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Off-Campus Programs: Interim Courses

Interim trip to China


Almost every January there is at least one interim trip to China that is offered, either by the Business and Engineering departments or by the Biology department.

The Business & Engineering Interim Trip to China:

China’s emerging economy has a large impact on today’s world, especially in business and engineering. During this interim students spend three weeks in China meeting with business and engineering professionals who are part of this reshaping of the global economy. The course includes major cultural and economic centers of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou. Students engage with professionals at approximately fifteen companies. In addition many important historic and cultural sites are explored, including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Students ascertain why China has a comparative advantage in many types of manufacturing and how some US firms have responded to that. Students learn what type of engineering is done well in China. Students discover some of the environmental impacts of China’s rapid growth. In addition students learn about the history and culture of China and how this has shaped modern events. Students are challenged to consider what China means for their future careers in business and engineering. Preference given to students majoring in the business or engineering departments. This course may fulfill the Engineering department international designation.

Professor April Si, Engineering Department.
Professor Leonard Van Drunen, Business Department.

The Biology Interim to China: Culture, Medicine & Bioethics

The human body, medicine, nature and the environment. As China has sought to modernize over the last half century, some of its traditions and practices have persisted, while others have become westernized. During this interim, students will spend 2½ weeks in China studying Chinese history, culture, philosophy, and religion, with an emphasis on their foundations for traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine, and issues they raise in medical and environmental ethics. In Beijing, students will visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Beijing Zoo, and museums of science and technology. In Shanghai, the class will participate in a short course on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) at a local medical school and its affiliated hospitals, and visit additional venues in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and the neighboring countryside. Prerequisite: completion of the Living World core or permission of the instructors. This course may fulfill an elective in the International Development Studies major or minor.

Instructor: Professor Anding Shen, Biology Department.

Interim trip to Japan


3 credits, three-week course, offered May/June every third year; this trip gives the students both credit for an Interim course as well as automatic CCE (Cross-Cultural Engagement) credit.


A three-week trip around Japan will be offered every three years in late May and early June, instead of during the January Interim term. The trip will include most of the famous historical sites in Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Nikko, Hikone, Hiroshima, and Hirado (where Christianity and Dutch trade first came into Japan), as well as some of the most famous scenic places, including the Japanese "Alps" around Nagano, the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, Lake Chuuzenji, and the beaches of northwestern Kyushu.

Students will have the chance to do home stays with Japanese families in five different locations around Japan, including Tokyo, Hikone, and Hirado, as well as in small towns in Nagano and Gifu Prefectures. This will afford them the chance to learn much about daily life in this island nation. This trip also gives students the opportunity to improve their Japanese language skills, given the large amount of time devoted to home stays and close interaction with Japanese people.

View a slide show of the May 2013 Interim to Japan.

View the movie 'Discovering Japan' (May Interim to Japan)

Prerequisite: permission of instructor
Instructor: Professor Kaori Deguchi Schau, Japanese.