Classes offer short-term travel abroad opportunities

POSTED AT 11:17 PM ON Feb. 8, 2009 


Short-term travel courses at IU are offering students a whole new way to experience the world.

As an alternative to study abroad, several schools at IU now offer courses that take students overseas for a shorter period of time. The courses are led by IU faculty and staff but still allow students to have an international experience.

The School of Journalism and the Kelley School of Business are two of the schools offering these courses. The journalism courses take students to England, France, Japan, South Korea and Chile, while the business school courses focus mainly on developing countries such as India, China, Croatia and Ghana.

The idea behind these courses is “to give students who have other obligations that would keep them from study abroad” a chance to travel, said Rosanna Bateman, manager of Short Term International Experiences at the Kelley School of Business.

Calvin Dong, a junior finance and accounting major who took G255: Emerging Economies in spring 2008, said he used the course as a substitution for a study abroad experience because, with two majors, he does not have enough time to go for a whole semester.

Though each of these courses has a week-long trip at some point during the semester, the on-campus portion of the course does not vary greatly from a traditional course. However, there is an extra dimension.

“In addition to all business topics, students learn culture and history and a little bit of language,” Bateman said of the business courses.

The journalism courses also emphasize how to travel, said Jessica Gall, director of Experimental Education and Recruitment.

The trips attempt to mix the educational side with the tourist side, Bateman said.

Alumni and the professional connections of the professor or school also influence the itinerary, as students often meet with those connections and alumni invite students to their place of work.

P255: Business is a “Flat” World takes students on a 10-day trip to India, where they visit cultural landmarks such as the Taj Mahal. They also visit business sites such as an international call center.

Students must apply to take these courses. There are normally class standing or program restrictions, and both the journalism and the business school applications have an essay component.

The School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation offers H445: Travel Study, which takes students to South Korea, China and Thailand to study international public health, requires only the consent of the instructor.

In addition to the application and the normal amount of tuition, these courses do have an extra cost. For business students, an extra $3,000 covers airfare, breakfast, the hotel stay, transportation within the country and a visa. The journalism courses cost an additional $1,250.

Gall said the journalism school attempts to subsidize the cost of the trips as much as possible so the additional cost does not prohibit students from taking part. She added that there are many different places on campus where students can find aid, such as the Hutton Honors College.

Most of the courses are only offered during the spring semester and the trips occur over spring break. With H445 offered during Summer Session I, students are abroad for two weeks.

Clinical Associate Professor Noy Kay, who teaches H445, said the course is a summer course so students can avoid conflicts with other classes.

Gall added that fall semester travel courses are a possibility if IU implements a fall break into the schedule.

After the trip, class time is not all fun and games. Though the trip is at the end of P255 and H445, the other classes still have class time remaining. Most of the classes require final projects or presentations that merge what was learned in the class with what was learned on the trip.

The experience at the beaches of Normandy was “really moving and incredibly sad,” said Catherine Hageman, a journalism graduate student who went on a trip.

Dong returned from his trip to China and formed the IU Emerging Markets Club, which focuses on countries with emerging economies. He credits the course as his motivation.


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