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Experiential Learning

Hands-on study

In the medieval studies program at Calvin, we encourage you to explore, learn skills, and experience the Middle Ages. Whether on or off campus, in courses or on field trips, you will learn about this period with all of your senses.

Interim courses

Every other year, IDIS 206 Introduction to Medieval Studies is offered. This course is a requirement for the medieval studies minor, but anyone with an interest is invited to enroll. In recent years, the course has centered around the theme The History of the Book and features hands-on opportunities to learn interdisciplinary skills.The course includes field trips to the most important medieval manuscript collections in the Midwest, Western Michigan University's Waldo Library and Chicago's Newberry Library. In addition, the class does not just study books, but actually makes books as well, from the process of making paper, to cutting quills and practicing palaeography, to binding the final product into a codex. It is an exciting way to make medieval history come alive.

Off-campus offerings are frequently available too. In recent years, students have had the opportunity to travel to places like Italy and England to further their study of the Middle Ages.

Find out more about what's offered this year!

Field trips

Most courses in the medieval studies minor include at least one field trip. You might go to a library holding medieval manuscripts. Or to a working monastery. Or to Frans van Liere's kitchen for a medieval meal.

Off-campus programs

Through a partnership with York St. John University, Calvin students have the opportunity to spend a semester in York, England.

Other opportunities are also available for medieval minors to study abroad in countries including Hungary, France, and Spain.