragmentary writings of the Presocratic philosophers, which date back to the 6th century BCE. And we will finish with the essays of Seneca and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Along the way, we will spend most of our time studying the thought of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Our discussions will cover issues in ethics, politics, psychology, aesthetics, religion, metaphysics, and epistemology. One of the primary goals of this seminar is to see that, in the ancient world, these concepts were often treated together and studied as a way of life whose goals were wisdom and happiness. As Socrates once said, “We are studying no small matter, but how we ought to live.”

The execution of this program is contingent upon global health and safety conditions.

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A stone building lit up at night

Latin American Perspectives on Intersectionality and Cross-Culturalism: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race & Ethnicity (PSYC 3199)

Dates Abroad: August 2 - August 16, 2022

Location(s): Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico

Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Deposit Deadline: March 8, 2022

Course Description:

This course with Prof. Stephen Forssell takes an intersectional approach to examining sexual orientation and sexual identity with special attention paid to the Latinx experience of same-sex sexuality. We will explore social science research related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) identities, as well as non-LGBTQ identified same-sex sexuality in both the U.S. and in Latin America. Informed by the cultural context of two cities central to gay life in Mexico, and enhanced through academic readings, cultural excursions and community engagement, this course will explore unique challenges and triumphs of individual and groups navigating the diverse and multiple LGBTQ identities and lifestyles that co-exist within contemporary Mexican urban society. Students will explore topics such as LGBTQ identity development, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ transnational interface (specifically, the co-mingling of Mexican and American LGBT Communities), as well as a community’s response to the HIV-AIDS and Covid-19 pandemics.

Our backdrops for exploration will be Mexico City (CDMX) and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. CDMX is home to one of most vibrant and active gay and lesbian cultures in Latin America. La Zona Rosa is the center of queer life in CDMX, home to many nightclubs, shops, and restaurants that cater to and support the LGBTQ community. Puerto Vallarta has developed into Mexico’s premiere gay resort town, a satellite gay space for its big sister cities of Mexico City and Guadalajara, much as Fire Island is to New York City.

The execution of this program is contingent upon global health and safety conditions.

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Houses by the sea in Lisbon

Lisbon: Hospitality Design for the People (CIAR 6300)

Dates Abroad: June 26 - July 10, 2022

Location(s): Lisbon, Portugal

Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Deposit Deadline: March 8, 2022

Course Description:

This course with Prof. Nadia V. Volchansky is focused on hospitality design industry, specifically in Lisbon. It will offer students an exciting, in-depth study of a global site (in Lisbon), its user group, and overall experience, resulting in a boutique hotel design project. The hybrid (on-campus and abroad) model, in which this course will be structured, is novel for a course of its type, but is essential in connecting off-site to on-site research, and reinforcing design decisions. In this course, students will lead a thorough pre-design research of a global site, hospitality issues, and trends, and use it to design a boutique hotel project to reflect their study on campus. Students will then travel to Lisbon to experience hospitality industry in Lisbon, explore the relevance of their research, and work closely with European designers and architects to finalize their design project. Semester will culminate with a design critique and student reflection on the relevance of user research and significance of site in their design projects.

The execution of this program is contingent upon global health and safety conditions.

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Two field workers in Koobi Fora, Kenya

Koobi Fora Field School in Kenya

Dates Abroad: June 10–July 31, 2022

Location(s): Koobi Fora and Nairobi in Kenya

Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Deposit Deadline: March 8, 2022

Course Description:

The Koobi Fora Field School (KFFS) is open to undergraduate and graduate students who wish to learn the basic principles and field methods of paleoanthropology on location. Students receive hands-on introductory training in all of the major disciplines within paleoanthropology: paleontology, archaeology, geology, taphonomy and ecology. 

The Koobi Fora area is protected within the Sibiloi National Park in Kenya and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its rich Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene sedimentary deposits have yielded a treasure trove of fossils and archaeological materials.

The execution of this program is contingent upon global health and safety conditions.

*This course is restricted. If interested, please contact Prof. David Braun at [email protected] before applying.

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Spring 2022

Students in Paris

International Media Seminar in Paris (SMPA 3195-10) 

The short-term International Media Seminar program combines the excitement of spending spring break in Paris with a unique learning experience, focused on the changing nature of communications media in a new global environment.

During the course of the spring break, students will meet with some two dozen international media leaders — journalists, executives, scholars, and government officials. Meetings are held in classrooms, media offices, production facilities and private homes — offering a once in a lifetime behind-the-scenes experience. Free time is also scheduled into the program so that students have the chance to see the sites and enjoy the city.

Over the past fourteen years, students at the George Washington University have been able to participate in the Paris Seminar as part of a regular three-credit course SMPA 3195, "Globalization and the Media", open to all GW undergraduate and graduate students. The program is taught and chaired by Professor Lee Huebner. Student participants have found the Paris Media seminar to be a highlight of their university careers — introducing them to new places, new perspectives and new personalities. As one recent participant put it, "the Paris trip was life-changing… the trip of a lifetime."

You can view a detailed description of the course and trip (PDF). Questions about the trip and the course can be addressed to Professor Lee Huebner at [email protected].

Both the course and the Paris Seminar are designed to give undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to study the global media landscape from a truly international perspective — not only in theory, but in fact. By talking with a wide array of experts who live and work in a foreign media environment, students are able to see familiar media issues in a new light — even as they become more familiar with other media cultures.

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GW students in front of a white cross in Normandy

The Price of Freedom: Normandy 1944 (History 3044W)

“The Price of Freedom: Normandy 1944” (History 3044W) is an experiential course which explores the causes, conduct, and consequences of modern war through the vehicle of the 1944 Normandy Campaign, examining its impact on individuals, communities, and the nation.

Through an extensive series of lectures, discussions, and films we explore the massive, complex, and uncertain D-Day invasion and the fighting through the liberation of Paris. The course will carry 4 credits, satisfy a WiD requirement, and meet GPAC elements for Global Perspective, Oral Communication, and Critical Thinking. The course will be limited to 17 students. It will meet for lectures on Tuesday and Thursday from 4:45 to 6:00 pm, discussion on Thursday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, and on Thursday, after discussion, for watching films from 7:00 until 9:30 pm or so. Each student writes four papers, including a biography of a soldier from his or her hometown who died in the Normandy Campaign and who is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery.

Then, Pandemic permitting, on Friday night, March 11, 2022, the class will fly to London to begin a rigorous “staff ride” (that’s army-speak for a participatory, educational tour) of the entire campaign – all the way from the planning in England to the beaches and on to Paris. Each student will conduct a briefing about some element of the campaign at the appropriate location. The highlight of the trip will be a visit to the actual landing beaches and the laying of a wreath at the memorial in the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, followed by each student presenting a eulogy for his or her soldier at the soldier’s graveside. We’ll return Tuesday, 23 March.

To apply for the course, please submit a written application to Professor Long by 5pm on Friday, October 15, 2021. You can obtain the Application in the History Department Office (Phillips 335), or from Professor Long (Phillips 300). Professor Long will interview each applicant and the successful applicants will submit an application, through GW Passport, to the CCAS Office of Global Initiatives.

It is anticipated that the additional expense associated with the travel element of the course will be about $4,700 for items like airfare, hotels, some meals, bus transport, etc. In addition, you should plan on taking about $350 - $400 to cover the cost of 4 lunches, 5 dinners (plus any spending money). You will be required to make a $500 deposit when you are accepted for the course. One half of the balance will be due on January 10, 2022, and the balance on February 10. A limited amount of scholarship money is likely to be available for students who require assistance to be able to participate. Please try to evaluate your circumstances carefully.

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