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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Skidmore Faculty-Led Travel Seminars

Each year, Skidmore sponsors a number of faculty-led travel seminars to locations around the world (see list below). Travel seminar courses must offer a carefully structured, focused, and challenging learning experience. These programs allow students to accompany one or two faculty members as they explore a focused topic that uses the destination as a classroom. To apply for any of these programs, please login to our online student portal (applications for 2020 will be available in Fall 2019).


Tropical Field Ecology and Conservation

March 7 - 15, 2020 (inclusive of travel days)

Professor:Monica Raveret Richter (Biology)

Tropical forests are the Earth's most species rich and complex ecosystems. This travel seminar is a field-based introduction to tropical ecology and conservation in Costa Rica, with weekly on-campus meetings to prepare for and reflect upon the field experience.  Costa Rica’s climate, varied topography, location between two continents and conservation programs have contributed to the generation and persistence of the incredible species richness that we will observe and enjoy.

Monteverde, the base for the program in Costa Rica, is bordered by three cloud forest preserves. The pronounced temperature and moisture gradients on the slopes in this region give rise to varied, biodiverse habitats that are home to over 450 species of orchid and more than half of Costa Rica's 850 bird species.  Students will experience and investigate these forests, exploring their habitats and inhabitants from ecological and evolutionary perspectives.  In considering the broader Monteverde community, including its human inhabitants, students will adopt an interdisciplinary perspective as they evaluate conservation issues integral to the survival of all.

Teaching and Learning in Southern Africa

May 20 - June 6, 2020 (inclusive of travel days)

Professor:Virginia Lee (Education)

Students will travel to Botswana to experience teaching and learning in primary schools in the capital city of Gaborone. The seminar centers around 32 hours of field experience, working with children and teachers, as well as seminars that contextualize the experience and give an understanding of the rich culture and history of Botswana. Local experts will provide a range of guest lectures on topics including the impact of race, gender, ethnicity, language and class in the Botswana education system, along with other issues, opportunities and challenges within their education system.

In addition to the classroom placements, students will visit Mokolodi Nature Reserve, spend a weekend in a local homestay and visit area NGOs.

Shakespeare: Playwrights, Plays and New Work Development

 May 25- 31, 2020 (inclusive of travel days)

Professor: John Michael DiResta (Theater)

Students will travel to Ashland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for six days. Students will see seven plays, meet with artists, and engage with OSF's community-engagement initiatives, such as the Green Show. During the week at OSF, students will learn about the theater's approach to audience-engagement, diversity and inclusion, new work development, and classical theater. Students will participate in OSF's official audience-development projects, and participate in discussions of the plays they are seeing. The group will meet with actors, producers, directors, and designers, as well as research the theater's professional opportunities and discuss how OSF serve multiple demographics simultaneously. The group will also investigate the 8th consecutive year that OSF's programming has had to reckon with the annual wildfires that ravage inland Oregon in summer months.