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Immersion and Study Abroad

Immersion Is…an opportunity for undergraduate students to pursue their passions and interests through experiential learning. Study abroad offers students a chance to experience first-hand foreign languages and cultures, enhancing their studies in the classroom. Many EUS students use their study abroad experience to fulfill the Immersion requirement. In addition to full-semester and summer semesters abroad, Vanderbilt also offers a Maymester term.

Maymester Abroad

EUS 2260-05: Migration, International Health, and Alpine Adventures, from the Swiss Alps to Italy

In this Maymester, Professor Barsky will make the link between radicalism and creativity, safe haven and international law, as well as between medicine and international engagement by exploring institutes, specialists, and natural settings in the Swiss Alps and then in Rome, Italy.

Beginning in Geneva, students are introduced to the international legal and non-governmental organizations that uphold international laws, notably the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations, UNICEF, the International Labor Organization, the World Trade Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Students will meet with high-ranking officials from those organizations, and witness firsthand the kinds of work that is directed from Geneva offices.

We will then travel to Grindelwald and Murren, to explore the sublime heights that have inspired so many artists, writers, painters, and philosophers including Dorothy and William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley, John Turner, James Fenimore Cooper, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Friedrich Nietzsche and others. We will complete our Swiss tour on Monte Verità, where we will encounter Dada (Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp), psychoanalysis (Carl Jung, Otto Gross), modern dance (Rudolf Laban, Mary Wigman), anarchism (Otto Gross, Mikhail Bakunin), expressionist art (Paul Klee) and others.

We will finish in Rome by returning to refugee and migration studies, and be introduced to the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, the International Organization for Migration Rome office, the Migration, Asylum and Social Integration Center, and other migration organizations in the country that is at the flashpoint of the current crisis.

For more images from past Maymesters, please visit the Facebook page. For information on possible future Maymester courses, see Professor Barsky’s website.

Immersion Stories

International Summer School in Antwerp, Belgium

“Upon entering Belgium, I had no idea what to expect. I had never been to a foreign country before, and I only speak one language. However, upon arrival I found that there were very few major differences. Yes, there were minor things: roads were not the typical perpendicular layout we have here, buildings were centuries older than ours, and we speak different languages, but fundamentally, we are very similar. I quickly bonded with many of the students, and though I was only there a week, I believe I made lifelong friends.” – Ethan Conner, student participant

“Attending summer school at the University of Antwerp was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Even though the program was only a week long, it was presented the opportunity to connect with students from all around the world — South Africa, Armenia, Belgium, France, Turkey, Slovakia, Malaysia, and so many other countries — and to learn and understand the world from a different perspective.  We focused on the concept of Fraternity, as the final chapter of the slogan from the French Revolution. Especially with the crisis in Greece and within the European Union and with immigration policy and with the social welfare system, we explored how fraternity intersects with all aspects of life in both Europe and around the world.” – Robyn Du, student participant