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UNIV 183

Off-Campus Extended Studies Course

Faculty-led domestic and international study and service courses that provide students opportunities to explore and experience other cultures, learn in new environments, develop skills not readily acquired elsewhere, and deepen their understanding of the global community. Curricular offerings earn .5 course credit and count toward satisfying the Extended Studies requirement; co-curricular offerings do not carry academic credit but do count toward the Extended Studies requirement.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits

May Term information

Michael Seaman,
Francesca Seaman

183IA: Roman and Medieval France (off-campus)

This class will explore France through an interdisciplinary approach and will focus on the history, art, architecture, and culture during the Roman and medieval periods. The travel-study course will take us to the sites, monuments, and museums of the region the Romans called Provincia Romana (Provence), before moving west to Occitanie and Aquitaine in the west. Provence was thoroughly "Romanized." There, we will study and explore the Roman sites of Nimes and Arles, with their Roman theaters, amphitheaters, and temples, like the Maison Carree, which served as an inspiration for Thomas Jefferson when he designed the Virginia State Capital; Orange, home of the best-preserved Roman theater; and the Pont du Gard, the highest and best preserved of all Roman aqueducts. We will explore the question of "Romanization" and the advantages and disadvantages of living under Roman rule. We also devote attention to exploring important medieval towns and villages, making sure to study key architectural achievements of this period. We first explore the seaside, medieval hilltop village of ÿze, celebrated for its beauty and charm, and tour the fortified medieval town of Carcassonne, with its two circuit walls and 53 towers, an impressive monument to the Middle Ages. We will also visit Avignon and tour the Palais des Papes, the 13th-14th century Papal Palace and one of the most important Gothic buildings in Europe. Moving northwest, we plan to stay three nights in the scenic Dordogne region, often considered the most beautiful area of France. There, we see medieval life up close in the quaint and perfectly preserved towns of Rocamadour, Sarlat-la-Caeda, Collonges-la-Rouges, and Perigueux, whose important cathedral was a key stop on the medieval pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. We will study the Late Antique transition period in France and how the Gauls and Romans came to terms with their new Frankish. overlords in the early Middle Ages. The Dordogne is also known as "the cradle of mankind" for its many outstanding examples of prehistoric painted caves. While there, we will briefly step back in time and explore two such painted caves, those at Lascaux and at Rouffignac, the latter of which preserves four human figures and 224 painted animals, among them 158 woolly mammoths and 10 woolly rhinoceroses. In the historic center of Bordeaux, we see a city of Roman origins and medieval splendor that now boasts the highest number of preserved historical buildings in France, after Paris. From Bordeaux, we take a TGV high speed train to Paris, where we close out the study-tour, visiting the foremost medieval sites in or near the city, such as the Cathedral and village of Chartres, the Musee de Cluny, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre, the world's largest art museum. In all, we will visit a total of 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites celebrated for their outstanding value to humanity. Students explore Roman and medieval France through a combination of archaeological site visits, lectures, and readings from a custom course reader that I will assemble for them with selections from Roman and medieval authors. Students will have the opportunity to travel independently in Europe at the conclusion of the program in Paris. All breakfasts, a select number of carefully chosen meals at unique restaurants in France are included.

For more information on program costs and how to apply for the program, paste this URL into your web browser:


Enter "Winter" into the Term search box.

Bill Fenlon,
Gigi Jennewein

183IC: Peace Players/Belfast NI (off-campus)

Peace Players/Belfast is a co-curricular service course designed to bring students to the center of the ongoing conflict between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom regarding the centuries-old battle for religious and political independence, and to offer them the opportunity to participate in reconciliation efforts aimed at children that combine sports and mentoring. This course is offered in collaboration with Peace Players International /Northern Ireland. Students spend the majority of the course in direct service working in support of the Peace Players daily mission and assisting with the implementation of the Peace Player/NI annual 'Spring Jam'-a citywide basketball tournament which brings together Catholic and Protestant youth on mixed teams. This experience is enhanced with readings and films consumed and discussed in the spring semester prior, and on site in Northern Ireland, with visits to historically significant sites (Derry and Corrymeela, in particular), meetings and workshops with reconciliation specialists, and discussions with regional writers and historians. The final three days of the course will be spent in Dublin, Ireland, where students will further explore Irish history and be encouraged to reflect on the differences between the two countries. The course strives to deliver an immersive experience in conflict, culture, history and social change through participation. Students will daily interact with the religiously diverse Peace Players staff and the children they serve by engaging in activites including coaching and mentoring youth in the interactions and challenges of healthy competition and reflecting with both fellow team members and similarly-aged Peace Players coaches.

For more information on program costs and how to apply for the program, paste this URL into your web browser:


Enter "May" into the Term search box.