Summer Academic Trips Take Students to Estonia, India, Ireland and Indian Reservations

Spring semester may be over but many students and faculty are packing their bags for summer academic courses that will take them far beyond the classroom walls.

Forty members of the University Choir left May 16 for an international choir tour that will take them to Sweden and Estonia. The tour marks the choir’s first visit to both countries. They will tour the areas around Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden and Tartu and Tallinn, Estonia.

Tartu University in Estonia is a sister school to Nebraska Wesleyan.

“President Ohles was interested in having the choir travel to Estonia to help strengthen the relationship between the two schools,” said William Wyman, the choir’s director. Sweden was also chosen because of its international choral reputation and its distance to Estonia.

In addition to performances in Estonia and Sweden, the choir will meet with a women’s choir at Tartu University.

“We will be spending sufficient time in each city to allow the choir to interact culturally as well as musically,” said Wyman.

The University Choir embarks on a global tour every four years. They will return on May 28.

Political science professor Bob Oberst will lead 13 students to India for the summer course, “Development & Culture in India.”

“The students will be immersed in the culture and visit a number of development organizations,” said Oberst.

The course will take students to several Indian cities including Jaipur, Delhi, and Dalhousie in the Himalayas. Students will volunteer at Mother Teresa’s Orphanage in Delhi, volunteer with the Tibetan children’s village, and visit a Tibetan refugee settlement among several other volunteer opportunities.

This course will also provide students the opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal and embark on an overnight hike in the Himalayas.

“I hope students will develop an understanding of Indian culture, a greater tolerance of diversity and other religions, and understand the problems and difficulties of development,” said Oberst.

Students will travel May 17 to June 9.

Psychology professor Jerry Bockoven will teach a summer course titled “History & Systems” that will take students to Ireland and England.

Twelve students will travel to Dublin, Ireland and London, England to visit historical psychology sites.

“The course is a historical exploration of psychology beginning with the early philosophers and moving to the beginning of experimental psychology in 1879,” said Bockoven. The course will also look at major ideological and methodological movements in psychology.

Students will visit the asylums in London, including Bedlam, visit the collections of Charles Darwin, and Francis Galton. Students will also have the opportunity to see Sigmund Freud’s sitting room. Additionally, the course will take students to locations where the statistical tests used in psychology originated.

“I want my students to experience the history of psychology as a real and living thing,” said Bockoven. “I also want them to see that the men and women who have made psychology what it is today were once students who were just like them.”

Students will travel May 17-25.

Nine students will travel to the Winnebago and Omaha Indian reservations in northeast Nebraska for the course, “Field Studies: Native American Life.”

The anthropology and social work course will foster increased understanding and appreciation for Native American Indian history and culture.

The course will be taught by social work professor Jeff Mohr who hopes students gain, “a better appreciation for the strengths and resiliency of Native people and the legitimacy of their claims to how they have been wronged by the dominant culture and what might be done to right those wrongs.”

Students will have the opportunity to participate in the sweat lodge ceremony, a Native American church devotional, and will listen to several speakers on the aspects of Native American life on the reservations and history.

The students will stay on the reservations June 13-17.

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