Many of the 979 students who are enrolled in January Term at Samford University this month have chosen to study at exotic locales far away from campus. While some are skiing the slopes of the Austrian Alps, others are sweating out the humid jungles of Peru.
Traveling the farthest is a group in Jordan, more than 6,000 miles away from Birmingham. The 13 students are led by an interdisciplinary group of Samford professors of geography, religion, history and the classics. They will study in the Jordanian towns of Amman, Aqaba and Petra, and in Damascus, Syria.
A total of 105 students will spend part of January in England at Samford's London Study Centre. They are studying topics such as the rise of the British state, multicultural education and international mass media.
Fifteen Spanish majors and minors are attending an intensive course at Conversa language institute in Santa Ana, Costa Rica. The students will receive total immersion in the language while they live with Costa Rican families.
Eleven students are in Munster, Germany, where they will learn German language and culture. During the German experience, which is designed as a problem-based learning course, the students are researching and producing a travel book they will write in German. They are also videotaping their experiences. Another group of students in the resort town of Kappl, Austria, will also receive physical education credit while taking ski instruction in the Alps.
Some 23 biology students are studying the ecosystem of the Amazon Rain Forest in the jungles of Peru. They will examine the animal and plant life, as well as the culture of the native people.
Closer to home, students are enrolled in courses ranging in interest from kayaking, taught in the campus pool, to a history course on riots, rebellion and revolution.