Upcoming May Term Study Experiences

Travel to: Bahia de los Angeles, Baja, Mexico 

Travel Dates: May 14-29, 2020

Courses (choose one): CHEM 300O, BIOL 300O, ENVI 300O, or GEOL 300O 

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Frank Black and David Parrott

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: May 11, 12, and 13; June 1 and 2

Prerequisites: CHEM 111

Study Experience Cost: $2,000 includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to San Diego), ground transportation on chartered bus to Bahia de los Angeles, all lodging, all meals while in Mexico, marine park fees, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $150 - $200 additional spending money for snorkeling equipment, three meals in transit in the US, personal snacks and drinks, souvenirs, and other personal expenses.

Program Notes: This will take place in a rural, coastal area of Baja, Mexico along the Sea of Cortez. Students will likely not have internet, email, or phone access at the field station. It can be quite warm in Baja in May, which could pose a challenge for some students with disabilities. All students must have a PFD whenever in a boat or in the water, and thus swimming skills will not be necessary. However, the program every day will include walking on uneven terrain, getting into and out of boats, and swimming in the ocean. Some students with physical or mental disabilities may find these activities to be very challenging.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term 2020.

Course Description: The Baja Peninsula of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez (AKA, the Gulf of California) together form one of the most unique environments in the planet, with Jacques Cousteau famously calling it “the world’s aquarium”. Bahía de los Angeles, a small fishing village set on the bay by the same name on the east side of the Baja peninsula, is famous among scientists, educators, and fishermen because of its natural beauty and incredible biodiversity. This natural laboratory provides unmatched opportunities to learn about the natural environment and the research methods used to study it.

Students in this course will learn to carry out field methods from oceanography, marine biology, environmental science, chemistry, ecology, hydrology, and geomorphology. These field techniques will be applied to a range of research questions across marine and terrestrial environments in and around Bahia de los Angeles. This interdisciplinary program takes place within the cultural settings of Baja California's coast and mountains, allowing students to learn about the conflicts between implementing more sustainable resource use and ecosystem conservation versus traditional extraction practices and livelihoods.

The program will be based out of a marine field station with living and research facilities situated on the beach just steps from the Sea of Cortez. We will split our time between terrestrial and marine ecosystems, spending roughly half of the days on small boats visiting islands, intertidal zones, sea lion colonies and other areas as we conduct biodiversity studies, collect chemical and physical oceanography data, make hydrological and microbial measurements, and characterize the area’s natural history while snorkeling and documenting the area’s abundant whales, dolphins, whale sharks, fish, and marine birds. This educational experience includes a multiday homestay with local Mexican host families and involves cultural connections through direct, daily interactions with local partners and stakeholders with diverse perspectives on local resource use and development goals.

Register for the Mexico trip

Travel to: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Travel Dates: May 17-28, 2020

Courses (choose one): CHEM 300S, BIOL 300S, ENVI 300S, or HON 300S

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Bonnie Baxter and Joan Roque

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Mar. 20; Apr. 10; May 11, 13, and 15; June 1, 3, and 5

Prerequisites: CHEM 111

Study Experience Cost: $2,600 includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to San Juan), ground transportation, lodging, some meals, and faculty expenses. Students will need an additional $300-$500 spending money for meals and personal expenses.

Program Notes: Hiking and kayaking will be part of the schedule, but not any high-risk activities. Students with physical disabilities may have difficulties with kayaking and walking, but accommodations can be made to work along the shoreline, for example. Individual plans can be made for students who identify with disability services. This program can easily accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term 2020.

Course Description: This course explores the biology and chemistry associated with salt production, an industrial process with centuries of history. The process involves concentrating source water in ponds (salterns) and allowing evaporation to increase the salinity. As the water moves from pond to pond, the different salts precipitate. The chemistry and ion composition of each pond varies and impacts the microorganisms that thrive in each set of conditions. Microbiology studies along a salinity gradient indicate that salinity is the primary driver of the communities of taxa present; the diversity of life in marine systems is far more complex than a salt-saturated solar salt pond. Comparative systems in Utah and Puerto Rico will be examined, spanning a range of variables including temperature, ultraviolet light dose, ion composition, as well as salinity (from 0.6 M total salts in ocean water to salt saturation, more than 6.0 M). Students will engage in experiments which provide data on the physical and chemical variables that impact the microbial communities. Students will also be immersed in the primary literature focused on saltern chemistry and biology.

Register for the Puerto Rico trip

Travel to: 3 locations in the State of Maharashtra in India: Mumbai, Pune, and the village of Wai

Travel Dates: May 10–June 3, 2020

Courses (choose one): ENGL 300C, JUST 300C, HON 300C, PUBH 300C, NURS 300I, or EDUC 300C

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Ranjan Adiga and Connie Etter

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: May 7 and June 8

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $3,350 includes round-trip air transportation, ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, some meals, Indian visa, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Students will need an additional $100-$200 for additional meals and personal items.

Program Notes: Students should be prepared for extreme heat (~95F – 110F). India infrastructure is often not accessible, especially for wheelchair users. The heat and pace of the trip may present difficulties for people with physical health concerns. Most foods are not well labeled, so people with food allergies may face some challenges. Religious accommodations, such as kosher are not available, while halal foods may be available. Vegetarians, vegans, and those with gluten allergies will find many food options in India.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term 2020.

Course Description: This course will explore social, cultural, and political inequalities related to gender, sexuality, and health in India. Students will meet with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), individuals, and health centers in three different locations in Maharashtra: the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, the village of Wai (with a population of 30,000), and Pune. This comparative approach will introduce students to a variety of perspectives about these topics, and demonstrate the complexity of facilitating community action around issues of gender, sexuality, and health. 

Building on a long-term partnership with the Akshar Institute for Students with Special Needs, Westminster students will engage in a service-learning project, collaboratively with Akshar students, faculty, and staff. The aim is to design a book about Akshar students, based on students’ stories and art, that supports the mission of the school and the full humanity of its students. Throughout this project—and throughout all of our meetings with individuals working to build community support and action around issues of gender, sexuality, and health—students will engage in structured reflections on the experience of sharing stories, with attention to power, privilege, and the processes and potential for using these stories to foster community action.

Register for the India trip

Travel to: Berlin, Germany; Leipzig, Germany; Dresden, Germany; and Hamburg, Germany

Travel Dates: May 18-31, 2020

Courses (choose one): ECON 412G, BUSI 412G, ENGL 300G, or GNDR 300G

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Fatima Mujčinović and Michael Mamo

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Feb., Mar., and Apr. TBD, May 12 and 14, June 2

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $3,660 includes round-trip airfare, accommodations, ground transportation, admissions/tour fees, international health insurance, other expenses (including 3 group dinners and incidental expenses), and faculty expenses. Students will need an estimated $500-$700 additional spending money for meals, shopping, and other personal expenses.

Program Notes: Students should be prepared to walk long distances occasionally and to use public transportation daily. Some of the older buildings may not have accessible entrances or access to elevators. This program may not always accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term 2020.

Course Description: International migration has become one of the most pressing issues of our time. In response to the massive displacement of citizens from war-torn countries, Germany has welcomed over a million migrants since 2014, embarking on an ambitious plan to integrate them successfully in its economic system and society. Focusing on the German pro-immigration model and its possible replication in other regions, this course will explore Germany’s approach to the refugee crisis and consider its cultural, political, and socioeconomic aspects. 

In addition to academic readings and assignments on the topic, students will spend two weeks in Berlin and go on day-trips to Leipzig, Dresden, and Hamburg, visiting a variety of immigrant neighborhoods and refugee relief organizations in these cities. Before the trip, students will learn about Utah’s refugee programs as members of local immigrant communities and refugee advocacy groups will be invited to class to discuss United States immigration programs and policy. While examining possible solutions to key economic and cultural challenges that refugees and their host countries face, students will seek to understand the complexity of the current migrant crisis in a nuanced interdisciplinary fashion.

Register for the Germany trip

Travel to: Saint Jean Pied de Port, France; Madrid, Spain; Roncesvalles, Spain; Pamplona, Spain; Burgos, Spain; Leon, Spain; Sarria, Spain; Santiago, Spain; Pontevedra, Spain; Salamanca, Spain; Braga, Portugal; and more

Travel Dates: May 10–June 7, 2020

Courses (choose one): ENVI 300A, HON 300AE, SPAN 300B, HIST 300AE, or MATH 200A

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Deyanira Ariza-Velasco, Bill Bynum, and Jeff Nichols

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Nov. 14, Feb. 15, Mar. 21, Apr. 19, and May 8

Prerequisites: SPAN 110 or equivalent for Spanish. No prerequisites for other courses.

Study Experience Cost: $3,800 includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to Madrid), ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, all breakfasts, some lunches and a majority of dinners, entrance fees, some guides, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $300 additional spending money for some lunches and personal expenses.

Program Notes: This course is physically and emotionally demanding. Participants must carry all their possessions in a single backpack as they trek between 12-16 miles per day. Westminster will work with participants in advance of the trip to ensure they are physically prepared for such a challenge. It is recommended that students consult with a doctor if they have any concerns about the physically and emotionally demanding nature of this excursion.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term during even-numbered years (2020 and 2022).

Course Description: Students become pilgrims as they trek along the Camino de Santiago, a route that followed the Milky Way, from the French Pyrenees to Finisterre (once considered the end of the world) on Spain and Portugal’s Atlantic coast. This is a journey of body, soul, and mind for students who crave adventure and want an immersive experience.

As students trek along what was once a primitive trade route, they will discuss the history of the Camino pilgrimage and how it has evolved over time. And, as they skirt mountains and move through verdant valleys, they will discover how the environment has shaped the trail and how the pilgrim experience has shaped the world around it.

In cities, small villages, and along the trail, students will immerse themselves in language and culture as they communicate with residents, farmers owners, hospitaleros, and other pilgrims. For almost 4 weeks, they will live a simple life, carry what they need on their backs, sleep in simple quarters called albergues, and experience the Spanish countryside and the incredible food and people of Spain. The physical demands of this pilgrimage coupled with the academic assignments and camaraderie of students and faculty create a transformative adventure that will define the college experience.

Register for the Camino de Santiago trip

Travel to: Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Reykjavik, Iceland

Travel Dates: May 18–June 3, 2020

Courses (choose one): SOC 300GG, HON 300AD, GNDR 300GGG, or ART 300BB

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Kristjane Nordmeyer, Naomi Marine, and Matt Kruback

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Feb. and Apr. TBD, May 11-14

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $4,787 includes international airfare (SLC to Copenhagen, Stockholm to Reykjavik, and Reykjavik to SLC), one checked bag, ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, some meals, entrance fees, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $500-$1000 spending money for some meals and personal expenses.

Program Notes: Students should be prepared to walk long distances and to use public transportation. Due to the architecture of Scandinavia and Iceland, some of the buildings may not have accessible entrances or access to elevators. This program can easily accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term during even-numbered years (2020 and 2022).

Course Description: Students will explore Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Reykjavik – three Scandinavian and Icelandic cities that are visually stunning with a rich cultural history. Copenhagen is recognized as a food destination, Reykjavik is known for its breathtaking landscapes, and Stockholm is famous for its contemporary art scene.

With these exciting cultures as the backdrop, students will explore social policy, art, and culture in Scandinavia and Iceland. Students will learn about the different social and economic systems that exist in these countries while reflecting on the ways that policies shape the day-to-day lives of individuals. Within this broader context, students will also explore the influence of cultural norms and values on art, spatial environments, and visual culture.

Students will write, make art, and reflect on their experiences through journaling, creative projects, and group discussions. Students will return from the trip with a better understanding of Scandinavian and Icelandic art, culture, and social policy, and a more developed global self-awareness and a broadened perspective.

Register for the Scandinavia trip

Travel to: Bangkok, Kalasin, Chiang Mai, Ko Samet

Travel Dates: May 10–June 7, 2020

Courses (choose one): PUBH 300DD, EDUC 300DD, NURS 300DD, HON 300DD, or OEL 300DD

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Han Kim, Peter Ingle, and Kellie Gerbers

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: TBD

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $4,400 includes round-trip air transportation (SLC to Bangkok, Thailand), ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, all meals, entrance fees, international health insurance, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $100 - $300 additional spending money for personal expenses.

Program Notes: Accessibility for differently-abled students may be limited because of the nature of the travel, particularly in the rural areas of Thailand. Please contact the faculty leaders to assess accessibility on a case-by-case basis. There are no required activities that are physically demanding.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term every year.

Course Description: This course will explore the educational, health, and developmental needs of rural Thai citizens as well as indigenous populations through cultural immersion and active participation in service projects. Students will participate in deep cultural immersion activities and service-learning projects in two distinct rural Thai villages, one in the mountains surrounding Chiang Mai, Thailand, and one in the rural Northeast near Khon Kaen, Thailand, that will help alleviate some of the health, educational, and developmental issues present while staying with local families within the villages.

Other activities will include a visit to a groundbreaking new concept school in the Northeast, tours of historically significant sites in Thailand, visiting an HIV/AIDS hospice, sightseeing in Bangkok, and a relaxing few days on a tropical island to end the trip. Students will meet during Spring Semester for preparatory sessions that will ready them for the experience. Course assignments will include reflective journaling, active discussions during the trip, and a reflective multimedia project at the end of the trip.

Register for the Thailand trip

Travel to: Bluff, Utah; Chinle, Arizona; and Tuba City, Arizona

Travel Dates: May 11-20, 2020

Courses (choose one): NURS 300F, EDUC 300E, PLSC 300R, or JUST 300RR

Engaging the World: Successful completion of this May Term Study Experience with a grade of C- or better fulfills the Engaging the World graduation requirement.

Faculty/Staff Leaders: Marsha Morton, Marilee Coles-Ritchie, and Cordelia Schaffer

Mandatory On-campus Meeting Dates: Apr. 8 and 21, and May 5 and 7

Prerequisites: None

Study Experience Cost: $1,100 includes ground transportation, hotels or other lodging, most meals, entrance fees, and faculty expenses. Participants will need an estimated $50 additional spending money for meals and more if they want to purchase souvenirs.

Program Notes: Accommodations will be made if advanced notice is received. Students participate in a hike and short walks but they are optional. Wheelchairs will work with all but one hike.

Program Rotation: Planned to be offered in May Term every year.

Course Description: This course introduces students to Hopi and Diné cultures. It includes social, educational, environmental, political, economic, artistic, health and caring aspects of lived histories and practices. Special emphasis will be placed on the practical aspects of health care in local outpatient clinics and teaching in the clinics and educational practices in the local schools. Students will have the opportunity to explore the complex histories, worldviews, and perceptions of the environment, relationships, and values of the Hopi and Diné people through a variety of perspectives.

Register for the Hopi and Diné trip

Itineraries and other details are subject to change due to factors that may be outside of the control of Westminster College.