FALL 2023 Travel Course Offerings

Course Topic and Destination Leader
AHT 226T Gardens and Art (Rome) Gee
Gardens condense world views that balance environmental and human agency reflective of a given age and society. Some were designed to reflect an imperious order, others to display a playful mindfulness, when some chose to embrace the monstruous, the sublime, and the wasteland. A certain art is required to organize and manage the actors of enclosed gardens: plants, flowers, trees, but also rocks, water, wind, in a sculptural design that might involve sight, smell, touch, sound, and sometimes taste. On the one hand, students are introduced to a history of garden design, paying particular attention to cosmological visions and social contexts through case studies in Europe, Asia and Africa. In parallel, the course presents a range of contemporary artistic interventions with garden spaces and histories, in an age of increasing environmental imbalance and planetary awareness, in which the decision to garden can offer a path to nurture an active engagement with the present. The course includes a travel component to Rome.
BUS 108T Arts, Luxury, and Experiences (Paris) Mion Dalle Carbonare
This course helps students to gain a better understanding on the dynamics of consumer experiences in the creative and luxury industries. It will also provide the conceptual frameworks and the toolkits needed to efficiently implement managerial processes within these industries. The focus is on the concepts of marketing related to the experience economy and students explore the fundamental strategies and business models of different companies and institutions in the creative and luxury sectors. Students are actively involved, analyzing global competitive trends and sharing best practices in a broad range of luxury brands and creative industries, such as museums, art foundations, theaters, fashion, food and beverage, jewelry, and hospitality.
BUS 135T Introduction to Business Systems Miniero
The course introduces the global business system in the context of the economic, political, social and technological environments, relating business to society as a whole. Topics covered include the international scope, function, and organization of firms, and other fundamental concepts of multinational business. The course also addresses functional areas such as the value chain, production, marketing, human resources, and accounting. A special emphasis will be given on family businesses. Each of the topics covered in this course will be analyzed from the perspective of a family business.
BUS 237T Operations and Supply Chain Management Balushkina
This course introduces students to the field of operations and supply chain management. It aims to explain how to effectively organize the process of creating goods and services and introduce students to the major concepts, models, and methods in the field. The course explains how to apply quantitative and qualitative methods to solve a wide range of problems in managing operations, such as forecasting, sales planning, or outsourcing. The travel component of this course will include visits to Bologna and Umbria region in Italy. A specific focus will be given to understanding manufacturing companies in the automotive and food industries.
BUS 243T Personal Finance (Germany) Suleiman
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and tools needed to make wise and informed personal financial decisions. The content of this course is presented from a practical point of view and with an emphasis on the consumer as the financial decision-maker. The primary objective of this course is to help students apply finance practices to their own life. For example, students will learn how to plan and manage personal finances, how to obtain credit to purchase a home or a car, and how to invest personal financial resources in stocks, bonds, and real estate. Students will also learn how to interpret financial and economic news that have an impact on personal finances. The travel component of this course will include visits to several cities in Germany such as Frankfurt and Berlin. During those visits, students will be introduced to financial institutions that are relevant for personal finance such as the ECB, the Frankfurt stock exchange, commercial banks, and wealth management and real estate firms.
CLCS 150T Reading Film (Spain) Ferrari
This course introduces students to the language of cinema through close studies of and foundational readings on film theory, narrative/documentary structure, camera technique, lighting, sound, casting, and location. Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of film language through scholarly analysis of both canonical and contemporary cinema texts. Students move beyond the passive reception of an image-based world by working towards increased intellectual adaptability in terms of engaged film reading skills that call into question philosophical and culture-specific notions and norms. Prior to travel, concentrated modules, including analysis, contemporary criticism, audience reception, and practical applications, prepare students for participation in an international film festival and video-making workshops in Spain.
CLCS 220T Inventing the Past: The Uses of Memory Wiedmer
The construction of memory is one of the fundamental processes by which the workings of culture can be studied. Every country, every culture and every community has a specific memory culture that finds expression in a congruence of texts: of literature and film, of law and politics, of memorial rituals, and historiography. The aim of this course is to enable students to recognize different forms of the construction, representation and archiving of memory; to analyze processes of individual and collective identity formation through memory; and to understand the power differentials operant in the negotiations and performance of a national memory.
CLCS 238T The Postcolonial City: Berlin & Hamburg Roy
Colonialism has left its traces not only very obviously on the former colonies themselves but also on the face of the cities of the colonisers. Host of the “Congo Conference” that carved up the continent in 1885, Germany was late into the “scramble for Africa.” However, it has long been implicated in colonialism through trade, scientific exploration, and Hamburg’s position as a “hinterland” of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Seeking to explore colonial echoes in less obvious places, namely in contemporary Berlin and Hamburg, the course asks how we can remember colonialism in the modern world, become conscious of its traces, and encourage critical thinking about the connections between colonialism, migration and globalization. As an Academic Travel, this course will include an on-site component where the class will team up with postcolonial focus groups in Berlin and Hamburg, going onto the street and into the museum to retrace the cities’ colonial connections, and to experience and engage with the colonial past through performance-based activities.
COM 230T Comm, Fashion, Taste: Florence and Milan Sugiyama
The sense of taste, whether it refers to the metaphorical sense of taste (aesthetic discrimination) or the literal sense of taste (gustatory taste), is a fundamental part of human experiences. This Academic Travel course examines various ways that communication processes shape our sense of taste in the contemporary society. It will explore topics such as the taste for food, clothing and accessories, music, and other cultural activities applying key theories and concepts of communication, fashion, and taste. Ultimately, the course seeks to develop an understanding of how interpersonal, intercultural, and mediated communication in our everyday life plays a critical role in the formation of individual taste as well as collective taste. In order to achieve this objective, field observations and site visits will be planned during the Academic Travel period.
ENV 282T Tourism and the Environment: Iceland Piccinelli
This course explores the environmental impacts of tourism and travel. It examines the problems generated by travelers as they journey from home locations to travel destinations and as they participate in activities at those destinations. It focuses on issues of air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, resource use, and waste management. It also considers the potential for positive impacts from tourism, examining how tourism can contribute to improved management of environmental resources. The course engages students with the ethics of responsible travel and examines various attempts to mitigate problems through different forms of sustainable tourism, policies, and tools (e.g. carbon offsets and eco-labels). The course includes a 12-day field experience in Iceland where students will examine first-hand the problems and potentials generated by that country's rapid increase in tourism. Students will also meet with stakeholders in the Icelandic tourism industry to discuss local and national responses to the increased levels of tourism. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 750 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 835 (for students invoiced in USD)
HIS 215T Central Europe: An Urban History Pyka
This Academic Travel course seeks to explore urban development and urban planning of Central European cities from Antiquity to the Present. The course investigates the specific development of cities in Central Europe, both north and south of the Alps, with an emphasis on the legacies of Roman antiquity, the Christian (and Jewish) legacy of the Middle Ages, the role of princely residences, and of bourgeois middle classes. An important part plays also the various political movements of the 20th century, including the architectural fantasies of National Socialism, and the attempts post-World War II to deal with this legacy in a democratic society. The course asks in which way the interplay of tradition and modernity over time has structured not only the physical shapes of cities, but even the mindsets of the population. The travel component of this course features day trips to the Roman foundation of Como (Italy) and the oldest still standing structure in Switzerland in Riva San Vitale (Ticino), and a major excursion to the three most important cities in Bavaria: Nuremberg, Regensburg, and Munich (Germany).
MAT 115T Measuring the Alps Prisner
People live in three-dimensional space but are restricted to the earth surface which is usually locally flat, two-dimensional. But when entering the Alps, the third dimension of height becomes important when describing location or movement. This is also expressed by the fact that in the mountains a map is not too useful---rather a topographic map is needed. Starting with a description of the Alps or any mountains by topographic maps, or mathematically as functions with two independent variables, students will investigate how certain well-known features are reflected by the topography of the area . Examples are the location of mountain brooks, watersheds, movement of glaciers, avalanches, and rockfall. Students will also investigate the question of visibility in the mountains, whether and how it is possible to predict what can be seen from where. A further aspect is GPS technology. During the travel, the class will visit various places in the Swiss, Austrian, and Italian Alps, such as Davos, Innsbruck, Villnoess. Students will hike and measure, but will also discuss questions relevant to Alpine life, such as glaciers, avalanches or rockfall forecasts. If possible, the class will also visit places where such research is conducted. The course includes one mandatory weekend hike in September in addition to the ordinary travel in October. Hiking boots are required.
POL 101T Intro to International Relations: Vienna Bucher
This Academic Travel course provides the basic analytic tools necessary for the understanding of international relations. After a brief introduction to realist, liberal, English School and constructivist approaches to the study of international relations, the course covers various fundamental concepts, such as national power, foreign policy, conflict, political economy, international trade and international organizations. The travel program will focus on Vienna which provides us with the opportunity to not only learn about international organizations, but also the historical development of European politics and diplomacy
POL 176T International Environmental Politics Zanecchia
The resolution of global environmental problems has been problematic for nation-states. Hence, international cooperation is essential for exploring and applying solutions. This course will first examine the origins of environmental problems facing nations such as climate change, desertification, pollution, and international trade in endangered species. Further topics for investigation will include the impact of globalization and the feasibility of sustainable development in the industrial north and developing south, as well as the effectiveness of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and CITES. The academic travel destination will be within Switzerland, including planned visits to Pro Natura nature reserves and the WWF in Zurich. The experiential component may also include site visits to examples of sustainable development within Switzerland such as Zermatt and Grindelwald, as well as an overnight hike to alpine habitats.
POL 376T International Environmental Politics Zanecchia
The resolution of global environmental problems has been problematic for nation-states. Hence, international cooperation is essential for exploring and applying solutions. This course will first examine the origins of environmental problems facing nations such as climate change, desertification, pollution, and international trade in endangered species. Further topics for investigation will include the impact of globalization and the feasibility of sustainable development in the industrial north and developing south, as well as the effectiveness of international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and CITES. The academic travel destination will be within Switzerland, including planned visits to Pro Natura nature reserves and the WWF in Zurich. The experiential component may also include site visits to examples of sustainable development within Switzerland such as Zermatt and Grindelwald, as well as an overnight hike to alpine habitats.
SJS 377T Sustainable Education in Madagascar Galli
This course explores the challenges faced by the population of rural Madagascar – one of the poorest countries in the world – including limited schooling and poor learning outcomes, scarce and low-income employment opportunities, lack of basic infrastructure, high fertility, bad nutrition, poor health conditions and adverse environmental impacts. In particular, the Madagascar educational system and the reasons behind its very low quality are examined. During the travel, students are hosted by local schools and must adapt to lodging and transport conditions that, albeit still a luxury for most of the local population, are relatively closer to the lifestyle of the local population. This gives students the possibility to obtain first-hand experience of how different it is to live in low-income countries. Students have numerous opportunities to meet and bond with local students, teachers, school directors, tourist guides, and micro-entrepreneurs, allowing them to learn how rich Madagascar is in terms of cultural, natural, and human resources and to hear directly from the local youth what their needs, wishes and aspirations are. This academic travel in a remote non-touristic part of North Madagascar is organized by the Swiss NGO Boky Mamiko. Students are expected to participate in some pre-travel volunteering work and to represent the NGO in Madagascar in a professional and responsible manner. NOTE: This Academic Travel course carries a supplemental fee: CHF 1,200 (for students invoiced in CHF) or USD 1,335 (for students invoiced in USD)
SOC 100T Introduction to Sociology (Vienna) Ennas
What is “society”? What does its structure look like and how does it work? How does it change? Why does it change? How do are individuals and society intertwined? This course provides students with the tools to answer these questions. Modern societies have experienced dramatic social changes with the emergence of individualism, new class structures, the development of urban life or changing relationships between individuals and their natural environments. Sociology provides an understanding of these changes by studying human interactions and forms of social organization. In this course, students will be introduced to major sociological thinkers, concepts and approaches. This Academic Travel course will take students to Austria, and Vienna more specifically. This will allow students to trace the steps of sociologists such as Hans Kelsen, Othmar Spann and Alfred Schütz. Vienna furthermore presents itself as a sociologically very intriguing city to approach with a sociological gaze.
VCA 120T Documentary Photography on Location Fassl
This course will investigate the particularities of both documentary and street photography through readings and studio projects. It will shed light on the history of photography; how the visual world communicates, studying the interaction of photography with other visual media; and will pay specific attention to the semiotic potential and challenges of photography. Students will engage in a project that relates to the location of the travel component of the class, documenting a subject of their choice. The Academic Travel destination will be Munich with additional day excursions to Bavaria and Austria.

No one-credit courses schedule for FALL 2023

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