The Global Experiential Learning (GEL) Program offers Shenandoah students a short-term, faculty-led, study-abroad experience for academic credit. Since the program’s inception in 2000, students have traveled to approximately 30 nations, including Argentina, China, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Thailand. The GEL program aims to make the world a learning laboratory for students, providing deep exploration into individual fields of study, the opportunity to understand where the United States fits in terms of the world viewpoint, and the ability to enhance skills in cultural sensitivity, flexibility, and capability to adjust and adapt.
Students apply for these short-term, credit-bearing, faculty-led programs offered winter break, spring break, and during the summer. If the course is not within your major, it might be used as an elective.
Below is current list of GEL programs being offered for the 2019-2020 academic year. For details, contact the faculty leader via email.
Global Experiential Learning Trips for the 2019-2020 Academic Year
La Isla Bonita: Cultural Perspectives in Cuba
Bryan Pearce-Gonzales | email@example.com & Matthew Corr | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel dates: May 18-29th, 2020
This trip will be academic in nature with emphasis on visiting culturally, historically, politically significant sites. These sites include Havana and Santiago as well as visits to Buena Vista Social Club, Hemingway’s residence, cooking schools, and Fidel Castro’s gravesite. By taking this GEL, you will receive 3 SU credits.
Environmental Citizenship, Public Health, and Religious Diversity in the Dominican Republic
Audra Gollenberg | email@example.com & Kevin Minister | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel dates: January 9-20, 2020
This course will examine environmental sustainability in the Dominican Republic through the lens of public health and religious diversity, critically reflecting on what it means to be a responsible environmental citizen with attention to the global context in which we live. Students will trek into the central highlands of the Dominican Republic where mountainous landscapes, coffee plantations and alpine pastures stretch as far as the eye can see. Students will experience the area’s rich biodiversity while learning how reforestation and ecotourism efforts have affected the land and communities. As students are immersed in the local culture, the class will work together with non-profits and community members to build sustainable solutions to conservation, health and social challenges.
This program is suitable for all majors.
Registration for this GEL trip is now closed.
London Theatre and History
Carolyn Coulson | email@example.com
This GEL course will introduce the student to the theatre and history of London and the UK. This year, the theatre we will see as a group will focus on straight plays, including the classics and newer works, including non-traditional performance, as available. We will be looking to push outside the mainstream. We will also visit several historical sites such as Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London and some of London’s great museums. Students will be asked to write several short essays upon returning, which reflect on the experience and make connections between the greater contextual visits and the specific plays we see. Students will have a busy, packed schedule and are expected to attend all day trips and performances.
This program is suitable for conservatory students.
Special topics in Exercise Science in England
Barry Parker | firstname.lastname@example.org
This GEL course is designed to immerse students in the fields of Exercise Science, Health Professions, and Performing Arts Medicine. The group will stay at the University of Winchester, UK and meet with Exercise Scientists, Sport Performance coaches, Physiotherapists and tour facilities. We will travel to London to tour Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and meet with Dance Science faculty and tour the graduate research facilities. We will plan to take in some sporting and cultural events and meet with those involved in training for these events. You will be asked to research and discuss the facilities and professionals we will be visiting to have background knowledge prior to the trip. Upon returning, students will be asked to write a reflection paper on their experiences. 3 SU credits.
This program is suitable for business and conservatory majors.
English History; Real and Imagined
Julie Hofmann | email@example.com & Sarah Canfield | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel dates: May 17-31, 2020
Students will enroll in one of two courses, in English or History, focused on how English history has been memorialized in literature or public history. The group will visit historic sites, museums, and locations of literary significance in order to explore the ways that history and heritage are remembered. The focus will be primarily on English history before 1800, including the Roman occupation, the real and legendary King Arthur, the age of Chaucer and the age of Shakespeare. Sites may include the Tower of London, Hampton Court, Museum of London, the British Museum, the Globe Theater, the Jorvik Viking Experience, Norwich, Stratford, Whitby, or points beyond.This trip will include substantial walking and standing as well as travel by public transportation, including subway, bus, or train. Some sites may include many stairs, narrow staircases, or confined spaces. Worth 3 SU credits.
This program is suitable for all majors.
Adventures in Biodiversity and Ecotourism in the Amazon and Galapagos Islands
Laurel Nida | email@example.com & Giles Jackson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel dates: May 17-29, 2020
This GEL trip will explore ecotourism and biology in the enchanted Galapagos Islands. Home to such astonishing creatures as the famous Galapagos giant tortoise, Galapagos sea lions, the adorable Galapagos penguin, blue-footed booby, frigate bird and the Galapagos rosy iguana as well as the finches whose varying beak sizes inspired Darwin. From the beautiful blue waters filled with species found only here, to the highlands inhabited by giant tortoises, students will work to understand and protect this fragile ecosystem. In the Galapagos Islands, hikes will take students to beaches, volcanic craters, lava tunnels, and a number of bird nesting sites. Students will have opportunities to swim with Galapagos sea lions (which are very playful), and sea turtles, and visit an active volcano. 3 SU credits.
This program is suitable for biology and business majors.
Exploring the Mediterranean World: Engaging Global Perspectives in France and Spain
Petra Schweitzer | email@example.com & Casey Erikson | firstname.lastname@example.org
This GEL trip proposes a journey to France and Spain to explore the Mediterranean cultures of Nice, St. Tropez, Montpelier, Barcelona, and Valencia. Students will engage in the cultures at hand and some will receive language credit in Spanish and French. We welcome students from across the university. During the trip, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the melting pot that forms the Mediterranean world. As much as this region has a historic past, it is important to understand the contemporary culture of business, trade, tourism, and cuisine in the region.
This program is suitable for all majors.
Summer Arts Leadership Institute
David Edelman | email@example.com
The Summer Arts Leadership Institute will bring together American and European students for a 10-day intensive program in international and intercultural issues facing future arts leaders. The Institute will be hosted at the American University of Greece in Athens and will feature discussions with European cultural leaders, four half-day study tours of Athens, a guided day-long tour of Epidaurus and Mycenae, attendance at four evening performances in Athens, and even a leadership day at the beach.
This program is suitable for those interested in exploring arts management in an international setting.
PT & OT Clinical Experience in Haiti
This non-traditional clinical rotation takes place in Jacmel, Haiti. Our group will treat patients in an in-patient setting and also in a school based setting. Visits to rural homes and schools will also take place. Community Coalition for Haiti is the host organization and the group will be exposed to serial casting, equipment fabrication, and Inter professional interactions with nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and teachers. This course is only open to students in the PT and OT program.
International Education in Italy
Karrin Lukacs | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel dates: March 6-16, 2020
This GEL is designed to contrast and compare educational programs in Italy with education in the United States. Special attention will be given to administrative leadership, curriculum, faculty and student composition, legal structure, and facilities. Join us to learn more about Italy’s K12 education system as you visit Florence, Venice, Bologna, and Rome and connect with other passionate students and teachers during visits to local schools. 3 SU credits.
This program is suitable for all education majors.
International Business in Barcelona
Dave Darsch | email@example.com
This GEL course is offered by the Business School in Barcelona, Spain. It will provide an opportunity for students to experience firsthand business operations in varying international settings. The course includes lectures, meetings with distinguished professors, meetings with senior corporate executives, field trips to business organizations and cultural sites, classroom discussions, and assignments. The course has been designed to help you develop skills and perspectives to enable you to get the most out of the international experience. General and specific discussions led by authorities in their fields will enable you to better understand different business and economic views, values, and customs, and these will be integrated into the experience. The course is timely and appropriate as we observe the dynamics of globalization and international diversity.
Exploring Global Health and Policy Development
Lisa Darsch | firstname.lastname@example.org & Michelle Gamber | email@example.com
Students travel to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Assembly (WHA). Prior to and during this trip, students learn how global health policy is shaped, how various health professions work within this interdisciplinary landscape, and explore the diverse cultural regions of Switzerland. When in Switzerland, students get the unique opportunity to see first-hand how policy is discussed and developed in the global landscape by participating in the WHA meetings held at the United Nations. Students will also have an opportunity to visit and meet with other organizations such as the WHO, Doctors without Borders, ICRC and participate in several professional networking opportunities. This is an experiential course utilizing discussion, inquiry and exploration of international health care policy creation.
This program is suitable for graduate health professions students.
Oral History Nyaka Grandmother Project
Jeff Coker | firstname.lastname@example.org & Amy Sarch | email@example.com
Travel dates: January 3-15, 2020
This GEL trip will offer students the opportunity to conduct oral histories and ethnographic interviews with grandmothers in rural Uganda. These women are part of the Grandmother Program, launched in Uganda in 2007 as part of Jackson Kaguri’s Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project (which also has constructed three schools in the region for orphans). Over 7,000 women are now part of the program, and all have a story to tell. We will collect these fascinating and inspiring stories and record them. In the process, we will increase the visibility of this important program and also help these women preserve their histories.
This program is suitable for Gen Ed undergraduate students; fulfills cultural understanding and Domain 7.
Registration for this GEL trip is now closed.
Diversity, Service, Reflection: Martin Luther King and Us
DeLyn Celec | firstname.lastname@example.org
This course is based on experiential and contextual learning and fulfills the Domain 5 “Moral Reasoning” requirement. Students will engage and explore the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as they apply to today’s issues January 13-21. During this time we will take part in workshops, trainings and service-learning opportunities in Washington, D.C. and in and around Winchester, VA. The final projects will be tailored to fit the interests, strengths, courses of study, and talents of the students and will be presented during Martin Luther King Week.
Faculty GEL Program Proposal
Do you have a GEL course that you would like to create? Propose it now!