My favorite part of my Edinburgh Preview class was getting to connect with a group of people with similar interests I would not otherwise have met. I am a senior now and I still keep in touch with friends I met in my preview class! Our instructors elevated this class beyond expectations both inside the classroom and on the trip. The staff are just as excited to go on the trips as the students are!
I chose to participate in the Barcelona Food & Culture Preview because I had the opportunity to learn about another country and then travel with a great group of students. Visiting another country is definitely a once in a lifetime experience in which every moment is extremely special. I met new friends and having two very wonderful instructors!
Preview Course Listing Notes:
- Application: Preview courses are not open to direct registration. Students must submit an application by the deadline and be placed in a course according to their application responses. All eligible first year and new transfer students will have received an email with a personalized application link; if you aren’t able to locate that email, please contact email@example.com.
- Courses: Please scroll down for a full list of courses; these are organized in alphabetical order according to thier course titles. In your application, you will be asked to select your top three preferences so please review these offerings carefully.
Spring 2024 Course Offerings
Comida y Cultura: Food and Culture in Barcelona
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Instructors: Ashley Knueppel & Shannon Bernardo
Meeting Time: Tuesdays from 4:00 – 6:00pm
“Food is of and from a place; it needs a context to give it authenticity.”-food and wine authority Colman Andrew.
Food plays a crucial role in cultural identity; it is one of the strongest identifiers of place and home. Barcelona has a rich history and connection to food and is globally recognized for its bustling food scene.
The course will take students on a deep dive into Barcelona food which has been influenced by its history and culture. Together we will experience how cuisine, cooking, eating and food-related practices, traditions and rituals can be used as vehicles for understanding a culture and society – especially in a globalized world. We will treat the classroom like a dinner table – a place to come together and foster discussion with respect. Topics to be covered include a basic history of Barcelona and representative foods; the effects of colonization, immigration and ethnic enclaves; cultural identity and food rituals; social and environmental responsibility and sustainability efforts; and food tourism.
We’ll put this learning into action with our Preview travel week itinerary. Highlights include: multiple walking tours, tapas tasting, cooking class, vineyard and farm visits, market tours, a visit to the iconic Sagrada Familia Basilica and plenty of amazing food!
Cultural Explorations of Identity through Our Perceptions: A South Korea Experience
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Instructors: June Lee and Logan Fields
Meeting Time: Fridays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
This course delves into the parallels and distinctions within human experiences by conducting a comparative analysis of Western (individualistic) and Eastern (pluralistic) societies. It scrutinizes the influences of upbringing, environment, and society on our perceptions and behaviors, employing theoretical discourse, empirical research, and personal exploration. With a spotlight on sensory mechanisms, the course examines how our senses shape our understanding of the world, encompassing visual and auditory perception as well as multisensory integration. Through the exploration of diverse societies’ sensory encounters and artistic forms, students scrutinize the interplay of culture, senses, and human existence. The course’s pinnacle is a transformative visit to Seoul, South Korea, affording students an immersive engagement with Eastern culture while solidifying comprehension of the course’s themes. This holistic experience, comprising museum tours, cultural showcases, and hands-on workshops, fosters cross-cultural proficiency and critical thinking, equipping students to navigate our globally connected world.
Dark Dublin: Exploring Ghost Criminology and Dark Tourism in Dublin
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Instructors: Favian Martin and Kevin Revier
Meeting Time: Fridays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
Dublin is a city ripe with paranormal stories. In recent years, dark tourism has increased in Dublin and these tours offer visitors an opportunity to travel to historical places that are associated with death and tragedy. Drawing on the theoretical framework of Ghost Criminology, dark tourism and Irish literature, students will explore and deconstruct the meanings of these macabre stories. In this course, students will understand the role of the telling of these tales. Topics that will be covered include: trafficking of cadavers in 19th century Dublin, the Easter Rising of 1916, and Darkey Kelly (Ireland’s first convicted female serial killer and alleged witch) and others. In this class, students will be exposed to elements of criminology and sociology, and the history of Ireland to understand the factors that contribute to these stories. To fully deconstruct supernatural stories and immerse themselves in the Irish culture, students will travel to Dublin and visit the following places: Kilmainham Gaol, Glasnevin Cemetery, the vaults of St. Michan’s Church, GPO (General Post Office) Museum, and the Dublin Castle. Lastly, students will participate on a ghost tour of Dublin. Additionally, students will also explore the role of dark tourism in the United States with special attention to ghost tourism in Gettysburg, and the racial participation of visiting Southern Plantations (i.e. Myrtles Plantation).
Ecotourism & Sustainable Development in Costa Rica
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Instructors: Alan Powell and Ryan Genova
Meeting Time: Wednesdays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
This course will explore the image of Costa Rica as a leader in the global ecotourism community. As Costa Rican tourism of all kinds has significantly increased over the past two decades, surrounding controversy has begged the questions: Is de facto ecotourism a sustainable practice, and can conservation and economic growth truly go hand in hand? We will focus on the role and policies of the Costa Rican government in managing the private sector, protecting the country’s biodiversity and natural lands, and its historical responses to criticisms levied by environmentalists. We will have the opportunity to learn from local sources, participate in sustainable practices related to Costa Rica’s ecosystem and local population, and visit some of the northern region’s most exotic landscapes. Students will depart San Jose with an increased awareness of natural preservation, the growing demands of the tourism industry, and the cultural integrity of the local community.
Greece: Myths and Civilization
Location: Athens, Greece
Instructors: Allyson McCreery and Rhianon Visinsky
Meeting Time: from Fridays 9:45 – 11:45am
The landscape of Greece invites people into a labyrinth of mythology and civilizations. In this course, students will examine the myths and literature of Classical Greece as well as the ancient civilizations that flourished from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period of Ancient Greece. In Greece, students will explore ancient sites and civilizations, the relationship between mythology and landscape, and the legacy and impact of Ancient Greece on today’s world.
Hard Men: Deconstructing Scottish Masculinity
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Instructors: Daniel Pieczkolon and Jessica Derr
Meeting Time: Fridays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
For decades, sociologists have been reminding us that “gender is a social construct,” but how do different societies construct gender differently? How do factors like geography, economics, cultural history & representation, and so many more combine to inform our (mis)understanding of gender? This course provides students the opportunity to examine the cultural stereotype of the “Scottish Hardman” in contemporary Scottish fiction in an attempt to understand its root causes & material effects. To help us better understand the fiction, we will use academic essays, short films, personal reflection/refraction, classroom discussion, and experiential learning (in Edinburgh & Glasgow) to explore how masculinity reproduces itself—often to the detriment of other genders, society at large, and even those who benefit from it in some capacity.
London Behind the Music Biz: Exploring the Urban Music Scene and Gentrification in London and Philadelphia
Location: London, England
Instructors: Bruce Campell and Anthony Reyes
Meeting Time: Mondays from 4:00 – 6:00pm
This course provides an in depth comparative experience in both the London and Philadelphia music scenes. In the classes before the travel component, we begin by discussing the history and types of music that are found in the urban music scenes in London and Philadelphia. In recent sessions of this course, gentrification has naturally come up, and this is an important part of the context of this course and the impact of gentrification on the music scene in both cities is incorporated. In groups, students research an aspect of the music scene (artists, recording, production, distribution, touring and shows, and technology). Students attend a live show in the Philadelphia area and present in groups on the aspect of the music scene as well as their experiences at the show. We use technology to locate and assign web content (e.g., music, video, blogs) as readings for the course. Guest speakers who have roots in the Philadelphia music scene discuss with the class the history and current music scene in Philadelphia. During their time in London, students again attend a music show and visit a variety of places related to the music scene (e.g., radio stations, recording studios, etc). As a basis for final projects, students make a comparison between their experiences in Philadelphia and London
Multicultural Belgium: A Decolonial View of the Heart of Europe
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Instructors: Jennifer Riggan and Anne Marie Francois-Hurley
Meeting Time: Fridays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
When you think of Belgium, you might think of chocolate or waffles. You might know that Belgium is the birthplace of the French fry. If you follow global politics, you may be aware that Brussels is often referred to as the “capital of Europe” because it is home to a number of critical European Union institutions, such as the European Parliament. But Belgium is also infamous for being the place that started the “scramble for Africa,” resulting in European powers dividing the African continent for resource extraction and colonization. Belgium was one of the most brutal colonizers and the legacy of Belgian colonization has given rise to ongoing resource wars and identity-based conflicts throughout the region. African communities living in Belgium have begun to push back against narratives that try to gloss over the brutality of colonialism, insisting that the true story be told and that Belgium embrace the stories of its African citizens as an integral part of the country’s story.
Paris: A City of Insiders and Outsiders
Location: Paris, France
Instructors: Kate Bonin and Matt Heitzman
Meeting Time: Tuesdays from 4:00 – 6:00pm
The city of Paris has been profoundly shaped by the powerful, the privileged, and the talented men and women who have inhabited it: from its kings, emperors and presidents; to brilliant engineers and technocrats such as Baron Haussmann and Gustave Eiffel; to groundbreaking artists and intellectuals such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Over the course of the semester, and during our week-long stay in Paris, we will seek to understand the physical, political, economic and cultural structures of French civilization through our study of Parisian “insiders” and “outsiders.” As our investigations will show, these categories themselves are unstable, and liable to sudden reversals: such as Louis XIV, the absolute monarch who deliberately consolidated his power outside the city limits; or Maximilien Robespierre, one of the architects of the French Revolution, who was himself overthrown and guillotined; or the African-American authors and entertainers of the 1920s and 30s who left behind their marginalized status in the United States to make their home in the City of Lights. Each student enrolled in the course will choose a different “insider” or “outsider” (whether a leader of government, a revolutionary, an artist, musician, inventor, technocrat, financier, philosopher, or a criminal) as a focus of study. Our course will also look each week at a short piece of travel writing about Paris. We’ll use these travel texts to think about the ways in which travelers are also always both “insiders” and “outsiders” in relation to Paris, French culture, and the French people. We’ll look at how other travelers have negotiated this dynamic, finding ways to connect to the local culture, but also recognizing the ways in which they are still distant from it. This will help us to prepare for and process our own travel experience to Paris
Tradition, Mythology and Modernity: Sicily Today
Location: Sicily, Italy
Instructors: Michelle Reale and Meg Nolan
Meeting Time: Thursdays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
This Preview course with travel to Sicily will examine this enigmatic island from tradition to modernity, touching on the various aspects of Sicilian culture both well known and more obscure. We will look at the culture through various lenses, such as religion, mythology, food, family, the Mafia and Italian stereotypes, to excavate the myriad aspects of a culture that has survived despite the many invasions the island has weathered!
Wherever Green is Worn: Modern Ireland Through History and Tradition
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Instructor: Tim Barton
Meeting Time: Fridays from 2:45 – 4:45pm
Ireland is often represented in popular culture as green fields and stone walls, St. Patrick and the land of saints and scholars, and friendly people with the gift of the gab, but is that what Ireland is truly like today? Ireland has changed dramatically in the last one hundred years while attempting to maintain the unique traits that have helped to shape its culture for centuries. This course will examine what it means to be Irish today and how this may differ from the Irish-American culture we often encounter in our daily lives. Focusing on the history, literature, sociology of Ireland, the course will explore the continuing tensions in Northern Ireland, the development of Ireland from its Celtic past to today, and why 80 million people around the world look to this small island as their ancestral home. Students will be engaged in firsthand experiences in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including walking tours of Dublin, lectures on modern Irish history, visiting to a coastal village, working tour of the Irish parliament, a visit Derry and lecture on Northern Ireland, and a tour of Celtic ruins outside of Dublin.
Who is eligible for Preview?
Full-time, matriculated first-year and new transfer students who enter the University in spring, summer, or fall participate in Preview during the following spring semester. Courses are open to all majors. You must maintain good academic and disciplinary standing prior to departure.
Eligible students will receive an email invitation with a personalized application link in mid-September. If you think you're eligible for Preview and do not have this email after Sept. 15, contact Cheryl Lewis.
How do I sign up and choose a course?
If eligible, you will be notified by email in early fall about online registration. You will need to indicate your top three course preferences and be asked to write a brief personal statement that explains your interest in a particular course. Your statements will be reviewed and considered as part of your placement.
Do I get credit for Preview courses?
Students who complete Preview courses earn two credits.
How much does Preview cost, and what does the fee cover?
Preview program fees are $795. The fee covers air and ground transportation, programmed events, accommodations, and some meals. You are responsible for passport/visa fees, meals, and incidental expenses (i.e. souvenirs and activities). Costs will vary among sites, but $50 per day is a modest budget. Past students report spending $250 to $500, depending on their habits and preferences.
You can pay this fee online through Self-Service or in-person at the Office of Student Accounts (the deadline will be shared with you via email).
Who handles the accommodations and airfare?
Civic and Global Engagement and university partners arrange all travel logistics. Arcadia books group flights leaving from local airports. Accommodations vary in each location, but are clean, basic, and safe. Students room together in groups of two to four.
How can I access my money while traveling?
You should take an ATM card that is linked to a bank account for easy access to funds and for the best exchange rate. Your bank may charge small fees for foreign withdrawals.
It’s important to notify the bank of dates you'll be traveling. Credit cards (VISA or Mastercard) are accepted in most locations, except for smaller businesses. Travelers checks are not advisable.
Do I need to know the language of the country to participate?
Preview is open to you with or without language competency.
What is Arcadia’s refund/withdrawal policy?
Students who withdraw on or after the communicated deadline will not be refunded their Preview fee. Students who are placed on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible for a refund, and may be responsible for paying non-recoverable costs. All withdrawals should be communicated in a timely manner to Civic and Global Engagement.
Can my Preview travel plans change?
Sometimes, Arcadia needs to change Preview travel plans in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. An excerpt from the Preview Enrollment Agreement states:
Arcadia University reserves the right to cancel, alter, suspend, or amend any part of any program or to increase fees should circumstances make these actions advisable or necessary. I understand that the program calendar dates posted on the Arcadia University website are tentative in nature, and can change at any time. Arcadia University will alert me of any such changes and will work to minimize any disruption to my planning.
Do I need a passport or visa?
Passports are required for all international travel, and you will need to submit a copy to Civic and Global Engagement by November 1st (or proof that you have applied by October 15th). We strongly recommend that students request expedited passport processing (additional fee applies) for new passport applications and renewals (regular processing time is now more than four months). If you currently have a passport, be sure the expiration date is at least six months after your return date.
U.S. citizens do not require visas for short visits to most locations. Locations requiring a visa for U.S. citizens will be noted in the Preview announcement and course description. If you hold a passport from a country other than the U.S., you'll need to check requirements (and Civic and Global Engagement can help you). For U.S. "green card" holders, the passport determines visa requirements.
Please note this excerpt from the Preview Enrollment Agreement:
I understand that it is my responsibility to have all travel documents necessary for domestic and/or international program travel. For international travel, this includes a valid passport for the duration of my time abroad and for any required amount of time after I return as stipulated by the immigration policy of my host country. I agree to obtain any and all visa and clearances prior to my time abroad and ensure I have obtained the proper authorization to study in my host country. I understand that Arcadia University is not responsible for any decisions made by foreign embassies or consulates regarding approval of visa documentation and/or immigration clearance. I understand that the failure to obtain required travel documents by stated program deadlines may result in my removal from the program and that I may be responsible for non-recoverable costs incurred by Arcadia University on my behalf.
Do I need a passport or visa for a GFS course?
Passports are required for all international travel, and you will need to submit a copy to Global Engagement. We strongly recommend that students request expedited passport processing (additional fee applies) for new passport applications and renewals because regular processing time is approximately 3 months. If you currently have a passport, be sure the expiration date is at least 6 months after your return date.
Passport Application and Documentation
Passport application available through the U.S. State Department website.
Please see this excerpt from the Global Field Study Enrollment Agreement on travel documentation, including valid US passports:
Proper Travel Documentation:
I understand that it is my responsibility to have all travel documents necessary for domestic and/or international program travel. For international travel, this includes a valid passport for the duration of my time abroad and for any required amount of time after I return as stipulated by the immigration policy of my host country. I agree to obtain any and all visa and clearances prior to my time abroad and ensure I have obtained the proper authorization to study in my host country. I understand that Arcadia University is not responsible for any decisions made by foreign embassies or consulates regarding approval of visa documentation and/or immigration clearance. I understand that the failure to obtain appropriate travel documents may result in my removal from the program and that I will be responsible for the travel fee and any additional non-recoverable costs incurred by Arcadia University on my behalf.
Need a passport? All international travel will require one, and processing time is around 12 weeks, so apply now! Visit travel.state.gov for application information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
An Adventure Made in China
“Our conversation over barbecued pork and chicken feet on a skewer made me realize that though our governments are vastly different, we as people have much in common and a lot we could learn from each other.”
I Can’t Believe I Did That
“If ‘future me’ came to visit myself senior year of high school and told me that I would transfer colleges and take a trip to Vietnam, I would have thought it was some kind of joke. But that’s exactly what happened.”
Preview Broadens My Perspective of the World
“I chose this course for a reason: I knew that it was a history and culture that I was blind to, and I wanted to understand more about pressing issues elsewhere in the world.”