Travel seminars take students around the globe

The Study Abroad office has been preparing travel opportunities for California Lutheran students for spring semester.

Students at CLU have a chance to participate in two travel seminars, which are semester courses that include a travel portion to a designated country between semesters. Study Abroad will be offering the seminars for Spring 2013.

Students interested in the travel seminars have two choices this upcoming semester. Professor Marja Mogk will be leading the Magical Britain seminar that departs the day after graduation. Professors Ryan Medders and Debby Chang will be teaching the Exploring Chinese Media and Culture seminar.

From drinking tea at one of Jane Austen’s houses, to enjoying food at a local pub with classmates, the Magical Britain travel seminar will consist of many different activities. Led by the Associate Professor for the English Department, Mogk,  the program focuses on providing students with an understanding for medieval literacy.

Magical Britain is an upper division literature course centered on Arthurian literature. The required texts are Le Morte D’Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and an approved contemporary Arthurian novel. Students will be traveling through Scotland, Wales and England examining the Neolithic Age of Stonehenge to the Middle Ages of castles and chivalry.

“Magical Britain is a great opportunity to learn about the Arthurian legends in medieval literature and contemporary popular media, and to immerse yourself in the history and cultures of Britain from the Celts to the Norman Knights,” said Mogk in an email interview.

Students enrolled in the Magical Britain travel seminar must be able to pack accordingly. They are allowed two carry-ons and suitcases must be no larger than 22-inches tall. According to details provided at the information session, the trip will not include airfare and costs $2,600.

The second travel course offered covers history language, and traditions incorporated with the country’s emergence in the global economy. The first half of the course will cover differences between western and Chinese cultures, and students will have the chance to learn basic conversations in Mandarin Chinese. In the second half of the course, students will study and analyze media resources in the mainland of China.

The travel seminar portion will take students through Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Students will be participating in a variety of activities, from seeing the Terra Cotta Soldiers, to visiting TV stations in the country. According to Chang, this seminar is a great opportunity to impress a company, as she and Medders have connections in China that may increase the opportunity of an internship.

The total cost of the trip is anywhere from $3,800 to $4,200. This includes round-trip airfare, in-country travel, hotels, transportation, meals and entry to planned site visits.

Stephanie Shaker-Sullivan, the assistant director of study abroad, discussed their effort to keep the prices as low as possible for the travel seminars. Scholarships are an option for students who apply. When submitting an application for a travel course, the office will review and determine who receives scholarships along with their acceptance into the course.

According to Shaker-Sullivan, the Alumni Board awarded CLU with a million dollar campaign that helps provide funds every year for these study abroad scholarships.

“For the 50th anniversary of CLU, they wanted to take on a big campaign that would stretch across all disciplines, and study abroad is one thing that does that,” said Shaker-Sullivan.
“Any student in any major can study abroad.”

The travel seminars both have upcoming information sessions for interested students. Magical Britain will take place on Oct. 23, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. in Humanities 109. Exploring Chinese Media and Culture’s next information session is still being determined and will be announced when decided.


Savannah Robinson
Staff Writer
Published Oct. 16, 2013