At St. Stephen’s University, students in the Liberal Arts Program have the opportunity to explore world heritage sites, major museums and art galleries, and experience daily life in Western Europe.
The Western European study abroad term brings to life and ties together the history, philosophy, literature, and cultural and religious studies undertaken in residence.
Students in this program spend about two months travelling and studying in countries such as France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the UK. Accommodation will vary on each trip.
The SSU Europe Program is integrated closely with the four-year Liberal Arts curriculum at St. Stephen’s University (SSU). The undergraduate curriculum explores essential themes in the development of Western Civilization. Wherever possible in written assignments, group discussions and personal reflections, students are encouraged to consider comparative contexts with which to integrate Western themes with a broader appreciation of other world civilizations.
Following the criteria and guidelines set out in this program syllabus, students undertake preparatory work prior to their departure for Europe, they continue their studies while abroad for about two months under the supervision of SSU faculty and staff members who travel with them, and finally students complete their academic requirements in the weeks following their return from Europe. This study-abroad experience constitutes a full term of interdisciplinary, cross-cultural study, comprising 15 credit hours of course-work.
Intense and rigorous, this immersion program sees students and faculty travelling together as a community of scholars–24 hours a day, seven days a week, for seven weeks. Each week abroad contains a minimum of 15 contact hours of formal instruction as well as additional hours of experiential learning and mentoring. Pedagogically, the program is structured around learning tours and site visits, on-site faculty lectures, student presentations, local guides and experts, class discussions and seminars, creative and critical journaling, interviews, and many practical tasks in student teams.
Students are required to attend all sessions and are graded on assigned projects, class participation, independent research and final papers.
In addition to faculty instruction and the mentoring of students, each day will consist of group activities where students participate in the practical realities of living and learning on the move. These activities include regular community gatherings and worship, cleaning common spaces, helping to prepare meals, washing dishes, shopping for food and supplies, and a host of other important responsibilities of a community on the move.