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UW Faculty Led Programs|Study Abroad

Winter Break Study Abroad Opportunities

Please note: All students participating in study abroad programs will be charged a Study Abroad Fee of $100, in addition to the program costs. Students will also be required to purchase Student Travel Insurance at a cost of approximately $25 for two weeks, or $50 per month. Program costs listed below do not include UW tuition and fees.


ENR 4890/5890: Exploring Queensland's Human & Physical Landscapes
(3 credits)

Travel to the Land Down Under on this 19-day field course and gain an understanding of the environmental, economic, political, and sociocultural issues that shape space, place, and society in one of Australia’s most populated and environmentally threatened coastal regions. Focusing on the dynamics of coupled natural and human systems, students will explore and apply a wide range of field techniques – observational, analytic, and interpretive - working with both UW course leaders and local experts. Field experiences will include the urban environs of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, and surrounding rural hinterlands, Glass House Mountains, Noosa Biosphere Reserve, Fraser Island, and the Lady Elliot Island Great Barrier Reef Coral Cay.

Dates: January 2017
For more information:


ZOO 4900 – Problems: Biodiversity, Birds and Animal Behavior of a Tropical Forest
(1 credit; may be available for 4 graded credits)

South America has the greatest diversity of birds in the world. Ecuador straddles the equator and the Andes. (20,000 foot peaks). Although Ecuador is only very slightly larger than Wyoming, Ecuador has four times as many species of birds (> 1,600 species). This 10-day trip will introduce you to a world biodiversity hotspot, instill an appreciation for the plants and animals, especially the birds, and provide hands-on experience of the fascinating repertoire of behaviors exhibited by the animals there. Milpe is at 1,100 meters (, on the west slope of the Andes; excursions will go to higher cloud forest (2,000 meters) and low-elevation forest (350 meters), at each of which most of the plants and animals will be different. Days will be long, typically with early rising and moderate to extensive hiking. Evening lectures and presentations will supplement the field experience.

Accommodations: Simple bunkhouses, each with 2 to 3-person rooms with a bathroom (h/c shower, h/c sink, toilet).  Three hot meals/day in a screened patio surrounded by hummingbird feeders (visited by about 20 of Ecuador’s 123 species of hummingbirds).

Tentative dates: January 8-18, 2017
Estimated cost: ~$2,400 (total includes airfare ~$1,200 RT U.S. to Quito Ecuador, plus ~$1,200 that will cover ALL in-country travel, lodging and meals).
Contact: David McDonald (


The three cities included in the course, each unique, will provide students with a broad range of experience and practice as cultural translators.  Xi’an, capital of China for over a millennium, hosted a wide variety of religions, some indigenous, others immigrant.  These include various sorts of ancestor, worship of local gods, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Islam.  Some of these have only left traces, while others, such as the vibrant Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, keep their more obviously religious character.  Near Xi’an is the sacred mountain of Hua Shah, site of many Daoist temples, now available on an amazing gondola ride.

Macau was settled by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century and served as a major trading hub for centuries, leaving a mixture of Chinese, Portuguese and African cultures.  Christian, Buddhist, A-ma, an indigenous goddess, and other shrines appear throughout Macau, mixed with colonial Portuguese style architecture.  It has also become the world’s largest gambling destination, surpassing Las Vegas.  

Hong Kong provides a modern-day look at eastern and western cultures, including lived religious cultures.  Numerous indigenous temples, family shrines, and the tiny offerings placed outside numerous businesses on Hong Kong streets, all show the importance of local religions.  Among the most famous sites is the Big Buddha at the Po Lin monastery.  Far less commercial is the Chi Lin Buddhist nunnery in Kowloon, an oasis of quiet beauty with skyscrapers easily visible on its skyline.  We will visit the Kowloon Mosque, the Ohel Synagogue, the Baha’i Centre, St. John’s Anglican Cathedral and a Chinese Christian church.  

Approx. Dates: January 3-17, 2017
Cost: $1900 (includes accommodations, in-country travel, tours, and most meals)
Contact: Kristine Utterback (


SOC 4900/5250: Sociology of Israeli Political and Social Institutions

This study abroad course examines the political and social institutions in Israel from a comparative perspective. Israel faces many challenges in terms of political structure, demographic transitions, security issues and violence, economic growth and development, religious pluralism and welfare policies. It is a particularly interesting place by which to examine the applicability of sociological theories, many of them developed in the context of the United States and other European countries, to Israel which is in some ways very similar and in other ways very different. In this course we will apply our sociological imagination—the relationship between personal troubles and public issues, history and biography—to the challenges and opportunities in the Israeli context.    
The trip includes visits at the Dead Sea, Haifa, Tel-Aviv, with a Bedouin community, and Jerusalem, among other trips and tours!

Dates: January 4-14, 2017
Estimated cost: $2,795 includes many of the meals, lodging in shared rooms, and in-country transportationentrance fees to museums, centers, and course locations;does not include roundtrip airfare, tuition and fees, passport, pocket money, and some meals.
Contact: Shiri Noy (


From Rome to Geneva:  A Journey in Architecture, Engineering and the History of Science

Join me in a journey through Italy from Rome to Geneva Switzerland with several stops along the way.  This journey will highlight historical and influential advances in architecture, engineering and science from the Roman Empire, through the Renaissance up to the modern time.  Visits include traditional cultural sites in Rome, Florence, Padua, Pisa and Milan with special visits to CERN, the modern-day particle accelerator at Geneva, the Moses Project, built so save Venice from flooding, the Murano glass blowing factories, and the Fiat automobile factory in Turin.   See the accompanying brochure for specific details.  

This winter break, upper division elective course is idea for STEM majors, Science Education majors, and any non-science major student who wants a stimulating international experience.  For you to get the best rate for airline tickets, we should plan far in advance.  To reserve a place a $500 non-refundable deposit due on May 15, 2016.  Scholarships are available for students with a 3.0 GPA and sophomore standing.

Dates:  January 3 – 20, 2017
Approximate Costs: ($3100 Includes room, breakfast and one additional meal per day; upon arrival includes all land travel, transfers, fees and instruction. Airfare is not included)
Contact:  Dr. Ron Canterna (

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