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  • Study Abroad Program

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 Enlightenment.”

    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 Study 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.

    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.

    Students will be required to keep and submit a daily journal for grading and complete papers on topics chosen in consultation with the professor. 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 6 - 10, 2017); 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 2017

    From Revolution to Enlightenment, 1600 - 1780

    Main Lecture Course

    Dr Allan Chapman, University of Oxford

    Modern England, Europe, and North America were formed, in many respects, from the series of changes that took place between 1660 and 1780. With the accession of the House of Stuart in 1603, England faced the prospect of a near bankrupt Royal dynasty trying to rule an increasingly rich and powerful people whose power base lay in Parliament. This period not only created massive political upheavals, but also laid the basis for a modern libertarian political tradition. In the eighteenth century, many European intellectuals came to admire not only the English political achievement, but also the work of geniuses like John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton, while at the same time reading authors like Shakespeare and Milton. Reason and science, not absolute authority, were seen as the only laws, because they were rooted in nature; and when the Americans and French strove to create new freedoms, it was, ironically, England and the ‘Age of Reason’ to which they looked for inspiration and guidance. Though the course will be taught from an English historical perspective, it will contain a great deal about what was going on in Europe and in the wider 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 explore a dynamic, exciting and divisive period in British art and architecture, as artists and architects sought to respond to the classical models inherited from Renaissance Europe. Country houses developed into great storehouses of the nation’s artistic wealth, and London developed into a commercial centre of the art world as British institutions sought to create a new type of British art. These lectures will also focus on the explosion of printmaking and satire associated with artists such as William Hogarth and James Gilray, whilst demonstrating that art and architecture are crucial tools for understanding the social history of Britain from 1600 to 1800.
    2. The Politics of Revolution: England, Europe, and the United States
      Between the end of the Tudor age in 1603 and the American Revolution, the politics of the modern world were born. The period saw the end of the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, and the growth of constitutional and popular government. The Radicals of the 1640s, the writings of Hobbes and Locke, and the constitutional lawyers of the eighteenth century, such as Blackstone, made a profound impression upon their own and later ages. This tradition both drew upon and fed into the European ideas of the ‘Enlightenment’, and it was from this source that the American revolutionaries drew their inspiration.
    3. Science, Exploration, and Discovery
      It was the seventeenth century that really made us look at the world of nature in the way that we do today. With figures like Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and Robert Hooke, the new science transformed mankind’s world view, as experimental evidence replaced speculation. The eighteenth century went on to create the ‘Enlightenment’ and develop the applied technology of the Industrial Revolution. Navigation was also transformed, and the foundations of modern medicine were laid. Science was also a field in which America was to make its first major contributions, with such figures as Benjamin Franklin and David Rittenhouse.
    4. Epic and Mock Epic
      In the English Revolution of the 1640s an important political propagandist for the revolutionaries was the poet John Milton. In Paradise Lost he composed an epic of the cosmos’s first ever revolution: that of Satan against God and the spiteful revenge he took for his defeat on the first humans, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden.
      In this class we will study just what is this great, sweeping, titanic form of the epic. We will read Books 1-4 and 9-10 of Paradise Lost. To give us the background to the epic form itself, we will also study Books 1-12 of the marvellously enjoyable adventures of The Odyssey, where Odysseus is shipwrecked in the Mediterranean, bewitched by beautiful nymphs, and visits the gloomy Underworld, because it is this eighth-century-BC work of Homer that was Milton’s model and inspiration.
      As a final contrast we shall read the short 4-book epic of the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, which is a spoof-epic, a comedy-epic, where instead of giants, spirits, and palmy paradises, we are in a fun-loving Thameside world of card-playing beaux and belles, and hearing the story of a famous hissy-fit thrown by a young lady of leisure when a male admirer snips off her favourite lock of hair with a pair of scissors.

    (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


    Study Tour

    The three-week study tour this year will include Paris, Rome, Siena, Florence, Venice, Prague, Weimar, Vienna, and Liverpool. 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.