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Diane Ferris
Director, International Education

Seibert Humanities Building
Room 100
Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711


International Education

International Education

2015 Program Descriptions

WTI – 1A Modern America: New York City and Chicago

Professor David Gliem

America after the Civil War underwent tremendous change, a transformation that quickened to a feverish pace after the turn of the century as the country responded to the Great War, the Great Depression and WWII.  The crucibles of this change were the big cities, particularly New York and Chicago, which were especially welcoming of new ideas and prosperous because of a few industrialists who built extravagantly and collected art by avant-garde American and European artists.  This course will investigate the various, sometimes contradictory, ideas that comprise the notion of modernity and study how these ideas became manifest in the art and architecture from the period.  We will examine the rise of the skyscraper and consider its commercial as well as symbolic functions.  We will explore the modern American home as conceived by Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most important architect of the 20th century, and visit museums – The Guggenheim, The MET, MOMA, The Art Institute of Chicago, and others – to introduce you to major modern European and American artists.  Evening theatrical and cultural events will complement your studies.

Fulfills the Arts academic area requirement.

Approximate Cost: $4,950

WTI – 1E Belize: Tropical Ethnobotany

Professors Jessie Fly and Liza Conrad

Ethnobotany, the study of the relationship between people and plants, is an exciting collaboration between biology and anthropology.  Ethnobotanists ask such questions as:  How do people name the plants in their environments and what do those names tell us about the cultural importance of the plants.  What kinds of plants do people use for food, income, medicine, art, recreation, etc.  What special environmental knowledge helps to protect local ecosystems?  We will explore these questions and more in the tropical rainforest of Belize.  Following a brief orientation, we will travel to the Blue Creek Rainforest Preserve where, in addition to conducting plant surveys and ethnographic interviews, students will have opportunities to hike in the rainforest, track howler monkeys, explore limestone caves, and interact with local communities.  The course will culminate in an excursion to Tikal National Park in Guatemala, one of the largest archaeological sites of pre-Columbian Maya civilization. 

Fulfills the Environmental Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $4,550

WTI – 2E Environmental Issues and Conservation Efforts in China

Professor Alison Ormsby

Visit a unique region of China, the Yunnan province, and its capital, Kunming, nicknamed the “City of Eternal Spring.”  Learn about China’s environmental issues and conservation initiatives.  Meet with conservation professionals and visit parks and a panda breeding center.  The course will cover the ecology and unique cultures of the Yunnan region, past and proposed types of natural resource extraction, and conservation efforts, organizations and sites in China.  The course format will include lectures and informal discussions on-campus and abroad, readings, field observations, and an individual project.  Evaluation will be based on class participation, performance on a project, and final examination on readings and field experience.  There are no prerequisites required for participation in this program.  Enrollment limited to 14.

Fulfills the Environmental Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $8,520

WTI – 3E Natural History of the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador

Professor Bruce Barber

This course presents a unique opportunity to explore and study one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.  While in Ecuador you will learn about tropical rain forest ecology and study the unique natural history and culture of Ecuador.  Participants must be in excellent physical condition; you will hike through the highland cloud forest, spend a week exploring the Galapagos Islands by land and sea, and camp in the Amazon rain forest.

Pre-departure classes and readings will prepare you for the trip.  Evaluation will be based on participation, examinations and a final project.

Fulfills the Environmental Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $6,350

WTI – 4E Tropical Marine Environments: Roatán

Professors Gregg Brooks and David Duncan

This course is designed to familiarize you with diverse environments of Roatán, Honduras, and to provide you with an appreciation of the complex, interdisciplinary nature of this fragile environment.  The course will examine the integrated tropical ecosystems including coral reefs, sea grasses, mangroves, and rocky intertidal zones.  The geological component will examine carbonate systems particularly as related to the unique geological features, and the role tropical shallow-water ecosystems play in the geological development of the region.  This environment is an optimum site in which to see firsthand the interaction of geologic and biologic processes operating to produce this unique environment while requiring only a basic scientific understanding.

This course format will include preparatory lectures on campus, a field program at the Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences, a multi-night visit to historic ruins and a wrap-up on campus following return.  The field portion will require, at times, long periods on and in the water making observations and collecting data.  Consequently good swimming skills and snorkeling abilities are required.  SCUBA certification is not required, but recommended.  Non-divers are welcome.  A significant portion of this program will also be dedicated to examining the Roatán culture and how the population interacts with the environment.  Evaluation will be based on class participation, performance on research projects and presentations and examinations.

Fulfills the Environmental Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $3,400

WTI – 5E Science at Sea

Professor David Hastings

To a large extent, the fate of the oceans determines the fate of the planet.  Understanding the sea’s complexity requires an interdisciplinary approach and in this course we will combine data collection, insights from all aspects of oceanography, and public policy discussion – together with practical skills in nautical science – so students can develop a broader understanding of the sea.

On board you will conduct scientific research, learn celestial navigation, and watch both the sun and moon rise over the open ocean as you operate the sailing ship, a 134 foot, two-masted brigantine.  In addition to sailing in the Caribbean, we will spend three days at a remote marine station in the Virgin Islands, exploring the diverse ecosystems on land in the nearby coral reefs.  The shore component at Eckerd College involves academic preparation before the cruise and completion of an independent research project using data collected on the voyage.  Must be physically fit and pass Eckerd’s swim test.  Scuba diving is optional at the marine station.

Fulfills the Environmental Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $4,950

WTI – 6E Service-Learning in Costa Rica and Living Off the Grid

Chaplain Doug McMahon

Peacemaking is an essential element of sustainability and human transformation.  In order to understand the connections between peace and a sustainable way of life, in the context of Central America, we will visit the Peace Museum in San Jose.  Following our visit to the capital, we will travel to the little village of Punta Banco, hike a rigorous 15-minute walk up a steep mountain, and look out at the Pacific Ocean from the Yoga Farm.  In this beautiful setting, we will learn about a more sustainable way of life through permaculture-based design and land use.  We will gain an intimate understanding of this rural region of Costa Rica, regarded as one of the most biologically diverse places in the world.  We will see an abundance of wild life during our stay, harvest both rainwater and natural spring water on site, work in organic gardens, eat from fruit trees, and live in buildings built with natural materials in an architecture that eliminates separation from the natural beauty around us.  We will work alongside the Guaymi people on service projects at the Conteburica Indigenous Reserve.  We will also plant trees in areas that were cleared for cattle lands in recent decades while learning about reforestation efforts in this portion of the Costa Rican rainforest.

Fulfills the Environmental Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $4,050

WTI – 1G London: Mental Health, Culture and Art

Professor Scott Strader

Culture affects the definition, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and how we understand mental health.  Are mental illnesses brain-based conditions to be treated with medication, disorders of the soul brought about by bad “karma” or mistakes made in past lives, or are the “symptoms” of anxiety and depression serving a positive purpose in our evolution as a species?  As we explore these questions in this course, we will look to the visual and performing arts to help us understand the cultural lens through which we examine mental illness and mental health.  Using the vast cultural outlets available to us in London, we will explore our emotional responses to various works of art, discuss how culture and mental illness influenced art and artist, and consider how artistic expression affects our understanding of ourselves and those with whom we interact.  No prerequisites. Costs do not include airfare, round trip transport from the airport to the London Study Centre, personal expenses and entertainment not within the program design.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $3,600

WTI – 2G Spanish Language Immersion - Salamanca, Spain

Professor Yanira Angulo-Cano

Arrive in Madrid on the feast of the Epiphany and spend an overnight just across the street from the world renowned Prado Museum.  Take advantage of a unique opportunity to study and learn Spanish while living and exploring one of Spain’s most historic and celebrated cities, Salamanca.  Attend intensive classes (four hours daily) taught by the staff of Hispano Continental School.  Exposure to and knowledge of Spanish history and culture through discussions and lectures.  Students live with local Spanish families, which greatly facilitates the learning process. Students are tested upon arrival and placed in appropriate language levels for classes.  Evaluation by written test and oral interviews.  Successful students will earn a full semester language credit.  Excursions to nearby cities include LaAlberca-Pena de Francia and Avila-Segovia.  Also included in the program are a tapas party, dinner at a Zamora winery, cinema, dance lessons and horseback riding.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $4,600

WTI – 3G Chinese Language and Culture in Shanghai: A Ride on the Head of the Dragon

Professor Hong Gu

Study Chinese language at East China Normal University, Shanghai, while exploring this legendary port city and experiencing first hand the vitality of this dynamic economic power-house of the twenty first century.  Situated in Southeast China, at the mouth of the Yangtze River and facing the Pacific Ocean, Shanghai has been leading the country like the head of a dragon.  Once the most developed city in Asia in the early twentieth century, Shanghai is regaining her reputation as one of the most vibrant metropolises in the world. Shanghai is where East meets West, and their interaction has given the city its unique character, traditions, and colorfulness.  This trip will include a weekend in Beijing.  Successful students will earn one full semester of language credit.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $6,350

WTI – 4G Cuba and USA Economic Systems

Professor Peter Hammerschmidt

This off-campus Cuban Winter Term will explicitly compare and contrast the USA economic system oriented toward capitalism with the Cuban economic system oriented toward socialism.  

Specific attention will be given to the history/development of these systems, issues of efficiency, equity, income distribution, government involvement, and resource ownership.  The overall goal will be to directly experience the virtues and flaws of each systems.  Specifically students will investigate the above by exploring, comparing and contrasting the following economic sectors in Cuba:  healthcare, agriculture, education, sports, business, housing and tourism.  No prerequisites.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $4,950

WTI – 5G Vienna: The Culture of Coffee and Chocolate

Professor Grace Lager

Explore Vienna’s architecture, art, coffee, and chocolate cultures as we examine issues of the public/private sphere and how culture is communicated through food.  We will learn how Viennese culture is transmitted to residents and tourists through its coffee and chocolate culture while seeking to understand how the larger cultural scene supports the consumption of these products to create a cohesive cultural experience.  We will learn about cultural communication theories, theories of the public and private spheres as well as the economic and political issues surrounding the productive and consumption of coffee and chocolate.  We will experience the beautiful and historic country of Austria through excursions such as coffee house tours, a visit to the Vienna chocolate museum, attending a Viennese opera, visiting Haydnhaus and listening to the Vienna Boys Choir.  Special guest lectures will guide us through a chocolate meditation and teach us about the important role of opera in Viennese culture.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $5,450

WTI – 6G Language Immersion in Sicily

Professor Tom DiSalvo

Study Italian while living in Sicily and discovering the multiple layers of civilization – Phoenician, Greek, Arab, Byzantine, Roman, French Norman and Spanish – that make this Mediterranean island one of the most culturally intriguing destinations in all of Europe. The program is based in the capital city of Palermo, where morning language classes will take place during weekdays. Several afternoon walking tours will allow for the discovery of the major monuments and museums of this medieval and modern city. Other afternoons, and some weekends, will be devoted to exploring the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the island outside of Palermo. Destinations include Monreale (Byzantine Cathedral and Monastery), Cave di Cusa, Selinunte, Agrigento, Segesta (stone quarry and Greek temple sites), and Piazza Armerina (Roman Villa). This Winter Term encourages students with no knowledge of Italian as well as those who have studied or are studying Italian to be a part of the program. Grade is based on language class performance as well as knowledge or history and culture that will be presented throughout the course. Successful students will earn one full semester language credit.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $6,250

WTI – 7G Sacred Byzantium: Greece, Republic of Georgia, Turkey

Professor Bruce Foltz

An immersion in one of the world’s greatest and most enduring civilizations, tracing powerful currents of ancient spirituality that still animate the civilizations of Greece, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Caucasus region while exerting increasing geo-political importance.  Beginning in Athens, with its awe-inspiring Acropolis and museums displaying the great art of antiquity, we will spend a day on the Greek Island of Aegina; tour Delphi, home of the Oracle Apollo; and see the great Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, comparing the spiritual visions of ancient Greet and Byzantine religions.  We will visit medieval monasteries perched atop steep rock pinnacles in Meteora, and explore the great Byzantine city of Thessalonica – today a sophisticated metropolis, stretched out along the Aegean Sea – and descent into the vast, perfectly-preserved, underground tom of King Philip, father of Alexander the Great.

Next, venturing beyond the Black Sea to Tiblisi (Georgia), we will trace perhaps the most dazzling, and least known, ancient kingdom of the East – an independent appropriation of Byzantine culture in the shadow of the Caucasus, lying on the historic Silk Road at the great crossroads between East and West, Asia and Europe.   In this fabled land where Jason found the Golden Fleece and Prometheus was chained to Mt. Kazbeg, we will tour the inimitable landscapes of the surrounding countryside—from the Caucasus Mountains themselves to the wine country of Khaketi and the remote deserts bordering Azerbaijan – while exploring the remarkable interface between antiquity and modernity in Tiblisi’s colorful markets and age-old mineral baths; in its remarkable juxtaposition of Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Russian architecture; in its art, music and celebrated cuisine; in its vibrant spirituality; and in the extraordinary warmth and hospitality of its people, who believe that each visitor is a gift from God.

Our exploration of Byzantium will culminate in ancient Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), the original City of Byzantium.  Here we will explore the greatest monuments of Byzantine art and spirituality, including the Hagia Sophia and Chora Churches, the Hippodrome, the Great Walls, and the mysterious underground cisterns, along with the spectacular Blue Mosque and an afternoon shopping in the Grant Bazaar, once a caravan stop on the Silk Road.  The Byzantine world view will be related to its predecessors and neighbors (including ancient Greek religion and Islam), as we undertake a first-hand exploration of the mystical spirituality of the East known as hesychasm—its aesthetic dimensions in architecture, iconography, and liturgy, and especially its living embodiment in monastic practice.  Altogether our itinerary will include at least eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Evaluation on readings, participation, and journal or final paper.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $8,650

WTI – 8G Spanish Language Immersion – Costa Rica

Professor Nancy Dibella

The Spanish language and culture program in Costa Rica is designed to accelerate and enhance students’ knowledge of the language, while at the same time allowing them to become immersed in Costa Rican culture.  The program features Spanish language classes from beginning through intermediate levels.  Students will be tested and placed in the proper class level.

Costa Rica boasts a wealth of natural scenic beauty and a pleasant climate year-round.  San Jose, the program site, is the capital and geographical heart of Costa Rica.  The site where students will attend classes is close to museums, parks, a wide variety of cafes and restaurants.  Students will be able to use the bus system to travel between the city and the suburbs where students will live in home stays.  On day-out excursions from the city, participants will experience the contrasts and variety of scenery in the region around San Jose, the Central Valley.  Weekend excursions will travel to Costa Rica’s famous volcanoes, its Caribbean beaches, and immense tropical forest reserves.  Successful participants will earn one full semester language credit.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $4,100

WTI – 9G London Street Markets: How Londoners Live, Buy and Sell

Professor Frank Hamilton

This course will immerse you in the bustling street market life of London, one of the most exciting and lively cities in Europe.  You will have the opportunity to visit some of the many street markets in London and observe the behavior of Londoners as they buy and sell products from fresh produce to flowers, antiques, books and a wide variety of products.  Street markets occur daily in different parts of the city.  With over 100 markets to choose from, students will be divided into teams to visit and sample different markets and observe consumer behavior and selling techniques.  Additionally, we will visit sites such as the Museum of London, the Docklands Museum, the National Gallery and the Tower of London, all of which will provide the historical context of the street markets.  Visits to Stonehenge, Salisbury and Battle are planned, all the while you will learn how to hone your skills in making sense of, evaluating, documenting and writing about these experiences to share with your travel mates and others.  No prerequisites. Costs do not include airfare, round trip transport from the airport to the London Study Centre, personal expenses and entertainment not within the program design.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $3,900

WTI – 10G Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia: A Business and Multicultural Adventure

Professor Ed Grasso

Explore ancient civilizations and world class organizations on this adventure.  The countries of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia have exhibited high levels of economic growth, business development, and cultural changes over the last decade and are designated as the new Asian Tigers or the next Mini Dragons. We will compare and contrast the management strategies and leadership styles of organizations in each country while exploring their historical and cultural treasures, and interacting with students and faculty at major universities.

In Thailand we will visit ancient temples in Bangkok, ride elephants at the Lampang training center and visit a hill tribe village near Chiang Mai.  While in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam we will explore the CuChi Tunnels near Saigon, visit clothing manufacturers in Hoi An, and walk the grounds of the Forbidden Purple City in Hue, the former imperial capital of past Vietnamese dynasties.  In the capital city of Hanoi we will visit Ho Chi Minh’s House, the Temple of Literature and enjoy “Roi Nuoc” a traditional water puppet show.  While in Cambodia we will explore the more than 100 sacred temples of Angkor Wat built between the 9th and 13th centuries in honor of the Khmer Kings.  Evaluation will be based on group project, paper, journal and intercultural interactions.  Open to all majors.

Fulfills the Global Perspective.

Approximate Cost: $8,350

WTI – 1N Culinary Science of Northern Italy

Professor Lisa Bonner

Northern Italy is one of the food capitals of the world:  Parmesan cheese, pasta, Bolognese sauce, olive oil, tiramisu, just to name a few!  All of the food we eat is a complex mixture of nutrients, flavors, and textures, and all of those are based in chemistry.  Food preparation, such as cooking or baking, is a set of chemical reactions among the ingredients.  Importantly, the food we eat plays a major role in our health and well being.  As we travel through Italy, students will keep a detailed food journal and attend daily seminars and workshops, including cooking classes.  While taking in the sights, smells, and tastes around them, students will be gathering the knowledge they need to report on the chemistry of an entire Italian meal.  This course will use food of Italy’s greatest cities to teach the science of food, cooking, and nutrition.  Buon appetito!

Fulfills the Natural Science academic area requirement.

Approximate Cost: $7,765

WTI – 1S New York City: Financial Center

Professor Robert Jozkowski

New York City is inseparable from its back-story of business and finance.  In this Winter Term we will examine significant markets, institutions, and locales in New York and look at the ways in which they have shaped the NYC business world.  We will explore where to invest money --New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Exchange--where we will help ring the opening bell!), how to exchange currency (foreign exchange floor and a commodities exchange), as well as the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

We will also investigate the important contributions that such famous families as the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Rockefellers and Astors have made to New York business and follow their footsteps to such important locations as Wall Street.  In our study, we will also encounter some financial scoundrels who also made their mark on New York and ultimately made investing safer for us all.  Meetings with local business professionals will be arranged and students will have the opportunity to talk with Eckerd business alumnae now working in Manhattan and hear about their NYC business experiences firsthand.  No prerequisites.

Fulfills the Social Science academic area requirement.

Approximate Cost: $3,150

WTI – Abiquiu: Ghost Ranch Conference Center

Ghost Ranch is a working ranch located in the uniquely beautiful high desert of northern New Mexico.  Participate in a regional orientation program and enroll in one individual study project.  Students travel on their own.  Participants in this program should plan to arrive in New Mexico on Friday, January 2, 2015 and to depart on Saturday, January 24, 2015.  Additional travel information will be furnished at the time of registration. 

Costs do not include airfare.  Costs are, however, inclusive of all fees and include round trip transportation from the Albuquerque Airport.  Weekend and evening activities, dances, movies, and worship services are included.  Enrollment is limited by Ghost Ranch – apply early.

Courses include:

G15A111 Introduction to Silversmithing in the Southwest Tradition

This is a hands-on course in the basics of silver jewelry making and lapidary.  Techniques are demonstrated but learning comes from actually doing the work.  Problem solving is a significant part of this learning process.  Studio work will be supplemented by demonstrations, discussions, guest instructors and gallery visits.  You will leave with multiple pieces of wearable art and a discovery of your own creative potential.

Approximate Cost: $2,865

G15A112 Weaving in the Southwest Style

Learning from a master weaver in the Southwest Spanish tradition, you will return home with completed pieces of your own and understand how textile arts have been a way of life in northern New Mexico for generations – for survival, creative expression and connection to the Earth and one another.  Enjoy field trips to museums and private studios to meet with weavers native to this area taking you into the depths of northern New Mexico through the lens of the tapestries, rugs, horse blankets and sarapes and the people who wear them.

Approximate Cost: $2,665

G15A113 Micaceous Pottery: The Spirit of Clay

The rich earth of this mysterious and sacred landscape is the starting point for this class – the brilliant geological formations, the earth’s clay, the yucca paintbrush.  After thanking the earth and gathering the clay, you will learn how to prepare it and coil it into pots, then fire your pots in ways traditional to the Pueblo potter.  Join in the rare opportunity to experience the potter’s relationship to the earth, which is rooted in respect and honoring, and carry the earth of northern New Mexico back to your homes as micaceous pots.

Approximate Cost: $2,665

G15C111 Sustainability Practices in Action: Agriculture and the Earth

Do you want to learn theory and practices that could serve you the rest of your life?  What could be more important than learning about how to grow and be nourished by your own food?  Discuss the history of food and the many varied methods of farming along with explorations into the ethics of land use, seed saving, and health and well-being related to the foods you choose to eat.  This is a class where you shouldn’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.  Spend three weeks learning to become better stewards of this Earth community we call home.

Approximate Cost: $2,665

G15S111 Expanding Spiritualities: Learning from the Spiritual & Religious Communities of Northern New Mexico

Northern New Mexico draws an abundance of spiritual communities of different faith traditions to its canyons and mesas.  This class is about cultural immersion and engagement, about meeting and talking with members of different communities, learning from them and listening to them—Moslems, Sikhs, Benedictine brothers, Rio Grande Pueblos, Penitentes of Abiquiu and other communities, some nestled along wild and scenic rivers, on high mesas, or in the deep canyons of northern New Mexico.  Engage in an open, informed and generous way with people holding different beliefs who are following a diversity of special practices.

Approximate Cost: $2,665

G15W111 Writing Inside the Mesa: Dreams Made of Fire

Through writing poetry, fiction and memoir to perceive the nature of the mesas and canyons around us, we will explore the art, beauty, and presence of Ghost Ranch.  You will find that your dreams will shift and change in this place, so this will be a course in observing, recording, and transforming what we experience in this extraordinary landscape.  Use the vision of the imagination to explore the fires, seas and ancient rivers that made this place and contemplate how the remains of plants, dinosaurs, and other human beings lay just below the surface.  Join the other classes to adventure outdoors, visit a petroglyph site, and experience the other arts being taught; read poems and stories and adapt their techniques; employ the art of Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams and others to allow our senses to expand.

Approximate Cost: $2,665

2015 Spring Into Summer Blogs

The Hague and International LawNorthern European Art

Want a taste of Spring Into Summer? Check out our tumblrs! Hear our students detail their experiences abroad.

Carbon Offset Fund

The Carbon Offset Fund is a simple and effective way to reduce your overall carbon emissions from school sponsored travelLearn more.