Enrollment underway for two new geography study abroad opportunities

Heather Bing

Rather than having students study the geography of Japan and Europe from a text book, the geography department is offering these classes in their respective locations for students to experience what they’re learning first-hand.

This option is available to students, faculty, staff and community members interested in earning spring, intercession or summer credit.

Jay Lee, geography department chair, said regional geography classes have always been offered by the department, but recently the department has begun to focus on international classes as well.

“It is only natural for the geography department to have an international flavor to its course offerings,” Lee said.

Shawn Banasick, assistant professor of geography, is directing special topic course Geography of Japan from May 16 to 24. This is the first time this trip has been offered through the department. The course can count as spring or summer credit.

Banasick said this trip has spots for 15 to 16 participants, but most have already been filled. Students can sign up until mid-April.

“If there is enough student interest this year, then the department might offer the course again in a couple of years,” he said.

Thomas Schmidlin, geography professor, is conducting the three-week intersession course on the Geography of Europe.

Students will attend lecture-discussion classes from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday each week.

“The dream for this department is to teach the classes elsewhere,” Schmidlin said. “Offering courses abroad allows for academic excellence and travel experience.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Heather Bing at [email protected].