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.

Course descriptions below include instructors, dates & locations of travel, and estimated student costs. Application links are listed below under each course description.

(Students having questions about financial aid and costs should refer to the Travel Learning Course -- Information for Students Page.  Please note that additional OWU Financial Aid is not available for Travel Learning Courses. There is no additional charge for the .25 unit of credit; about half of all direct student travel costs are subsidized by OWU Connection endowed funds.)

BIOL 300.10: Biology of East Africa

Prof. Dustin Reichard and Prof. Tami Panhuis
Location: Arusha, Tanzania                                                          
Dates: May 18-28, 2023
Student Cost: $4,000


Who hasn’t always wanted to see the animals of East Africa in their natural habitat? This course provides an opportunity to do just that, and to go thoroughly prepared by knowing about the various species we’ll be seeing — their natural histories, their roles in the ecosystem, the behaviors we’re apt to witness and much more. The course will focus primarily on large mammals, but it also will highlight some of the huge diversity of colorful birds and a few reptiles. The travel portion will take place exclusively in Tanzania and include two parts of the Serengeti ecosystem: (1) Ngorongoro Crater (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and eighth natural wonder of the world), and (2) the Serengeti National Park itself. In addition, we’ll visit Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire National Park. All in all, we’ll see some of the most spectacular scenery in East Africa and enjoy lots of close-up viewing of an incredible diversity of wildlife that you’ll have learned all about before we go.

Capabilities: Students will be required to negotiate airports with their carry-on luggage and carry their checked bag for short distances and be prepared for traveling 24 hours straight when going to and from Africa. Other than long flights, the trip is not very demanding physically. The main activity on the trip will be bouncing around on dirt roads in a four-wheel drive safari vehicle — sometimes all day long — so those subject to becoming car sick should bring appropriate medicine. Anti-malarial medication should be taken for your own safety, and various vaccinations are suggested by the CDC before traveling to Tanzania. Students should consult with either their own physician or a travel-medicine healthcare provider.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and one unit in BIOL, BOMI or ZOOL.

BIOL 355: Plant Responses to Global Change

Location: Anchorage, Alaska                                                         
Dates - May 16-28, 2023
Student Cost: $2,500


Plant Responses to Global Change is an upper-level biology course focused on plant physiological ecology. The course is organized around four major global environmental changes: increases in atmospheric CO2, increases in temperature, increases in nitrogen deposition, and changes in precipitation patterns. We will explore how plants and ecosystems interact with these changes and the implications of these interactions for plant growth and survival, global biogeochemical cycles, and the future of the biosphere. We will also discuss the scientific instruments, experimental designs, field sampling, and statistical/modeling approaches used in physiological ecology studies that have a global change context. The boreal/tundra region of Alaska, which has experienced the most dramatic warming of any location on the globe, will be used as a case study to explore these topics more deeply. We will also consider human influences on boreal/tundra areas and think about how environmental policy, resource extraction, and consumption choices of people influence this environment.  The class will travel to Alaska after graduation in May 2023 for 10 to 13 days depending on flight availability. In Alaska, students will explore the natural landscape to review plants and ecosystem characteristics discussed in class, visit research sites, and talk with scientists, national park staff and conservationists working in one of the most beautiful and wild areas of the United States.

Pre-requisites: BIOL 122 or BOMI 233, plus one additional course in the biological sciences, or permission of the instructor.

Capabilities: Travel for this course may involve prolonged strenuous hiking on steep and/or uneven terrain (e.g., moss tussock, wetland, talus field, moraine, glacier ice). Participants should be capable of hiking up to 5 miles in difficult terrain with a 20 lb pack. Hiking boots and a high-quality rain jacket are required for the trip.

COMM 300.10/ WGS 310: Health Communication: Black Women & Feminisms (Eswatini, Lesotho, and the Rep. of South Africa)

Prof. Phokeng Dailey & Prof. Dawn Chisebe
Location: Eswatini/ Lesotho/ Republic of South Africa                                  
Dates - May 26- June 19, 2023
Student Cost: $4,850


We will travel as a group to Lesotho, South Africa, and Eswatini for three weeks to learn FROM local people and connect that with what we learned prior to entering their communities and workplaces. All three countries are studied and discussed as instrumental sites for post-colonial initiatives centered around Black women’s health and feminism. The three countries border one another, have linked economies through trade and migration that impact Black women, and have been the focus of much of the global work on HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer/HPV prevention. You will visit colonial resistance sites (e.g., Kome Caves in Lesotho and The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Center in SA), museums (e.g., Mantenga Cultural Village in Eswatini), major tourism sites (e.g., Maluti Mountains/AFRI ski in Lesotho), higher education spaces (e.g., University of Witwatersrand Health consortium in SA) and public health spaces (e.g., Mbabane Government Hospital – Baylor Clinic in Eswatini) to observe the relationship between language, culture, race, gender, and place on health outcomes, and the unique ways that Black women frame their activism surrounding access to and the creation of public health resources.

Capabilities: Students must be willing to travel to Lesotho, South Africa, and Eswatini (15-18 hours in flight) and adhere to all protocols recommended by the instructor(s). Students must be ready to travel by bus, train, and walk for at least 2-5 miles per day, attend lectures and visit hospitals and/or clinics. Students should be able to walk moderate distances over varied terrain including with their luggage through city streets and engage in long walking tours.

SPAN 226 - Spanish Immersion and Walking the Camino de Santiago

Dr. Eva Paris-Huesca
Location: Leon, Spain                                                          
Dates: May 20 - June 5, 2023
Student Cost: $2,000


Taught by professor Eva Paris-Huesca, students will immerse themselves in Spanish culture by exploring its history, art, culture, language, and gastronomy, as well as completing a portion of the Camino de Santiago (Saint James’ Way). During the walk, students will stop in different locations to carry out academic activities that reflect the traditions of each place. Taught entirely in Spanish, this OWU Travel-Learning Course will help students with their Spanish speaking, reading, and listening skills as well as their cultural awareness. The class will travel to Galicia, Spain.


OWU Connection


Slocum Hall 311
Delaware, Ohio 43015
P 740-368-3075