Illuminate your learning with OWU's unique Travel-Learning Courses
Spend a semester in the classroom learning about a topic of interest and then hit the road for a related travel experience. Led by your professors, Travel-Learning Courses link academic theory with real-world experience to bring learning to life in invaluable and unforgettable ways.
BOMI 344 – Plant Communities and Ecosystems
Instructor: Dr. Laurie Anderson
Travel Component: Utah, October 11-15, 2023
Student Cost: $1,100
Plant Communities and Ecosystems is an upper-level, lecture-lab course that explores the interactions between plants and their environment.
The on-campus course prioritizes understanding plant communities and ecosystem processes in Ohio, particularly the temperate deciduous forest, and includes field trips to local plant communities during the lab. The optional Travel-Learning component (during the mid-semester break) provides a wonderful opportunity for students to compare and contrast plant communities and plant adaptations in the temperate forest with those in the Western United States.
On this trip, we will visit the landscapes of the red rock canyon lands in Utah. Our focus will be Arches National Park in the Moab area and we will see high desert, shrub-steppe, and montane forest as we observe how plant communities change and adapt along an elevation gradient. Interactions among plants and geological processes, water, soils, local climate, and human pressures on the environment in Ohio and Utah will be compared and discussed. We will fly into Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 11, drive four hours to Moab, stay in hotels in the Moab area, drive back to Salt Lake City on Saturday evening, and fly back to Ohio on Sunday, October 15.
Prerequisites: BIOL 122 or BOMI 233
Capabilities: Students should be in good physical condition and be prepared for extensive day hiking over uneven terrain at altitudes above 8,000 feet. Hiking boots and layered clothing are a must. Other required gear includes a wind-breaker shell jacket, comfortable day pack, water bottle, and sun protection for the skin and eyes.
ASTR 102 – Space Exploration: Past, Present, and Future
Instructor: Dr. Robert Harmon
Travel Component: Japan (Tokyo and Kagoshima); May 13 - 26, 2024.
Estimated Student Cost: $3,500
In ASTR 102, we will study the history of space exploration, from pioneering developments in rocketry in the early 20th Century, to the Cold War Space Race to put humans on the Moon between the Soviet Union and the United States, to the modern era in which Russia and the United States no longer have a duopoly in space exploration — Europe, India, China, Japan, and other countries as well have active space programs. We will then examine space exploration by all participating nations and by non-governmental organizations and corporations, with a focus on future possibilities for our global civilization.
During the travel portion, we will visit Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) centers in the Tokyo area, and tour JAXA rocket launch facilities near Kagoshima.
Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in ASTR 110 in Spring 2024 or past completion of one of the following: ASTR 110, ASTR 111, ASTR 260, or ASTR 310.
BIOL 349 – Island Biology
Instructor: Dr. Ramon Carreno
Travel Component: Ecuador & Galapagos Islands, May 13 - 25, 2024
Estimated Student Cost: $4,500
As part of the inspiration for Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, the Galapagos Islands hold a unique place in the history of biology. Not only do many zoology courses, including those at OWU, refer to organisms found only on the islands, the ongoing biological research conducted on the islands continues to shed insight into biological processes, especially as related to evolution, conservation, ecology, and behavior.
This 14-day trip will visit multiple islands in the Galapagos to discover firsthand the biodiversity, volcanic terrain, and geological history that make the island so compelling. We also will explore the mainland and visit one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet, the cloud forests of Ecuador.
Capabilities Statement: Participants should be in good health and capable of walking over rocky, uneven, and potentially slippery terrain. Some hikes may be long and/or hot.
We will live on a boat during our time on the islands, so those prone to seasickness should bring medication or consider another trip.
Participants should be comfortable spending a lot of time snorkeling and in the water. We are on the equator, so the sun is intense and participants should pack accordingly. Finally, some portions of the trip are at high altitudes.
ENG 258: Shakespeare: A Life in Theatre
Instructor: Dr. Zack Long
Travel Component: England, Spring Break: March 8-17, 2024
Student cost: $2,500
How did the son of a glove-maker from a provincial English town become the greatest playwright of the English Renaissance? This course examines Shakespeare's life in the theatre, from his childhood performances in elementary school to career-making productions before royalty. We will study Shakespeare's development as an actor, playwright, and entrepreneur, taking special note of the people, places, and historical forces that shaped his career, as well as the broader social, cultural, and economic conditions that made this remarkable career possible. The course will include eight days in England where we will retrace the journey of Shakespeare's life in the theatre for ourselves, from the guildhall in Stratford Upon Avon where he likely saw his first play, to the neighborhoods in London where he lived and worked, to the venues where his theatre company performed, such as the Globe Theatre and Hampton Court Palace.
Capabilities: Students should be able to walk moderate distances over varied terrain including with their luggage through city streets and on long walking tours (1-3 hrs). We may be able to accommodate students with disabilities on this trip; please contact the instructor with questions or concerns.
PG 300.38 Food Politics and Policy
Instructor: Dr. Franchesca Nestor
Travel Component: London/United Kingdom, May 12-19, 2024
Estimated Student Cost: $2,400
Food Politics and Policy in America is an upper-level course that explores U.S. food regulatory policy from a variety of angles, often emphasizing the range of policy choices available through comparisons to other countries' food regulatory systems.
The on-campus course includes an in-depth case study of food regulatory policy in the realm of food allergy, comparing the policy approaches of the United States and the United Kingdom in particular. The optional Travel-Learning component, in May (after the on-campus semester concludes, and after commencement), gives students the chance to experience how differences in regulatory policy choices impact everyday life for those with food allergies and food hypersensitivities.
Having learned in detail about specific differences between US and UK approaches to food allergy, students will experience UK food regulatory policy firsthand, in a variety of contexts: dining out, grocery shopping, exploring food markets, and meeting with food policy experts. While most of the week will be spent in London, a day trip to the University of Bath is planned.
Capabilities: Students should be able to walk moderate distances over varied terrain including with their luggage through city streets and on long walking tours. It is possible that we might be able to accommodate disabled students on this trip; please contact the instructor with questions or concerns.
PG349: East Asian Politics
Instructor: Dr. Ji Young Choi
Travel Component: South Korea, May 14 - 30, 2024
Estimated Student Cost: $2,750
PG349 is an upper-level course, which is designed to introduce East Asia. This course investigates the development of modern national identities and the political and economic modernization processes in East Asia from a comparative perspective. In particular, we focus on the development of modern political systems and major driving forces behind successful industrialization in East Asian countries including South Korea. The optional Travel-Learning component has three main objectives among others. The first one is to help students better understand the historical and cultural contexts of South Korea under which rapid political and economic changes have occurred. The second one is to provide students with an opportunity to observe what is really happening in the country politically, economically, and culturally. The third one is to assist students in better comprehending South Korea's political and economic achievements and current political and economic issues by applying prior knowledge to what they learned in the classroom. To achieve these goals, first students will visit various historical and cultural sites including museums and palaces and I will explain the historical and cultural contexts of South Korea while visiting them. Secondly, students will visit places and sites that have political and economic significance including the presidential residence, an exhibition center of Samsung Electronics, the War Memorial, and JSA (Joint Security Area). Thirdly, we will visit Yonsei University and Korea University, top private universities in South Korea, and have conversations with professors and students there on the country's major political and economic issues.
Capabilities: Travel for this course will involve long walking tours and carrying luggage on and off public transportation. Participants should be capable of walking and standing for extended periods.
REL 300.6 Medieval Islamic Societies
Instructor: Susan Gunasti
Travel Component: Istanbul and Bursa, Turkey, May 13 - May 24, 2024
Student Cost: $2,500
This course explores Islamic religion, society, history, and civilization from roughly the eleventh through nineteenth centuries. This period represents a remarkable intellectual florescence within the Islamic tradition, the transformation of cultural institutions, and a geo-political shift from the Arab world to Asia, in the east. We will explore religion, life, intellectual currents, politics, law, institutions, gender relations, and the arts under Muslim rule within the context of the major political powers, including the Mamluk, Timurid, Safavid, and Mughal dynasties. We will pay particular attention to the Ottoman dynasty, and travel to Turkey will be part of our studies. This course does not require any prior coursework in Islam.
Capabilities: We will be traveling in an urban environment, using multiple forms of transportation on any given day that will include ferry and subway. We will walk approximately 3-6 miles a day on varied terrain and be on our feet for long periods of time. Students must be prepared to carry their luggage during travel on the streets and for extended periods of time. Please note that air conditioning will not always be available. I am happy to work with students who will find these circumstances challenging; please contact me with questions or concerns.
Application, Billing, and Financial Aid
Students apply and are selected by the lead faculty on the course. Once they have been accepted and commit to the course, they will register for it during their regular Spring Semester registration period. Accepted students should refer to their acceptance email. Students with questions should call 740-368-3075.
The charges for Fall 23 Travel Learning Courses will be placed on the September or October 2023 student statement/bill. The charges for the Spring 24 Travel Learning Courses will be placed on the February or March student statement/bill, depending on the course. Final student charges will be released prior to this. Travel Learning Courses cover almost all student travel costs, including air & ground transportation, accommodations, most all meals, entrance fees, etc.
Students should plan to budget for souvenirs, additional food, excess baggage, additional/optional travel, etc. Vaccinations are not covered. Details often vary course-to-course but are made available to students by the faculty and/or the IOCP. Students with specific questions about student billing policies and procedures (such as the NelNet payment plan) and charges should contact student accounts at 740-368-3362.
For more details on student financial responsibility for Travel Learning Courses, please go here.
Endowed funds from donors cover approximately half of the cost of each individual student's travel experience. For assistance with the remaining balance students have access to Parent PLUS and private loans. For more information go to the TLC Student Information page.
If a student is receiving a Pell Grant, they may also apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship through the U.S. Department of State.
For further information, please contact the IOCP office (Slocum 311) or email Lisa Ho (firstname.lastname@example.org).