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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


The Rise of China: Boundaries, Movement, and Change

May 21 - June 1, 2021 (inclusive of travel days)

Professor: Xiaoshuo Hou (Sociology and Asian Studies)

This seminar examines how different segments of the Chinese population navigate the old and the new, the global and the local, as China transitions from a socialist planned economy to a more market-oriented economy and plays a larger role in the global economy and politics. [READ MORE]

Inside the New Cuba: Reconciling Socialism and the Market Economy

December 27, 2020 - January 17, 2021 (inclusive of travel days)

Professor: Michael Ennis-McMillan (Anthropology) & Jack Harris (Sociology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

This travel seminar will explore Cuban social and cultural dynamics associated with the “Special Period in a Time of Peace” that began with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The seminar will trace how the contemporary issues relate to the evolution of Cuban society from the revolution of 1959 to the present, with a particular focus on the impact of the revolution on Cuban society, as well as on the contemporary history of Latin America and the United States. [READ MORE]

The Body and Soul in Ancient Greece

May 23 - June 6, 2021

Professors: Michael Arnush and Leslie Mechem (Classics)

Although the boundary between sacred and secular space was less rigid in ancient Greece, sanctuaries were areas set aside specifically for encountering the devine. This travel seminar will explore a number of questions associated with Greek sanctuaries from their inception in the 8th century BCE through the Hellenistic period. [READ MORE]

Courage and the Tragic Sense: Human Dilemmas and the Quest for Meaning (St. Hilda's College, Oxford University)

June 26 - July 19, 2021

Professor: Sheldon Solomon (Psychology)

How do we know what we know? And how does the quest for knowledge help to inform how we are to live in the world, and to do so in a manner that is both moral...and meaningful? The Oxford Experience continues to examine "big issues" central to the quest for meaning, and within the context of human morality. [READ MORE]




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 18-25, 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. 

Social Work in a Global Context

May 17 - June 4, 2021 (inclusive of travel)

Professor:Kelly Melekis (Social Work)

Students travel to Finland to learn about how social work is understood and practiced in different parts of the world. Together with students and faculty from other countries, we explore social issues, social work responses to those issues, and ways of communicating across cultural and language differences. We also consider how our common identification with the social work profession connects us and might enable us to work together to improve the lives of people worldwide. Finally, we learn about the progressive social welfare system and cultural treasures of Finland.