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Interim 2015: Courses in North, Central and South America

Study in North America

IDIS W40 Disney, Culture, and Progress.  Walt Disney World projects a vision of global progress in cross-cultural engagement, scientific and technological innovation, environmental sustainability, and global citizenship.  But this message of progress is often contested, and such a singular presentation raises a multitude of questions: Have we really progressed when there is so much violence, inequality, interethnic hostility and discrimination, environmental deterioration, and misuse of technology?  How can we reconcile ideas of progress with the reality of a fallen world?  Can we identify a global vision of progress, or are these ideas merely a veiled presentation of the “American dream?”  This course equips students to explore cross-cultural understandings of progress.  Students will learn about theories of progress from development literature, and then assess how we understand progress across cultural contexts in light of these theories.  A significant portion of the class will take place off-campus at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where students will explore representations of human progress in science, technology, cross-cultural engagement, environmental protection, and global citizenship.  During this visit we will reflect on some key questions: What does it take to progress towards a more sustainable future?  Are we called to be global citizens or rooted in our local communities?  Is progress a Western, liberal concept, or can we understand progress within our own cultural communities?  How does our understanding of progress impact the way we engage across cultures?  Most importantly, are there particular visions of progress that Christians should or should not endorse?  This class may fulfill an elective in the Political Science and IDS programs.  This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Course dates:  January 7-27. Fee: $2380.   R. McBride. Off campus.

IDIS W41 Harness the Wind: Learn to Sail (3 hours + PER 150).  For thousands of years people have taken to the water in boats propelled by wind and sails. Whether for business or pleasure, sailors have had to learn the skills needed to meet the challenges of sailing. In this course students learn to sail on 26-30 foot sailboats using the facilities of Eckerd College on Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, FL. Students progress from beginning to advanced levels of sailing skill and are introduced to a lifetime activity that can be enjoyed at various levels. During onboard instruction students explore the ways in which wind, water, sails and hulls interact to efficiently send a boat on its way. Leadership development, team building, cooperative learning, and an introduction to sailboat racing are integral to the sailing experience. In addition to extensive on-the-water instruction, the course includes classroom presentations, readings, projects and discussions on techniques and physics of sailing, sailboat design, navigation, meteorology and history. Excursions to observe marine environments and wildlife are included in the course. No boating experience is required. Students must have the physical ability to operate a sailboat and pass a 150 yard swimming test. This course may fulfill an elective in the Recreation major or minor. Course dates: January 5-24. Cost: $2937.  J. Ubels, S. Vander Linde. Off campus.

IDIS W42 Tourism, Migration and Development in Jamaica.  Jamaica with its vibrant multi-national urban centers, attractive tourist destinations and rural countryside, provides the backdrop for examining issues facing developing countries in an increasingly globalized economy.  This interim exposes students to Jamaican culture and history, including the African diaspora, Jamaica's colonial experience, Jamaica's contemporary identity as well as Jamaican migration patterns.  Through readings, classroom discussions, and engaging lectures by faculty from Calvin and the University of West Indies, students examine the social and economic challenges facing Jamaicans today including political unrest, gangs, debt, remittances, tourism, sustainability, migration, and the influence of the United States on Jamaican affairs.  Students travel through both the interior and the coast of Jamaica matching classroom content with participant observation and fieldwork.  Field trips are also used to examine the various political, social, economic and international trends that have shaped the island and impacted its potential for successful development.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Sociology, Social Work, International Development studies and Africa and the African Diaspora Studies programsThis course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Course dates: January 8-27.  Fee: $2977.  L. Schwander, T. Vanden Berg.  Off campus.

ART W60 Photography in New York.  As an international center for contemporary art, New York City offers a unique educational opportunity to study visual art.  Through discussions and visits with contemporary photographers, museum curators, collectors, and critics, students will learn about the production, display, collection, and promotion of contemporary photography.  This course will focus on photography as an art commodity in contemporary culture.  For ten days, students will visit various photography professionals. The class will visit the studios of working photographers in the city and have the privilege of touring facilities and observing work in progress.  Talks with photography critics such as A. D. Coleman and museum curators at the International Center for Photography and the Museum of Modern Art will complement the photographer studio visits.  Meetings will also be arranged with galleries specializing in photography and photography collectors.  Students will be required to read selected writings from curators and critics and keep a journal of their experiences. Students will also study photographers who have focused on New York as their subject matter. New York City has inspired and fascinated many artists, and students will have ample opportunity to explore, discover and study this great American city.  In addition to providing a tour of the city, students will tour historical and contemporary New York via the wonderful collection of photographic imagery from various photographers at the Museum of the City of New York.  In response to their New York experience, students will produce a body of photographic images. The instructor will provide individual critiques of both artwork and journal.  Prerequisite: ARTS 256 or permission of the instructor.  Course dates: January 7-27. Fee: $2441. J. Steensma Hoag.  Off campus.

FREN W80 Interim in Quebec.  In this course students live in Montreal with French-speaking host families that provide bed, breakfast, and dinner. Classes are held in downtown Montreal in space provided by the Farel Reformed Theological Seminary (near the University of Montreal). Over the three weeks of class, students examine current events in Quebec. They also study a novel, shorts stories, and films set in Montreal. In the afternoons, the group visits the neighborhoods described in these works and have various activities, ranging from museum visits, plays, concerts, and walking tours to service learning, tubing, skating, skiing, and (if possible) a Canadiens hockey game. Invited speakers offer seminars covering potential topics such as the differences between Quebecois French and “standard French," urban planning in Montreal, and the religious history of Quebec. Excursions include a weekend trip to Quebec City and a trip to the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal for a day of winter activities. This course may fulfill an elective in the French major or minor.  This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Prerequisite: French 201.  Course dates:  January 3-24.  Fee: $3173.  O. Selles. Off campus.

GEOL W40 Hawaii:  Volcanoes in the Sea.  This course explores the natural and cultural history of the four major islands of the Hawaiian archipelago: Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu.  Hawaii is the best location in the world to study volcanoes and supports a fragile, tropical ecosystem.  The course examines the active and extinct volcanoes and other geologic features of the islands.  Students investigate Hawaii's marine (reef) environment, the diverse land ecology, and the human history of settlement and development of the islands.  Students will view ongoing eruptions, if possible, and hike to study fresh lava flows and associated volcanic features.  Instruction will take place on daily field trips to significant geological, oceanographic, ecological, cultural, and geographic sites.  Daily activities include light to moderate hiking and occasional snorkeling.  In rainy weather, hiking can be strenuous.  Each student is responsible for reading the assigned history of Hawaii and discussing an aspect of the Hawaiian Islands or culture in an on-site class presentation.  This course may fulfill an elective in the Geology, Geography, and Environmental Studies programs.  Optional CCE credit is available. Course dates:  January 7 - 27.  Fee: $3746.  G. Van Kooten, M. Bjelland. Off campus.

GEOL 112 Earth Science for Educators (MAY) (4 semester hours). An introductory study of physical systems and historical and contemporary processes that shape the surface of Earth. Topics include 1) the physical nature of Earth’s surface based on composition of earth materials and the forces that create landforms, 2) weather and climatic systems and their effect on the global distribution of soils and ecological communities, and 3) the Earth/sun/moon system. Understanding of Earth systems is applied to concepts of stewardship, resources use, and energy consumption. Laboratory, multiple field trips. Not open to students who have completed Geology 151 or Geography/Geology 120. This course is designed for students in the education program.  NOTE:  This 2-week Interim in May course begins immediately after spring commencement, and includes 4 on-campus, Thursday evening sessions (6-8pm) in April.  Course dates: May 25 - June 8.  Fee $1300.  K. Bergwerff. Off campus.

GEOL 153 Big Sky Geology: Montana (MAY) (4 semester hours). This course in geology is based in southwest Montana. Southwest Montana offers superb field exposures and is within driving distance of outstanding geological localities including Yellowstone National Park and Craters of the Moon National Monument. This course fulfills the physical science core requirement, and emphasizes outdoor, field-based investigation and learning. Students will be introduced to the breadth of geological study leading to responsible Christian appreciation and stewardship of Earth, including rocks and minerals, landforms and surficial processes, geological hazards, and natural resources. Field activities are an important part of each day and the field experience will complement morning lecture and lab activities. As a graded course, exams will cover lecture and text, and students will be required to complete lab assignments, construct a written field log, and choose a special field project. Not open to students who have completed Geology/Geography 120, Geology 151or Geology 112. NOTE:  This 2-week Interim in May course begins immediately after spring commencement, and includes 4 on-campus, Thursday evening sessions (6-8pm) in April.  Course dates: May 25 - June 8.  Fee $1300. G. Van Kooten. Off campus.

KIN W40 Grand Canyon Outdoor Educator.  This wilderness based learning experience is designed for students interested in developing wilderness leadership skills and advanced skills in expeditionary leadership, backcountry medicine, and rock climbing instruction and site management.  The course begins at Calvin College with a 9 day Wilderness First Responder certification course sponsored by the Wilderness Medical Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).  Two groups of 10 students will then travel to Grand Canyon National Park for a six day winter backpacking trip deep into the heart of the Grand Canyon.  Here, students will gain skills in wilderness leadership, backcountry living and travel, risk management, outdoor education, and group development.  During this phase, students will cover the Wilderness Education Association (WEA) backcountry curriculum.   Students will then travel to Joshua Tree National Park to complete 7 day rock climbing instructor and site management course.  During the 25 day interim, students will also be exposed to the following topics related to outdoor education and leadership; group dynamics, conflict management and resolution, expedition planning, models of facilitation, land management agencies, Leave No Trace ethics, regional natural history, and environmental ethics and stewardship. This course may fulfill an elective in the Recreation major and minor.  Course dates: January 5-29.  Fee: $1756.  R. Rooks, K. Heys. Off campus.

SOWK W10 Grand Rapids: The Interim.  Experiencing the rich context, history, and culture of Grand Rapids is sometimes difficult given the demands of coursework. This course, however, treats the city as our textbook and looks to religious leaders, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and the business community to inform our understanding of this place. An experiential approach to learning about Grand Rapids offers students the opportunity to explore the city through visits to local businesses and organizations, home stays, recreational opportunities, service learning, and excursions to a variety of sites important to local culture. A special emphasis is placed on social justice and visual research techniques—the use of photographs, for example, to collect, analyze, and explain society and culture—which will allow students to explore the city through the lens of sociology and also to see this place through the eyes of locals, particularly those who may be marginalized. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Course dates:  January 7-27. Fee: $666.  J. Kuilema, R. Williams. Off campus.


Study in Central America

IDIS W10 Simplicity in Central America.  In this wilderness adventure course, students challenge themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually as they develop new outdoor skills. As they live intentionally together in a variety of rustic settings, the focus on the ideas of simplicity and contentment. Students will develop a deeper awareness of self, a better understanding of Godly relationships, and a greater appreciation of God's world as reflected in the indigenous people, cultures, and environment of remote and extraordinary Central American locales. This 22 day wilderness adventure features hiking, scuba diving, surfing, and white-water rafting Costa Rica and Panama. Students also interact extensively with local guides, families, and churches through a variety of joint projects and intercultural activities. Students study and experience the spiritual discipline of simplicity; participate in extended solitude and reflection as a means of personal and spiritual growth; are challenged to learn to surf, raft and SCUBA; and experience God through His creation and the diversity of His people. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. Course dates: January 5 – 26. Fee: $3116.  J. Britton, D. Vander Griend, J. Witte. Off campus.

IDIS W47 Exploring Honduras Coast to Coast.  This course provides students the opportunity to dig deep and see the many sides of Honduras. Students participate with dozens of Honduran cyclists in an 8-day trek from Honduras’ Atlantic coast in the North to the Pacific coast in the South.  Traveling through 8 cities, students have the opportunity to learn about the issues of education in Honduras, to meet its best students and to hear what the Transform Honduras movement is doing to improve education around the country. Students also spend time immersed in Honduras’ history in the Mayan city of Copan, experience snorkeling in its beautiful coral reefs, spend a week living with Honduran families in a small town outside the capital, and hear from Honduran leaders in the nation’s capital to learn about the tough issues this Honduras is facing and what is being done to bring about change.   This course may fulfill an elective in the IDS program. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement. Prerequisites: students will be required to have a complete physical exam and will need to demonstrate a high level of physical conditioning prior to being accepted for the course. Course dates: January 3-27. Fee: $2947. K. Ver Beek.  Off campus.

NURS W80 Belize: A Nursing Experience. Immerse yourself in the health issues and nursing care of the people of the small developing country of Belize, Central America. Belize is both geographically and culturally diverse with mountains, rainforests and the largest coral reef in this hemisphere! Explore health concerns and care strategies for a culturally, socially and economically varied nation of seven distinct groups including Creole, Mayan, Taiwanese, Garifuna and others. Nursing students have the opportunity to serve in community clinics, private hospitals, struggling government hospitals, mental health half-way houses and orphanages. Students learn from local herbalists, traditional midwives and folk healers.  Students take an excursion to Guatemala for 3 days to explore the contrast in health care and culture of these two developing countries. Students will also have the opportunity to live in a Mayan village absorbing the culture firsthand. Students learn about village health needs and the role of the traditional birthing assistant.  This course may fulfill an elective in the IDS program. Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of at least one semester of nursing courses and permission of the instructor. Course dates:  January 7-27. Fee: $2990. R. Boss Potts.  Off campus.

SPAN W80 Spanish in Yucatan. In this course Students spend three weeks (January 7-28, 2015) immersed in Mexican culture and Spanish language in Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan. Merida has a population of one million and offers a colonial past, strong Mayan influence in the present, and intensive globalization as it faces the future. It hosts two universities and several mission organizations. Students live with Mexican families and attend lecture and discussion classes focusing on aspects of Mexican culture such as Mexican and Mayan history, the history of Catholicism and Protestantism in Mexico, and the current political and economic context. Students also participate in excursions to Mayan ruins and attend religious and cultural events. Student learning objectives are to 1) improve comprehension and fluency in the Spanish language, 2) increase understanding of various cultural and religious phenomena of Mexico and particularly of Yucatan, and 3) grow in personal maturity and awareness of cultural differences. This course may fulfill an elective in the Spanish and IDS programs.  This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Prerequisites: Spanish 201 and permission of instructor. This course has a CCE integral component. Course dates:  January 7-28. Fee: $2191.  S. Lamanna. Off campus.

Study in South America

IDIS W45 Galapagos Islands/Amazon Rainforest. As “living laboratories of evolution” both the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest are two of the most unique and fascinating places on earth. Having an equatorial climate, these two ecosystems are quickly becoming trendy vacation spots, generating local economies that are heavily reliant on the ecotourism industry. Participants in this course will investigate the biology of the local flora and fauna of these areas and also study the economic and environmental issues and tradeoffs that are necessary to maintain these areas. Particular attention will be given to the application of Reformed Christian principles of biological and economic stewardship as tools for assessing the current and future status of these important natural areas. Students travel to Ecuador to spend seven days on the Galapagos archipelago and six days living within the Amazon jungle. Daily excursions include hiking, canoeing, and snorkeling. This course may fulfill an elective in the IDS program. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Course dates: January 7 -27.  Fee: $5600.  C. Blankespoor, D. Proppe.  Off campus.

IDIS W50 Brazil for Beginners.  Students will spend three weeks immersed in Brazilian culture, history and language, particularly of the Northeast. Two weeks of the Interim will be spent in Recife, the capital and largest city (ca. 3.75 million inhabitants) of the Northeastern state of Pernambuco, as well as the center Nieuw Holland (Dutch colonial Brazil, 1630-1654).  Students will live with middle-class Brazilian families and take local excursions.  Students will be able to study a country that is important to any discussion and research on Latin America and the African Diaspora.  During the two weeks in Recife the students will have language classes and historical / cultural conferences at a local cultural center. The final week will be spent in Salvador, the capital of colonial Brazil (ca. 3.5 million inhabitants) and Rio de Janeiro, former capital and second largest city in Brazil (ca. 6.3 million inhabitants).  Students will visit points of cultural interest, historical landmarks, museums, art exhibits and churches in Recife, Salvador, and Rio.  This course may fulfill an elective credit for minors in Latin American Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies, and International Development.  This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Course dates: January 4-26.  Fee: $3740.  D. TenHuisen.  Off Campus.

MUSC W60 Canta Brasil! (MAY) Members of the Calvin Women’s Chorale participate in worship services, present concerts, and participate in workshops in the area of choral music in various cities in Brazil. The course is taught by the instructor through performance and by being a clinician in workshop settings. The instructor also leads group discussions with the ensemble and facilitates interaction with local musicians and church members. Students experience worship in a cross-cultural context and communion with other members of the Body of Christ through fellowship and song. The choir experiences collaboration with other local choirs via a choral festival under the joint direction of the class instructor and Maria Guinand, pre-eminent South American and world renowned choral conductor.  Evaluations will be based on daily participation through performances, group discussions, individual presentations and a daily journal. The course will begin with intensive rehearsals and lectures on campus, followed by a twelve-day trip to Brazil. The sessions prior to the trip will include talks on global worship, the culture and choral music of Brazil, and the larger context of South America. This course will fulfill the CCE requirement.  Prerequisite:  Fall or spring enrollment in MUSC 191.  Course dates: May 27-June 9.  Fee: $4912.  P. Shangkuan, L. Hoisington. Off campus.