• Program - Study Abroad

Study Abroad

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  • Program

    What is Eurospring?

    In days gone by, an “educated” person was required to travel in order to round out his or her education. Minnesota State University Moorhead provides the opportunity for students to broaden their education by offering a semester-length humanities program which includes:

    • A five-week study of British society at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, with organized field trips and a theatre performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-Upon-Avon.
    • A three-week study tour of key cities throughout Europe with organized city tours and visits to museums, art galleries, cathedrals and other important sites, and ample free time to pursue individual interests.
    • A required on-campus preparatory course, as well as assigned readings and research.
    • Pre-departure orientation sessions held during fall semester.

    Students earn 15 upper-division credits through their Eurospring experience. 6 credits are earned through coursework under the direction of Oxford Professor Allan Chapman and his colleagues at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. Students can choose from a variety of classes addressing the year’s chronological theme, “The Renaissance.”

    3 credits are earned in a course focusing on preparation, execution, and evaluation of cultural experiences and the study tour component.

    6 credits are earned as two MSUM Dragon Core/LASC classes: one in the humanities (area 6, cross-listed into area 8, Global) and one in the social sciences (area 5), which includes a writing intensive designation. In these two courses, students synthesize their overall experience and meaningfully answer broad thematic questions central to the liberal studies learning outcomes. Student experiences include prep course briefings about museum visits and cultural background, field trips and weekend trips in England and Europe, personally tailored museum and archive visits, and the Grand Tour. This flexible and dynamic assessment allows students to pursue individual interests under the guidance of the tour leader, while experiencing the relevance and connectivity of the liberal arts first-hand.

    This year’s Eurospring faculty leader is Professor Anna Arnar, Art History.

    Instruction & Academic Program

    All students take the main lecture course and select two classes for credit. Students may audit any of the remaining classes.

    Instruction will be provided in Oxford by carefully selected British faculty, who will set and grade examinations. Examinations will be held on the last day of classes at Oxford. Students must be prepared for a full day’s examination schedule. No rescheduling is permitted. All examinations are hand-written. Grading results are final.

    The faculty leader is Professor Anna Arnar, Art History (218.477.4631, arnar@mnstate.edu), who will act as resident director and advisor in Oxford, and will be responsible for grading pre-and post-departure assignments. Students will be required to keep and submit a daily journal for grading and complete papers on topics chosen in consultation with Professor Arnar. This work will be based in part on observations and material collected during the study tour.

    Students must participate in all Oxford field trips, which are generally held on Saturdays. There will be time for students to pursue individual interests, such as spending time in London and other locations.

    Pre-departure Coursework & Assignments

    In addition to the academic coursework in Oxford, students will be required to complete all assigned pre-departure coursework and attend orientation sessions; write an autobiographical essay at the end of fall semester; attend a mandatory on-campus preparatory course lasting one week during spring semester (February 15 - 19, 2016); keep a daily journal while in Oxford and on tour; visit a minimum of two historic sites, museums, and/or other cultural events in each city on tour; and turn in written work following completion of the program.

    Courses While in Oxford

    Eurospring 2016

    The Renaissance, 1450 - 1600

    Main Lecture Course

    Dr Allan Chapman, University of Oxford

    It would be impossible to imagine many of the things in the modern world that we take for granted without the age of the Renaissance, which took place between 1450 and 1600: geographical discovery, global travel, big business, representational art, public theatre, Protestantism, and the mass media, which came first through printing. It was an age of immense energy, where a drive for individual fame could sometimes find itself in conflict with Christianity, as soldiers, artists, and even Popes, strove for distinction. Its explorers, such as Columbus, Magellan, and Drake, also discovered the basic shapes of the continents and oceans that we know today. Ironically, the figures of the Renaissance believed that they were re-creating the glories of ancient Greece and Rome, whereas in reality they were creating an astonishing originality all their own: an originality which we all inherit in the modern world. Amidst all of its ingenuity and grandeur, however, the people of the Renaissance believed that they lived at the end of time: dreading imminent invasion by the Turks, and awaiting the fulfillment of those Biblical prophecies that would herald the end of the world.

    Additional Lectures

    There will be a lecture on the origins, history, and present-day workings of Oxford University, and on student life within it. Before each field trip there will also be a full lecture; in addition, there will be a background talk on the Shakespeare play to be seen in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Classes (course list subject to change)

    The following classes are offered. Each student must register for TWO classes for credit, though all classes are open for audit. Book lists will be provided to participants during fall semester.

    1. Art and Architecture
      This course will outline the artistic achievements of the Italian and north European Renaissance and then investigate the changes in late medieval forms of English art and architecture in relation to the Church, state, and individual, and discuss the development of painting and printmaking in England with reference to the changing roles of the patron and the artist during this period. There will be particular focus on the development of the painted – and printed – portrait as an expression of the status of the individual, and the function of the portrait miniature at the Elizabethan court.
    2. Politics, Power, and Law
      Unlike modern political thinkers, those of the Renaissance looked to the past to justify their ideas. Aristotle, Plato, and the Bible provided major sources, and even the seemingly pragmatic Machiavelli saw the ancient Romans as more politically advanced than modern Italians. This course will look at the political conditions which developed during the Renaissance between 1450 and 1500: the rise of absolute monarchy set against the equally powerful traditions of individual liberty, legal redress, nationalism, and ‘human rights’.
    3. Science and Discovery
      One major feature of the Renaissance were the discoveries that were made about the natural world. Copernicus was the first person to seriously advance a case for the earth’s rotation around the sun in 1543, and the geographical discoveries of the age clearly demonstrated that modern people possessed more knowledge than the wisest of the ancients. The course will look at the major discoveries of the age, in astronomy, geography, medicine, and technology, and how many aspects of knowledge that we take for granted today were first realized 400 years ago.
    4. Shakespeare's Tragedy and its Origins
      Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a great story of revenge, where a son has to avenge the murder of a parent, and brings about many horrors thereby. One of the earliest tragedies also had this as a theme, and this class will study Shakespearean tragedy from the point of view of its origins in the great stagey blood-lettings, the ghosts, and the Furies of ancient Greece. Three of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies will be taken for our study, but attention will also be paid to the Italian Renaissance, whence Shakespeare derived his style, and here we can see – through some video examples – how the revival of classical tragedy did not produce a drama such as Shakespeare’s, but the musical form we know as opera. Oxford sometimes has opera or ballet on during Eurospring, so there could be a chance to see an opera locally, as well as in London.


    (Course selections subject to change.)

    Field Trips

    1. Avebury, Stonehenge, & Salisbury
    2. City of Bath & the Roman Baths, via Burford & the Cotswolds
    3. Portsmouth Dockyard Museum
    4. Anne Hathaway's cottage & walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon, performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company in the evening

    Each of the main field trips will take place on a Saturday except that to Stratford. Students have a mini “spring holiday” from Oxford in late March or early April. During this break students can travel and explore for themselves. Students must attend classes and lectures through mid-afternoon on the Friday of break and should not book holiday reservations that require them to leave Wycliffe Hall before 3:00 PM on that day.

    Grand Tour

    The three-week study tour this year will include Paris, Siena, Florence, Venice, Prague, Bruges, Ghent, and Amsterdam. Guided sightseeing tours will be planned and group entrances are sometimes included in the cost, but students will also be expected to visit other important historical sites on their own. Transportation to and around Europe will be via train, airplane, and bus.