We strongly recommended that each student in the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS) majors partake in at least one Study Abroad program. The experience will prove to be very worthwhile. The following study abroad programs are offered by the Department of CARRS.
Media, Tourism, Environment and Cultural Issues , May 20-June 30
Conducted in conjunction with Macquarie University in Sydney, with both Michigan State University and Macquarie University academic staff serving as program faculty, this eight-credit program will run in the summer of 2009 from mid May through late June. It will provide an overview of Australia’s media and examine its role in reporting public affairs, natural resources, cultural issues and the environment; explore Australia’s natural and cultural resources, their management and role in heritage and ecotourism; and assess various modes of interpretive communications. It is aimed at majors in journalism, media, natural resources management, tourism, communications, environmental sciences, social sciences and liberal arts.
To see schedule details and examples of former student work, please see the following web site:
Australia and New Zealand
Food, Environment and Social Systems
This is an interdisciplinary program that is both academic and experiential. It provides an overview of the interrelationships among Australia's media and other communications systems, tourism and interpretive services, environmental systems, and cultural contexts and issues.
The Sustainable Development semester abroad program in Belize provides students with an academic experience that incorporates direct field experience in a developing nation. The curriculum emphasizes the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainable development, and focuses on the criteria, instruments, and indicators of sustainability for developing countries.
The program provides students the opportunity to better understand the challenges of environmental conservation, economic development, and poverty in a different cultural, political, and economic setting.
Ecology, Culture and Politics of Food in France
This program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students with a wide range of interests in the environment, biodiversity protection, local food and farming and rural development. From the rugged foothills high above the Mediterranean coast through the vineyards of the Languedoc you will explore how:
- public policies – local, regional, national and European – promote and protect livelihoods on small family farms as well as the places or terroir
- farmers deal with the challenge of protecting biodiversity while promoting local farming and herding
- contemporary urban sprawl threatens centuries of identities connected to specific places
- local food products are central to promoting rural development based on connections between local food and farming
With sheep, goat, and chestnut farmers in the Cevennes to the vineyards of Languedoc and the open-air food markets of Montpellier, students will taste the food of France on remote small farms and discover the ways in which family farms and the natural resource heritage in southern France are being preserved and protected.
Ecology of the Mountains (Trekking in the High Himalayas of India)
This three-week summer study abroad experience is based in the high Himalayan Range in the state of Uttaranchal, India. The focus of the program is ecology — the ecology of the mountains and their water, soil and forest systems; and the ecology of the people — their history, beliefs and livelihood systems. Students will spend the majority of the time trekking to the Pindari Glacier on the border of India and Nepal. While traveling, they will learn about the flora and fauna of the mountains, spend time studying the water and forest systems, stay in remote villages to learn about the people and their lives, and visit holy places to experience the spirituality of these sacred mountains.
The Kumaoni Hills in eastern Uttaranchal encompass some of the most beautiful and remote mountains in the Himalayan chain. Nanda Devi is the highest peak in India, towering to 7,816 meters. The Pindari Glacier is one of the many glaciers flowing down from these heights. This region is also an historic crossroads that supported the ancient trade between India and Tibet.
Community Engagement in Ireland
This study abroad program is an immersion experience, where students are expected to engage fully in living-learning experiences associated with home stays and life in rural Irish villages. Students are expected to learn informally through personal interactions with community members and to reflect upon their person growth that comes from these experiences. This study abroad program focuses on depth, not breadth. Unlike other study abroad programs where students tour Ireland, this program allows you to get to know one community very, very well.
Engaging with Borderland Communities in Ireland: People, Culture and Peacemaking in County Monaghan
It’s about the people, the culture, and the efforts at peacemaking in County Monaghan, Ireland. This program will offer students opportunities to learn about and to contribute to cross-border reconciliation and Monaghan’s regeneration and peace-building efforts through community projects. The emphasis of this program is on understanding the legacy of past religious and class conflicts between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the contemporary issues of peace, reconciliation, and community building in and between cross-border communities. Participants in this 6-week program will live with, learn from, and work alongside citizens of County Monaghan. Participants will have myriad opportunities to immerse themselves in Irish life; to gain a deeper understanding of the turbulent history, politics, religion, culture (arts, literature, music) and society of this borderland county; and to visit historic sites.
This challenging study abroad will offer unique experiences for students who are able to tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity, and unpredictable situations. Learning will be experiential, participatory, value-driven, and self-motivated.
Environmental and Land Use Studies in Israel
This program, conducted in collaboration with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies (AIES), introduces students to the unique ecological aspects of desert environments and their varied natural resources, and provides an understanding of the environmental and development challenges that are associated with land use and settlement impacts in arid regions. It is divided into a number of integrating themes, including…
The Arava Institute, situated on Kibbutz Ketura in Israel's southern Arava Valley, serves as a regional center for natural resource conservation and environmental protection. It provides students with the technical information, fundamentals of public policy, and an understanding of theoretical and philosophical concepts necessary for effective participation in environmental planning and conflict resolution.
- Sustainable agriculture and development
- History of human settlement and land use impacts
- Desert ecology, bio-diversity and land use
- Water management and irrigation impacts in dryland regions
- Marine/coastal ecosystems, bio-diversity and aquaculture
- Regional impacts of tourism development
- Environmental preservation and conservation – tools and objectives
Environmental and Natural Resource Sustainability in a Green Israel
This study abroad program is designed to take advantage of experiential/service learning opportunities in Israel focused on sustainable development and environmental stewardship. Students in this program will spend about two weeks learning about environmental policy, natural resource management, and a side of Israel not often seen in the U.S. media, a green Israel. The program incorporates stays at/work with Tel Aviv University, Tel-Hai College, as well as Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund in Upper Galilee, Jerusalem, and the Negev. MSU students will learn about ancient and modern Israel and have hands on experiences including research assistance on reforestation projects, water quality projects, biological surveys, and ecotourism at Lake Hula Reserve.
Netherlands, Belgium, France
Environmental Planning and Management in Europe
THE SETTING: Northwestern Europe is a dynamic region with intensive industrial and commercial activity. It is characterized by high population densities, historic towns, metropolitan regions, and complex, efficient transportation systems. It also presents unique challenges and solutions in maintaining environmental quality through innovative public policies, land use planning and implementation.
The study abroad program will address key environmental issues and review project and case studies such as land reclamation and consolidation, water management, land use planning, and environmental modeling and engineering. In particular, public and private sector effectiveness in funding the international, national, and regional development of an integrating European market economy will be examined.
THE CONTEXT: This lowland region embraces one of the world’s largest economically significant river deltas. It provides opportunities for economic growth and unique challenges in land and water resource management. The unique experiences and public policies of the region, which has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, can assist us in evolving effective, proactive land use strategies.
Environmental Science and Policy in New Zealand
THE SETTING: New Zealand is a nation with tremendous natural resources and great, unspoiled beauty. It represents diverse farming systems and agroecological settings – from alpine merino wool production to extensive fruit belts and vineyards, as well as large forest areas with volcanic activity, geysers, unspoiled rivers and unique coastal environments. Most of its unspoiled beauty can be found on the South Island and includes the Fjordland National park – the fifth largest in the world. New Zealand’s environmental policies are designed to pro-actively preserve natural and social-cultural values, thereby safeguarding and respecting the interests of the Maori population.
THE CONTEXT: New Zealand established treaty rights with the Maori population, safeguarding extensive land holdings and property rights, providing an example of balancing resource access, utilization and impacts - within a multi-ethnic society. The enactment of the innovative Natural Resource Management Act provides an example of how a democratic, industrialized society may seek to pro-actively balance economic development with environmental preservation and the enhancement of quality of life.
This study abroad program includes visits to leading universities, government agencies, and resource management authorities, including the U.S. Antarctic Program in Christchurch. The program will address key environmental issues and concerns, the role of resource planning, management and public policy formulation, and review selected projects, including resource and ecosystem preservation and restoration, water and land management, and land use planning.
Peru Community Engagement and Interdisciplinary Study of Global Issues in the Peruvian Andes http://studyabroad.isp.msu.edu/programs/
This twelve week summer study abroad program provides a unique mix of cultural and language immersion with a field based participatory research experience. Thirteen to sixteen academic credits can be earned over the summer semester.
• International cross-cultural development and Spanish language mastery
• Integrative field-based experiential and sustainable service learning research
• Universally applicable applied critical thinking, outreach and engagement, and problem solving skills
The course work spans three locations with additional stops in Lima and Trujillo, Peru:
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (1 week)
• Participatory research proposal planning and ISS 330C Andean cultural learning
Cusco, Peru (4 ½ weeks)
Cusco is the center for Andean cultural history. Trips are taken to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and an indigenous community. Academic summary:
• Complete Spanish language immersion through a Peruvian language school
• Cultural engagement experience through language school, homestays and excursions
Huamachuco, Peru (6 weeks)
Huamachucho is a Peruvian highland community with a daily population of approximately 40,000. There is a high level of poverty in this community that is motivated to engage with Michigan State University students in participatory research and sustainable development activities. Academic summary:
• Independently conducted, joint Michigan State University and locally guided, community engaged research for improved student competencies and local development Cultural engagement experience through homestays and excursions
• Cultural engagement experience through research, homestays and excursions
Multidisciplinary Studies at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok
Thailand is at the center of the Southeast Asian region – geographically, economically, and politically. Bangkok is a key hub of regional business and transportation, and is thus an important location for international and non-governmental organizations involved in economic and community development. Thai culture is unique on its own terms, and represents a fusion of historic Thai, Khmer, Lanna, Lao, Malay and Burmese influences. Thai cuisine is justly world-famous, and the Thai branch of Buddhism is reflected in the architecture, as well as in the spiritual make-up of Thai society.
While the Bangkok region of Thailand is the principal location of this program, the focus is the study and practice of development in Southeast Asia. Poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, wildlife management, education, public health, and economic development will all be of central concern. Internships will immerse students in the work of the Bangkok offices of development organizations and agencies, and field trips to the regions of Thailand and neighboring countries will expose students to development work at the grassroots level.
This semester-length multidisciplinary study abroad program is based at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). This program creates opportunities for students to study development challenges and opportunities facing Southeast Asia, through participation in the work of organizations engaged with those issues. Classroom study of development theory, regional issues, and the Thai language is integrated with the internships and field trips to enhance the academic dimensions of the experience.
To find other MSU study abroad programs, please visit the MSU study Abroad web page ( http://studyabroad.msu.edu ) .