A private comprehensive liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, UT, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts and professional programs. Website
2013 study experiences

 2013 May Term Study Experiences

An American in Paris

Travel to France
Estimated Trip Cost: 

Travel Dates: May 5 - 27, 2013
Instructors: David Baddley, Karlyn Bond, Steve Haslam, Jeff McCarthy

Hemingway famously described Paris as “a moveable feast” and by this he meant that the city’s culture absorbed in youth would stay with the lucky traveler for a lifetime. Our May Term Study Experience emphasizes Paris’s remarkable cultural depth at the same time it challenges our students to respond to its variety in the course of an extended residence. But as Hemingway’s own life shows, Paris is not a place for passive touring. Our group will focus on the active expression of their own ideas in response to the human and natural landscape around them.

Paris became the center of the Western art world with the birth of Modernism. Artists, musicians, writers and dancers from all over the world gathered in this beautiful city to be a part of its vibrant scene. Of course, Parisian culture was built on creative expression since long before this time, and its artistic vitality continues today. We will live in Paris for the month. We will visit galleries and museums, and attend performances and events. We will experience significant art in the place it was made, and we will make art of our own.

This trip promises a distinctive learning experience for Westminster students because it balances visits to inspiring cultural touchstones with sustained personal creative responsibilities. In the footsteps of Gertrude Stein and Richard Wright, Benjamin Franklin and Henry James, these young Americans will enjoy the conventional aspects of a study trip and harvest the labors of an extended artistic residency.


Viaggio Musicale: A Musical Journey through Italy

Travel to Italy
Estimated Trip Cost: 
$3772 (base) or $4073 with options

Travel Dates: May 14 – 27, 2013
Instructors: Michael Chipman, Brandon Derfler, Chris Quinn

Students will begin their “viaggio musicale” (musical journey) on campus where they will spend two weeks studying conversational Italian Language with professor Michael Chipman, Italian Music history from the 15th To the 17th centuries, taught by Dr.Brandon Derfler, and Italian Culture with Dr. Chris Quinn. During the second half of the course, students will travel to Italy and spend two weeks touring Milan, Tuscany, and Venice. During our week in Tuscany, We will stay in an “agriturismo” converted farmhouse in the Tuscan Countryside and take faculty--led day-trips to Florence, visiting the churches, museums and historical sites that were the birthplace of much of Western Classical music. We will also explore the famous wineries, olive orchards and restaurants that make Tuscany famous. We will attend operas at La Scala in Milan and at La Fenice In Venice. Coursework will include blog posts and a video journal that chronicles the students’ “viaggio musicale,” what they learned about Italian Music history, language and culture, and how that learning experience broadened their global perspective. Click here for more information.


Pilgrimage Santiago de Compostela III: A Global Perspective on Slow Travel

Travel to Spain
Estimated Trip Cost: 
 (price will be adjusted to $2986 if fully enrolled)
Travel Dates: May 2 – 29, 2013
Instructors: Deyanira Ariza-Velasco, Bill Bynum

The two integrated courses—Spanish and Mathematics—offer a broad perspective on the political, social, economic, linguistic, cultural, and scientific context of the road to Santiago, the idea of pilgrimage itself, and a global perspective on “slow travel.” Both Mathematics and Spanish will explore the Slow Travel movement through a living experience along the way and activities involving both disciplines will help students understand how fast travel [“speed”] can destroy the connection with landscape while slow travel restores it. We will explore many important historical cities and sites along or near the road. In addition, we will investigate the Spanish language, literature, and history of northern Spain through lectures, discussions of assigned readings, and student research presentations. The mathematics component will be both computational and historical. A small part of the course will serve to familiarize students with such topics as unit conversion, dimensional analysis, the golden mean, and basic notions of algebra. The historical component will discuss the confluence of factors in medieval Spain that led to the development and diffusion of mathematical ideas throughout all of Western Europe. The cultural and literature component will refer to the Spanish Language and Medieval & Contemporary Literature (the Jews, Moors and Christians, Codex Calixtinus, the travel literature) and the global function of the Camino. Another important component will be physical: preparing for the Camino and then walking the route will require fitness and discipline. Click here for more information.


Service Learning in Thailand

Travel to Thailand
Estimated Trip Cost: 
Travel Dates:
 May 3 – 26, 2013 (dates are tentative)
Instructors: Han Kim, Peter Ingle

The focus of this course will be to explore concepts in global citizenship and responsibility in the 21st century by understanding the educational, health and developmental needs of rural Thai citizens as well as indigenous populations through cultural immersion and active participation in service projects designed to provide benefits to the local peoples. Students will participate in service projects in two distinct rural Thai villages, one near the Burmese border in Mae Sot, and one in the rural Northeast near Khon Kaen, that will help alleviate some of the health, educational and developmental issues present, while staying with local families within the villages. Other activities will include tours of historically significant sites in Thailand, sightseeing in Bangkok as well as spending a day with Burmese refugee children at a refugee school and visiting an HIV/AIDS hospice. Students will meet during Spring Semester for preparatory sessions that will ready them for the experience. Course assignments will include reflective journaling, active discussions during the trip, and an online reflective multimedia project at the end of the trip. Click here for more information.


South Africa: A State of Mind

Travel to South Africa
Estimated Trip Cost: 

Travel Dates: May 4 – 24, 2013
Instructors: Seong-In Choi, Gary Marquardt

The doctrine of apartheid (the state of being apart) legalized racial segregation throughout South Africa between 1948 and 1990. So how has the country been affected by apartheid and how has it changed since its removal?

The MTSE “South Africa: A State of Mind” explores this very question through psycho-historical analyses. In addition to exploring the historical roots of post-apartheid society, this MTSE looks at how South Africa’s social issues affect the psychology of its people. Social psychological issues such as group dynamics, social conflict and peacemaking, as well as counseling psychological issues like mental health problems, therapy and prevention will be explored.  Click here for more information.


European Union and the Financial Crisis
Travel to France and Germany
Estimated Trip Cost:  

Travel Dates: May 14 - 29, 2013
Instructors: Jerry Van Os, Dick Chapman

This course examines the origins and causes of the current financial and economic crisis facing the European Union.  The course will focus on the historical roots of the current economic situation in Europe, a survey of the current financial landscape, and the possible solutions to the crisis.  This class includes visits to Paris, Saarbrucken, and Munich, and five days of lectures given by European Union faculty at HTW des Saarlandes University of Applied Sciences.


The Sciences and History of Hawaii

Travel to Hawaii
Estimated Trip Cost: 

Travel Dates: May 19 – 28, 2013
Instructors: Robyn Hyde, Jeff Nichols, Judy Rogers

This course will take a multidisciplinary approach to studying the island of Hawaii.  Hawaii is one of the newest landmasses on Earth, and therefore can provide scientists with insights into how islands form and become inhabited.  The fact that this is such a new natural environment does not, however, mean that it is pristine.  Already this island is being adversely affected not only by the natural elements but also by commercial exploitation.  An important aspect of our discussions will be not only how this island has formed, but also the responsibilities that people have for responsible stewardship of the island known as “America’s Paradise.”

Hawaii’s history is also unique, and the “big island” of Hawaii stands at the center of that history.  The islands were forged into a powerful independent kingdom from Hawaii.  British Captain James Cook landed there, establishing European contact but meeting his own death.  The islands eventually became sites for missionary activity, whaling, and commercial agriculture at the expense of the native population, whose numbers were decimated, as well as native flora and fauna, which also suffered.  In the late 19th century Hawaii became one of the first targets of American imperialists, who overthrew the native monarchy and brought the islands under American control.  This history raises important questions of social justice and native sovereignty.


 **Note**  Insufficient enrollment or factors outside of our control may result in itinerary changes or cancellation of any May Term Study Experience.