Faculty-Led Sample Experiences

hong kong, skyline

Examining the Culture and History of Vietnam and Hong Kong

This 13-day course included six different locations in Vietnam concluding with two days in Hong Kong. Students experienced an intensive look at the Vietnamese culture and history.  Beginning in Ho Chi Minh City, students visited the most famous battlefield from the American War, toured the Reunification War Museum, the Tay Son Lacquereware factory, met with a representative from the US Consulate office and participated in a Vietnamese cooking demonstration.  From My Tho, students took a boat trip on the Mekong River viewing fruit gardens and peasant houses.  A highlight in Can Tho was visiting the Ban Lang Stork Garden and watching the birds returning to their nests.  The students also experienced the Cai Rang floating market.  Other highlights included: a boat trip on the Nha Trang Sea to visit Tri Nguyen Aquarium and a fishing village, visiting the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site, visiting the Vietnam Cultural Village and interacting with a local family.   The course concluded in Hong Kong with a guided tour of the city, a boat ride and a visit with Kenexa, the largest global supplier of HR solutions.


Turkey at the Crossroads

Turkey at the Crossroads course explored history, culture and current events.  Students spent 14 days visiting Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Izmir, Cesme, and Troy. In Istanbul the students experienced both the Classical and the Ottoman Empire sites including the Suleymaniye Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, the Grand Bazaar.  Dolmabahce Palace and Gulhane Gardens.  A boat cruise on the Bosporus was also included.  A most memorable day in Istanbul for the course was discussing modern Turkey and its future with industry and government leaders and culiminated in a meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Istanbul. Other highlights included touring the unique and beautiful Cappadocia region, meeting with local university students in Ankara, experiencing the magnificent ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, listening to local guest speakers and seeing the Gallipoli Battlefields, the site of Mustafa Ataturk’s military victory leading the way to an independent Turkish state. 


Music and Art in India

This 25-day developing world immersion experience provided an authentic Indian experience through the interdisciplinary study of India’s art, architecture and music in their religious, classical, folk and popular contexts. Destinations included Chennai, Thanjavur, Madurai, Mahabalipuram, Aurangebad and Delhi.  In Chennai, students attended lectures with renowned Indian scholars, artists and musicians.  They also had the opportunity to make music, practice traditional art forms, learn yoga, attend a Bollywood movie and enjoy India’s vegetaria- friendly cuisine.  The group attended music festivals and the famed December Season Concerts.  Throughout their stay, students also experienced spectacular temples, museums, a dance festival, a beach resort, artists’ colony, rural village and historic mosques and temples.  Highlights of the course included a visit to the Taj Mahal and two Community Based Learning opportunities; working in a rural village and with a foundation that teaches music to underprivileged children.

galapagos, seals

Discovering the Origins of Evolutionary Thought: Charles Darwin, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

The purpose of this course was to familiarize students with Darwin and his work by visiting sites which were instrumental in the formation of his Theory of Evolution, and gaining hands-on experience with the theory and practice of evolutionary biology and natural history.  During this month-long course, students experienced city guided tours, museum visits, a zip line tour and snorkeling.  The group hiked nearly every day experiencing different ecological environments including the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, the Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest, the Cotopaxi National Park with a partial hike up the glacier, several rain forest hikes, the majestic El Cajas National Park situated in the Andes, and a hike to the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano.  Interaction with local wildlife included: observing giant tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas, and white-tipped reef sharks.  A special visit was made to the Charles Darwin Research Station, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to learn how conservation of the Galapagos Islands is conducted and the efforts being made to preserve the Islands.


"The nice people at Seminars International have always been helpful and supportive.

They are always willing to work with me to create the best possible experience for this adventure. I look forward each year to this experience." - Karl N. Kelley, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, North Central College