In the upcoming academic year, several Knox departments are offering study abroad programs during winter break to several countries for two week periods.
The dance and music departments are offering a trip to Accra, Ghana to participate in an intensive drumming and dance workshop. Meanwhile, the philosophy and history departments are hosting a trip to several cities in Japan, which usually occurs every other year. The German, history and political science departments are offering a trip to Berlin and Istanbul, while the classics department is offering a trip to Greece.
While some students choose to go abroad for a duration ranging from a single term to a year, these kinds of programs allow students to keep up with their Knox courses and extracurricular activities without leaving campus by taking a class during the term in preparation for the trip and going abroad during winter break.
Associate Professor of Philosophy Bill Young will be accompanying the philosophy department’s trip to Japan.
“We did [Japan Term] three or four times with groups of students,” Young said. “I have an interest in Buddhism, specifically Japanese Buddhism, so a portion of the trip is in two cities of Japan, Kyoto and Nara, both of which were one time centers for Buddhism. And so we will visit a number of temples and places that are associated with Buddhism and I will lead students through that.”
Chair of Asian Studies Michael Schneider will accompany the Japan Term students on a trip through the modern history of Tokyo, World War II and onward.
Japan Term has been taking place since around the mid-2000s. Other programs, like the Ghana and Berlin/Istanbul trips, are being offered for the first time. As these programs take place during a time which Knox is not in session, they can function as alternative for studying abroad.
While all of the programs require enrollment in at least one course while at Knox, they are open to all students, regardless of major or minor. Professor Young sees the two week program as an opportunity to apply what is learned during the term directly to whatever country is being studied.
“Well, I think there are a couple of advantages,” Young said. “First is to see the things we’ve talked about in class in the places where they actually occur. I think it adds a level of experience and information which are hard to give within a standard classroom. Another advantage is traveling to a culture that is not your own and being challenged by that.”
The college is trying to increase opportunities for students to study abroad, and, as a result, these short-term study abroad trips were founded. Knox has an emphasis on studying abroad, with programs in 40 different locations, inside and outside of the U.S.
“It encourages students in overseas studies, and that’s really important for education, especially in the 21st century and dealing with global communities,” Young said. “It’s important to be a citizen of your state and a world citizen.”