EXL 594: Experiential Learning Travel Seminars @Allegheny College
At Allegheny College, the Experiential Learning (EL) travel seminars (for 2-4 credits) typically include travel in the U.S. or abroad, and incorporate direct observation of or involvement in on-site activities that complement or illustrate the subject matter. The seminars integrate students’ intercultural and experiential learning with theory and research in various fields.
Students are exposed to diverse ideas, peoples, cultures, perspectives, and ways of life. The EXL 594 courses are designed and team-taught by Allegheny faculty and/or staff educators. Individual EL Seminars are reviewed by the Study Away and Campus Internationalization Committee and approved by the Curriculum Committee.
For summer EL seminars, there is intensive academic preparation on the seminar topic during the Spring semester prior to travel. Graded assignments include travel journals, reflective blogs and papers, supervised research or community projects in the host culture, and re-entry presentations to public audiences.
Travel during the 4-credit Summer EL seminars is typically for three weeks, while the shorter 2-credit spring/winter ELs are for 10-15 days. Each EL Seminar accepts students from across the disciplines and any year of study, so that the approach to learning is truly interdisciplinary. What's also special about the Allegheny College EL Seminars is that students from various cohorts get to know each other and their faculty leaders and form life-long bonds. At the same time, educators with different expertise and experience sets are encouraged to combine their teaching and research skills to inform the EL themes and design a uniquely Allegheny College experience.
My next EL collaboration is in summer 2020 with Dr. Lauren French (Biology/Neuroscience). Together, we will take Allegheny students from across the campus to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, where we will study the global politics of "Wars and Waterways."